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withoutabox is gone

We host two film festivals, and enter our own films into festivals as well. We just got this email from withoutabox:

Important: Withoutabox Update for 2019

After more than 10 years operating the Withoutabox film festival submission service, we have decided to phase out the service over the next year.

We are working with current film festival customers to fulfill Withoutabox’s commitments through October 30, 2019 and are working with filmmakers to ensure their submissions are properly processed during this transition. We are grateful to all the filmmakers who have shared their stories through Withoutabox and the film festivals who have discovered talented artists around the world using our service.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
Perhaps people were mad they still had to use a box to ship their entry... :lol:
 
Really a case of having two almost identical services – Withoutabox and Film Freeway – when only one was ever needed to cater to a relatively niche audience. For some time FF has been more user friendly and better at scrutinising festivals. No real surprise to me that Withoutabox are going, though I feel they were trailblazers for making the festival submissions process vastly easier for filmmakers, so credit to them for that.
 
Heard about this from my business partner earlier today. This seems so weird to me. They're owned by Amazon and I think they'd negotiated some exclusives with big fests (Sundance, I think? Maybe I'm misremembering). Seems like they can't have been doing too bad financially. But maybe people (like me) largely moving to more user friendly platforms was enough that they can't maintain?
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
There are positives to a conglomerate buying a niche product, like expansion, avenues of exposure, distribution, etc. But the shitty thing about a conglomerate buying a niche product is, they will kill it off as soon as it is a financial liability, or does not make financial sense. Some big wigs that have no passionate connection to it will shut it down.
 
I would also add that a festival like Sundance probably constructs 95% of its features line-up through curation, rather than submission. It's a cash-cow undoubtedly, but lots of savvy filmmakers eschew the submissions process at Sundance because of the nature of the festival. The real money is in the thousands of, generally garbage, festivals that charge $50 for shorts entry.
 
Withoutabox was a good way to get your movie listed to IMDB free of charge. So I wonder how you can get IMDB access now without this service?
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
Originally posted by itarumaa:
Withoutabox was a good way to get your movie listed to IMDB free of charge. So I wonder how you can get IMDB access now without this service?

In recent years, it's gotten MUCH easier to get a movie listed on IMDb. You basically need to prove that it will exist or does exist. An article about it in an on-line publication will suffice. Also if you put it on YouTube or something similar that's publicly available, that will suffice. You simply have to work through their (IMDb's) submission form.
 
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