NEW ONLINE TOOL WILL REVOLUTIONIZE FESTIVALS

Film Threat receives countless press releases a week. They’re generally the same — a lot of gladhanding and niceties filled with a load of bold announcements that generally turn out to be bull. Occasionally something so cool comes along, we have to tell you about it. Without A Box is a new web site that will be launching very soon and it will change the way ALL filmmakers submit movies to festivals. Besides offering an amazing serachable database of 1,200 film festivals, the service allows you to fill out one form and then submit your movie to as many fests as you like. It’s going to make the lives of confused filmmakers a helluva lot easier and it’s a tool whose time has come. Here’s the official press release from the boys at WAB. Check ‘em out!
Without A Box, Inc., the online film festival submission service, announced that its list of film festival partners topped ninety, including its six Test and Development Partners–American Film Institute’s AFI Fest 2001, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival and Edinburgh International Film Festival. Withoutabox’s Test and Development Partners will utilize the service and provide input to Withoutabox on their experience with the product to ensure that its design serves the broadest range of festival requirements. ^ “We chose Withoutabox because they’re doing it right,” said Christian Gaines, Director of AFI Fest 2001. “They’ve worked closely with film festivals and filmmakers to ensure their service really meets all of our needs.” ^ Without A Box, Inc., is evolutionizing the film festival world through its signature product, the International Film Festival Submission Service, a single online resource for filmmakers and film festivals. Through the Service, filmmakers will be able to access and apply to film festivals worldwide with one entry form, saving money and hours of time. For film festivals, the entire process of managing entries and communication with applicants will be brought online and simplified. ^ “Finally an online service designed specifically to support the independent filmmaker,” said Gyula Gazdag, artistic director of the Sundance Filmmakers Lab, and former vice-chair of UCLA’s Directing program.^ “In my own experience, both professionally and in teaching film, I have seen what this service is going to mean to filmmakers,” said Gazdag. “I’ve seen so many opportunities missed simply because the festival process is such a pain – good films going unnoticed – when all they needed was the right exposure. This is like a matchmaking service the way it works.” Gazdag’s films have premiered at over fifty film festivals worldwide including, Berlin, Cannes, Toronto International, London, Chicago and San Sebastian Film Festivals..
At a time when the entertainment dot-com world is experiencing numerous lay-offs and shut-downs, the Without A Box model continues to attract investors and strategic partners. Joseph Konowiecki, of the law firm Konowiecki and Rank, led the first round of private capital investment. Producer/producer’s rep, Jonathan Dana, recently signed on as an investor and advisor to the company. ^ “These are smart guys with a good idea, well executed. So it’s no surprise that people are responding to it. I’m sure Withoutabox will make life a lot easier for both filmmakers and festivals alike.” ^ “We have gotten interest in the service not just from independent filmmakers, but from agents and commercial distribution houses who spend a great deal of time filling out the same information again and again,” said co-founder and CEO, David Straus. “We have streamlined the submission process for them, as well as made it easier for festivals to receive applications.” ^ Joe Neulight (Without A Box co-founder and COO) initially developed the concept of the International Film Festival Submission Service after submitting his own films to numerous film festivals. Neulight, along with the company’s CTO, Rich Yaker, have designed software that is internationally scalable and allows festivals to use as much or as little of it as they choose. ^ “Every film festival is different and Without A Box obviously gets that,” said David Wittkowksy, director of the Cleveland International Film Festival. “The feature that truly sets Without A Box’s service apart is that their software is very complete and we can customize it to meet our own individual needs.” ^ There are more than 1,200 film festivals worldwide and the process of applying to festivals has historically been time and cost intensive, requiring hours of research and submitting an individual application, video and press kit for each entry. Withoutabox’s International Film Festival Submission Service will allow filmmakers to apply to film festivals around the world with a single online form, electronically search its comprehensive “smart” festival database, and submit film and support materials to one central location to be distributed securely to festivals by Without A Box. Film festivals will log-on, and within the secure system, manage all their submission processes in a completely paperless environment.




Posted on March 31, 2001 in Festivals by
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