Indy Film Fest

3Feb/110

How We Build It (aka The Screening Process)

Posted by Lisa Trifone

One of the most frequently requested volunteer positions is the chance to serve on our film submissions screening committee. The thinking goes something like this:

You mean I can do volunteer work that is nothing but watching movies?! Sign me up!


Which, at first glance, makes sense. Yes, being on the screening committee means you're going to see A LOT of movies in a very short time. But this is no popcorn-and-soda way to pass the time. We ask much more of our screeners, and it isn't all so glamorous!

Every film submitted to the festival (hundreds every season!) gets watched by at least two screening committee members. This is to ensure that if one viewer gives it a low rating, a second person - with their own perspectives and tastes - can also see it. Just because it didn't appeal to one person doesn't mean it won't appeal to others.

Each screening committee member is asked to rate the films they watch on a number of criteria. A film may have great acting, but the story just isn't up to par - we consider all angles when we think about what the festival audience will enjoy.

When all is said and done, we consider all the notes the screening committee has taken of the course of the process and sit down to determine which films have made the cut. This is both an invigorating and agonizing process, but always results in festival film selections that we're proud to feature.

Sure, watching movies for a few hours a week seems like a no-brainer. But as any of our screening committee members could tell you, there's a lot riding on their input - not the least of which is Joe MovieLover's festival experience. If we can find at least one film in our line-up of over a hundred that he's glad he got the chance to see, we've done our job!

image credit: Nataraj Metz via Flickr

17Jan/110

The Waive

Posted by Lisa Trifone

There are a couple things you can count on in life - you know, death and taxes?

Turns out, there's something entirely reliable in a film festival's submission process, too: the request for a fee waiver.

Because we see them come through almost daily, I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge the waiver requests and offer a bit of insight to filmmakers on our approach to them (and, if you're not a filmmaker, maybe give you an idea of the inside workings of a festival).

3Jan/110

Festival Internships Now Available!

Posted by Lisa Trifone

If one half of getting the festival off the ground is getting the films in, the other half is building our team of dedicated volunteers and interns to help make the whole thing happen.

We're excited to announce the availability of several internships for the 2011 Festival season, and hope you'll take a minute to apply. While these are all listed as internships, each role is open to any dedicated volunteer with the time, interest and skill set right for the job.

Available positions include (click on each to open a PDF description):

Not sure which role is right for you? If you have an interest in working for the festival but aren't sure which role you'd like to engage in, please still forward your resume and cover letter to us at volunteer AT indyfilmfest DOT org. We have countless opportunities, including creating filmmaker gift bags, managing our annual surveys and working in our projection booths, and we'd love to have your help in any one of these ways!

2Jan/110

5 Reasons to Submit your Film to the Indy Film Fest

Posted by Lisa Trifone

We're in the middle of our search for the best independent and international films out there to feature at the 2011 Indianapolis International Film Festival in July. It's 10 days that bring to Indianapolis all the compelling and entertaining cinema that otherwise might not make it to the screen in the Circle City.

While our early deadline has passed (and we're seeing some great films come our way!), maybe you're not convinced yet - maybe you're not sure about sending your film our way for consideration. Allow me to offer a few thoughts (five, actually) on why we'd love it if you did.

20Dec/100

Mail Bag

Posted by Sara McGuyer

Know what it's like to work on an independent film festival?

Here's one little image for you - we race with bated breath to our mail box every day at this time of year.

Know why? Because we never know when the next great film is going to be there waiting for us. And because we hope to find our bin overloaded with packages from filmmakers far and wide.

What are you waiting for? Send us your films before the fee goes up next week! The earlybird deadline is January 1, 2011!

Image credit: sporkist via Flickr

5Nov/100

Submissions are NOW OPEN

Posted by Lisa Trifone

You read that right - the festival may be more than six months away, but we're ready to see your films now!

If you've made a movie, know someone who has or just want to know more about what we're looking for, check out our official Rules & Regulations. Then zip on over to Withoutabox and get your film signed up for consideration!

Want to help spread the word? Share this press release with everybody you know - we can't wait to see some of the best independent filmmaking of the year. And we definitely can't wait to share it with an Indianapolis audience!

3Nov/100

Like movies? Have we got a job for you.

Posted by Lisa Trifone

We're looking for a few good souls interested in watching the good, the bad and the just plain ugly film submissions we'll be receiving over the next several months (and trust us, they get ugly...).

Be on the front lines of the review process, screening a slice of the more than 500 films we expect to be submitted this year. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to attend weekly meetings to screen short film submissions and watch 2-3 feature-length films on your own each week, rating each and every one of them as you go. Your input will directly impact the films screened at the 2011 Indy Film Fest.

It's really not as daunting as it sounds. In fact, it's fun! Screeners get to meet fellow filmlovers, share their opinions about independent film and get an inside glimpse into the way the film festival comes together.

Interested in applying? Drop an email to volunteer@indyfilmfest.org to request the forms - but don't delay. Meetings start soon, and we'd love to have you at them all.