6 Comments

Summary:

Ever go to a film festival and think, “Phsaw. I can pick better movies than that.” Well, now you’ll get that chance, as IndieFlix has launched MyFestival, a place where you, the viewer can stream full movies in contention and vote for which one gets into […]

Ever go to a film festival and think, “Phsaw. I can pick better movies than that.” Well, now you’ll get that chance, as IndieFlix has launched MyFestival, a place where you, the viewer can stream full movies in contention and vote for which one gets into a festival. TechCrunch writes that the program is starting with the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), which is going on right now.

Head over to MyFestival where you can watch 10 features and 10 shorts online (GridNetworks powers the streaming). Pick your favorite and the winner will debut on the last night of the fest.

Having programmed a film festival myself, it’s interesting to see a high-profile one like SIFF adopt this strategy. Festivals are getting increasingly competitive when it comes to getting premieres and are still figuring out whether to qualify films that are already on the Internet.

Of course, if any of these 20 films being screened online were really good, they’d have already been picked by the fest, so audiences are most likely choosing from movies that were on the edge of being accepted. To be fair, I haven’t seen any of the films being streamed, and it looks like one got picked up for distribution. But there is MyFestival’s conundrum — it wants to get more people involved with indie films, but the films it is making available aren’t “must-haves” for the festival, so audiences are watching films that aren’t as good, which could ruin their indie film experience.

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  1. I am so glad you posted this. i have been waiting for this comment.

    In response to your statement, “if any of these 20 films being screened online were really good, they’d have already been picked by the fest,..”

    Not true. the film festival only has so many time slots available and with the number of submissions increasing each year by thousands many great films never get screened at a festival. SIFF programmers pulled these films from the same submissions they program the theatrical time slots.

    Since this is the inaugural launch of Myfestival – more thought was put into these films because we want the experience to be successful. i have heard nothing but glowing responses from viewers. You get 16 days to watch these films and your vote counts. SIFF left the coveted closing night theatrical screening slot open to the winning filmmakers to screen their films (1 Feature – 1 Short) They are flown to Seattle to attend their screenings and receive a cash award.
    I don’t think SIFF thought to waste the time slot and their energy on films that were “on the edge of being accepted”.

    All of the filmmakers walk away with demographic info collected on their film and can learn who their audience is to focus distribution.

    I suggest you watch a film or two before you knock the work of some very talented filmmakers or a model that has been getting a lot of validation.

    Here’s a good place to start regardless of your mood,. Simulacra is a short film that just got nominated for a student Academy Award and Perfect Sport stars, Jessica Rose aka Lonely Girl 15. Regardless all of the films have something special and wonderful about them.

  2. Chris Albrecht Wednesday, May 28, 2008

    Hi Scilla,

    Thanks for your comment, I actually contacted IndieFlix yesterday afternoon (admittedly late in the day) but didn’t hear back in time for my deadline.

    I did speak with SIFF, however, and a rep there told me that the films that win through MyFestival will not be showing on what is considered the official closing night. Technically, the winners will be shown on the last day of the fest, but the official closing night film and ceremony is being held the night before.

    But, I’d still love to speak with someone at IndieFlix.

  3. I was disappointed to have to sign up to watch a movie, only to find out I have to install yet another 3rd party player driver in order to see the movie. It took 10 minutes before I could actually see anything, and the first movie I picked to view was awful. What a waste of time.

  4. Remember Chris, movies like art are a matter of taste. Not sure why it took you 10 minutes to download the connector? are you on a MAC or PC? it takes most people less than 2 mins. The experience on the MAC is just okay you can only watch on a Quick Time player. The PC experience is full screen awesome! 95% of our users are PC. I am on a MAC at least i can still watch. i can’t watch anything from NetFlix and other sites yet. You can watch trailers without registering but we ask for registration to watch the entire film so that we can collect and share some of the general demographic data with the filmmaker and then they can sharpshoot their distribution. It also gives us the ability to geo-filter. There are no ads, no pre-rolls and no credit cards necessary. I think putting in your email and downloading a connector to watch, vote and support indie film is not so much to ask.

    lastly, the closing night theatrical screening time is exactly that. this year for the first time the dubbed “Closing night film” due to scheduling is being screened on Saturday and not on the last day of the festival which is Sunday. The 6:30PM closing night theatrical screening at the Harvard Exit is a coveted screening time and location for our winning films to debut in the theater at SIFF. if you live in town, you should come and meet the filmmaker.

    Chin up this is a good thing we are doing and while it is far from perfect it is the beginning of something much bigger. Our plan is evolve the model so the audience has a voice in what plays in our theaters from the festival to the multiplex! I love that you care enough to write about us. Thank you!

  5. oliviaTheWolfe Wednesday, May 28, 2008

    signed up no problems (am on a PC). i’ve watched three shorts so far and think the whole deal is f’en great! hope to see it take off.

  6. Let me clarify. It was 10 minutes total from visiting the site to actually watching a movie. I registered at the SIFF site, registered at IndieFlix and I have to register again to see MyFilmFestival. On top of that, after I registered I had to download the sites player drivers in order to watch the movie. What a hassle.

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