Fraudulent Film Festivals & Film Festivals
Imitating other Film Festivals.

Latest News We would like to issue a warning to filmmakers entering Film Festivals around the world that you are making sure you know what Film Festival you are entering when entering, and the Film Festival you are entering is actually, the one you intended to enter. It has come to our attention after being contacted by & speaking to so many filmmakers, that there is a glut of so-called Film Festivals out there that are imitating other more well-known & established film festivals for no other reasons than to prey on unsuspecting filmmakers, and to rip them off for entry fees. In some cases, you have to question whether these film festivals actually exist.

I think they may be right and I can speak of one case concerning MANHATTAN SHORT. A film festival came along with a very similar name; we had never heard of the event until someone told us that the LOGO of MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival was on their Website.

Note: Read this wonderful article from IndieWire on the manhattan film festival - Not to be confused with MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival - Published July 2013 - Click Here to Read

So many filmmakers told us they had submitted their films to MANHATTAN SHORT, yet we had never heard of their film, nor had any record of their submissions. They then told us their entries to MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival were via Without a Box . I responded by saying, "We are not registered or part of Without a Box." We could not make heads or tails of the situation.I can speak of one case concerning MANHATTAN SHORT. A film festival came along with a very similar name; we had never heard of the event until someone told us that the LOGO of MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival was on their Website. 

Then we found this Film Festivals Website. I could not believe anyone would do such a thing, unless there was something seriously wrong with them, we just could not understand what they were getting at. Here was this Website for a film festival run by a couple of blokes who spoke about themselves as if they are modern day martyrs for independent film, running an event they make out to be the best thing to hit New York City since The Beatles and The Stones, and they had the logo of the MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival on their website. It was hard to believe! Getting our logo removed was even harder!

There was no email address, nor a phone number to be found on this Website. The only form of contact with this film Festival was entering your film via Without a Box. The only form of contact people could have with this Festival was by entering your film via Without a Box. We had to contact Without a Box and ask them 'Who are these people?" "Do they exist?" and "if they do can you ask them to remove our logo from their website?"

That is how ridiculous it was. We could not even contact them directly. We had to Without a Box to get them to remove our logo from their Website. The bottom line is that I have no doubt filmmakers out there entered this questionable film festival via Without a Box thinking they were entering MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival. The filmmakers were conned out of their money. On the bright side, the story is so ridiculous it does have the makings to a very good short film to it.

We joined Without a Box soon after, simply to assist filmmakers in not mistaking this Festival for MANHATTAN SHORT, and secondly, MANHATTAN SHORT does not really rely on entry fees - they are not a large part of our business model, and most filmmakers who write to us directly, we usually help out. Also, you may notice we brand The MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival now, simply as MANHATTAN SHORT, well now you know why. We are doing what we can to stop you guys from getting ripped of from film festivals that are imitating us. The words Film Festival open up a window of opportunity for these people.

Another word to look out for and I have noticed filmmakers getting tricked by all these film festivals popping up, and adding the world 'INTERNATIONAL" to an already established film Festival named after a city, or event. For example, if there was a major film festival called The Paris Film Festival, people have been creating a Website and a film festival that is probably held in a back room , or down the bottom of the mountain somewhere close, called The Paris International Film Festival. They just added the word "International" to it. I am waiting for the day someone creates The International Oscars or the Sundance International Film Festival. Sundance is Sundance and the Oscars are the Oscars. The joke is, we all know people will enter both thinking they have entered the Oscars or Sundance.

So Filmmakers, and especially first time filmmakers, you have to be aware that the film festival you are entering is the film festival you think you are entering. And here are some tips when entering and search for what I think, is a reputable film Festival.

Always check their website. Don't just go clicking through 'Without a Box" always go to the official website of the film festival.

A) Check they have an email address you can contact them on. It is so important to be contactable 24/7 when running a major film festival.
B) There is a phone number where people can contact the Festival
C) They are not using the Logo of another Film Festival on their website.
D) Beware of the word 'International" google the name of the film festival with the world International and without the world International.

Just beware. There is no one out there really policing Film Festivals.