View Full Version : Festival rules about commercial use


Gonzo_Entertainment
07-02-2009, 04:31 PM
I have had several people tell me something that now has me concerned. That any prior commercial use of your film will disqualify it from many/most festivals. I understand the premise of this rule, but am confused about the terminology I find used by many festivals. Terms like "widely distributed", and "widely commercially screened". Sure, if you have already signed a distribution deal and your film is available as Best Buy, or it's shown on 100 screens in 15 states, I get it, BUT does this mean I can't sell 100 copies out of the trunk of my car myself? Does it mean I can't have ever screened it and charged admission?

indietalk
07-02-2009, 04:38 PM
Post the exact wording. Some festivals want undistributed, some want world premieres, other don't care.

Gonzo_Entertainment
07-02-2009, 05:05 PM
Post the exact wording. Some festivals want undistributed, some want world premieres, other don't care.

Will do. I'll try and round some up from the various festivals tonight. I think I'll skip submitting to the ones requiring world premiere, and I think I can sell copies myself in small number (and not mention it) and qualify as "undistributed". I have a world premiere screening here in Nashville at the end of the month that by all indications will sell out and make me back about $1000 of the $7000 I spent on this thing, so be hard pressed to turn it into a freebie.

indietalk
07-02-2009, 05:06 PM
Unless your film is being hyped by the media, or is in stores or theaters, don't worry too much about it.

Gonzo_Entertainment
07-02-2009, 05:12 PM
Unless your film is being hyped by the media, or is in stores or theaters, don't worry too much about it.

That was my thinking from the beginning, then the third or fourth person told me "you know if you screen it and charge admission or sell any copies most festivals won't take it", and I started to get concerned.

indietalk
07-02-2009, 05:17 PM
That's silly! I've done over 20 fests. Some fests are stricter, some are not, just read up on them.

CDCosta
07-02-2009, 05:30 PM
If you sold copies to friends and family, don't worry about it.

World premiere usually means; No other festival has screened it, and it's not out in theaters.

and undistributed usually means; there's no distributers for the film, and it's not on any online distribution.

And I think almost all don't want it online (in full).

Gonzo_Entertainment
07-02-2009, 05:38 PM
Thanks guys, all confirms what I thought, I should have known better than to listen to people who have no idea what they're talking about.