First, the fine-print:
Films will be judged and selected based on their narrative quality. SciFi features can be any film set in another world, reality or time. Action Films, Comedies, Horror, and Dramas can all be science fiction if the setting or story lines have a particular SciFi bent. Horror films aim to create a sense of distress, panic, alarm, and dread for the audience. They can be unsettling either through what is portrayed on screen, or the thoughts they provoke inside the viewer, preying on our worst fears and nightmares. Documentaries and Animation will be accepted in either genre as long as the films are story-based and not experimental or facts-and-figures types of filmmaking and would be of interest to genre fans (we've played docs every year). Music Videos will be acceptable if they tell a cohesive story (think "Take On Me" by A-ha). A Fan Film is any short or feature based on pre-existing characters or properties (that the filmmaker does not own). Common examples might utilize characters or worlds from Star Wars, Star Trek, the Marvel Universe or even Flash Gordon. Other examples of fan films are ‘lost’ Twilight Zone episodes (done entirely in the style of the original series), fake commercials or trailers for films that based on pre-existing characters or properties that do not exist, mash-ups of characters from different universes, or using new audio or new video in sync with existing video or audio for new effect. The rule is creativity – what can a fan do to make a new work out of something they don’t own, without hope of making a penny? Films can be one-minute or feature length and of any production quality, we are looking to reward ingenuity, not your ability to buy an authentic stormtrooper costume. Features must be 41 minutes or longer, Shorts 40 minutes or shorter. Fan Films can be any length.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many questions tend to be more like advice than a particular answer. Because we want your films to be the best they can be and for you to be the best filmmaker you can be, we prepared a few sort of style guidelines.
Specific Submission Questions
+ When are the deadlines and entry fees for the 2018 Festival?
Early Bird Deadline: March 31st ($25 shorts and fan films, $30 features)
Spring Deadline: April 30th ($30 shorts and fan films, $35 features)
Regular Deadline: June 15th ($35 shorts and fan films, $40 features)
Midsummer Deadline: July 31st ($40 shorts and fan films, $50 features)
Late Deadline: August 31st ($50 shorts and fan films, $60 features)
Extended Deadline: September 15th ($60 shorts and fan films, $70 features)
Submissions must be postmarked or submitted online by 11:59 PST on the deadline date to be eligible for the corresponding entry fees.
+ What are the different film submission categories I can enter for the 2018 Festival?
+ Do you waive submission fees?
Other Worlds Austin does not waive entry fees. We are an extremely small festival and entry fees are the primary source of income for the running of the festival.
+ What are Other Worlds Austin’s requirements for a film’s premiere status?
Films must be Austin premieres but no other premiere status is required. Quality of filmmaking equal, some preference will be given to World, US or Texas Premieres. Short films and Fan films available publicly online will be eligible for the festival, but features will not. Short films that have appeared on US network or cable television will also be eligible for screening at the festival, features that have appeared on US network or cable television or available for VOD/download/purchase will not be eligible for screening at the festival. Films that have played in Austin in a theatrical setting to a public audience prior to December 9, 2018 are not eligible to be screened at Other Worlds Austin. This incldes Shorts nights, public cast and crew screenings, and other festivals. The ONLY exception is that a Short Film may play as part of a class screening for a college program.
+ Can I submit more than one film in a single category?
Yes! You can submit as many films as you want. Please be sure to complete separate entry forms and separate submission fees for each film.
+ Do you accept filmed television pilots?
We do not have a separate category for television. However, feel free to submit the film as a SciFi Feature or SciFi Short depending on its length. It will judged according to the standards of those categories.
+ Do you accept 3D films?
It is highly unlikely we will be able to screen films in 3D due to our exhibition and encoding system. It would not be cost efficient to rent the proper equipment to screen one 3D film. That being said, you are welcome to submit a 2D version of the film and it will be judged according to story, just as all other other submissions. Please do not submit a 3D screener of the film, it is unlikely that we will be able to watch this.
+ I’m having issues submitting online. I keep getting an error message. What should I do?
Due to possible high traffic on our website or withoutabox, you may need to wait a few minutes and try again. If you continue to have problems, try another web browser or try submitting from a different computer. When uploading your screener on Withoutabox, double-check that the file is in an acceptable format and size. The digital formats accepted through Withoutabox are Flash Video or Quicktime and must be under 2GB.
+ Do I need to list all the writers/filmmakers involved on the entry form? Should I list other people as co-writer/director/etc. on the application?
That is for you to settle with your collaborators. You will receive a notification if your film is selected and can change acknowledgments at that time if necessary.
+ My film already has distribution, am I still eligible to submit to the Festival?
Films with distribution are eligible to screen at Other Worlds Austin. Please note, Other Worlds Austin does not pay screening fees under any circumstance. By submitting your film, you are agreeing to screen your film without a screening fee or any other compensation if selected. We expect that if your film has distribution, you have worked it out with your distributor to show the film for free at our festival. Short films that have appeared on US network or cable television will also be eligible for screening at the festival, ffeatures that have appeared on US network or cable television or available for VOD/download/purchase will not be eligible for screening at the festival.
+ Do you pay screening fees?
Other Worlds Austin does not pay screening fees under any circumstance. By submitting your film, you are agreeing to screen your film without a screening fee or any other compensation if selected.
+ What should I include with my submission?
Along with the application (whether it be through Withoutabox or FilmFreeway, all we need is access to a digital copy of the film.
+ What formats do you accept for submission?
OWA is a green festival. Features, Shorts and Fan Films must be submitted as a SECURE ONLINE SCREENER. You may do so through FilmFreeway or through the WAB submission system. All online screeners are streaming only – we cannot accept a version of the film that must be downloaded. For the Withoutabox submission system, you will not be able to make any changes to the film once it has been uploaded. Even if you upload a new version of the film, OWA will only be able to access the original version of the film. The digital formats accepted through Withoutabox are Flash Video or Quicktime and must be under 2GB. Currently WAB does not offer HD Quality screeners, although they have announced this is coming. If using a WAB screener, we highly suggest including a link to an HD quality screener in your cover letter. Uploading a screener through WAB is $2.95 in addition to your entry fee. THis money goes entirely to WAB. Screeners may also be uploaded through FilmFreeway either as a Vimeo or YouTUbe link, or by a direct upload to their system. This service is free to all filmmakers and is HD Quality. IMPORTANT NOTE: Other Worlds Austin is not responsible for the streaming quality of Secure Online Screeners.
+ How can I receive notification that my film has been submitted?
Each entry will be acknowledge by email once all materials have been received. If you have submitted on WithoutABox, watch for the submission status label to turn from a red dot to a blue dot. If this does not happen within one month of submission, email film us. If you submitted through our online form, or through FilmFreeway, you will receive an email from us as soon as we had a chance to check your screener.
+ My film has screened previously in Austin. Will this be an issue for submission?
Films that have played in Austin in a theatrical setting to a public audience prior to December 19, 2018 are not eligible to be screened at Other Worlds Austin. This is includes shorts' nights, public cast and crew screenings, or other festivals. The ONLY exception is that a SHORT may play as part of a class screening for a university program.
+ If my film was not accepted last year, am I eligible to resubmit the same film this year?
Yes, you can resubmit the film if you wish. However, we only encourage you to do so if the film has substantially changed since your prior submission. Films must have been completed after July 1, 2016.
+ How old can my film be?
Films submitted for screening at the 2017 Festival must have been completed after July 1, 2016. We consider a film 'complete' when it has been shown publicly.
+ My film has been sitting on my hard drive untouched for six years? Is it too old?
We consider a film 'complete' when it has been shown publicly. If your film never played theatrically, it would still be considered a World Premiere -- even if you shot it in 1935.
+ Do I have to obtain all rights for music and other copyrighted material in my film?
Yes. While OWA will not investigate these clearances, we will also not be held responsible for any copyright infringements. If your film is accepted into the festival, you must sign a waiver indicating all rights were legally obtained to the materials in your film. You can lie if you want to, but that's on you.
+ When will I hear about results?
The selection for screening will be announced a month prior to the festival. Filmmakers will be notified regarding the status of their film by the first week of November at the latest, and every filmmaker will be contacted, whether they were accepted or not.
+ What are the awards?
All films will compete for the Audience Award as selected by voting by festival attendees. Filmmakers will be allowed to vote for their own films if in attendance. Fan Films will be considered with the features and shorts based upon their length.
The Mary Shelley Award will be awarded to the artist (writer, director, or actress) whose film best furthers the involvement and representation of women in genre filmmaking. This $500 cash award is sponsored by Canine Productions.
+ When will the awards be given out?
Because the awards are decided by the audience, winners will not be anounced until after the festival.
The Mary Shelley Award winner will be announced the first night of the festival.
+ If I submit my film to competition and it is accepted, how many screenings will there be at the festival?
The current plan is that each film will screen once, although this may change depending upon audience demand.
+ Can I send in a new/better/color-corrected/shorter/longer cut?
Possibly. If the early deadline has recently passed and the submission price has gone up, you would be required to make up the difference in fees. Also, if the film has already been viewed by our screeners, we cannot guarantee it will be rewatched. Because our screeners focus on story, technical changes will probably not affect the judgment of a screener anyway. Unless it is something you cannot live with, it may be best to trust your initial submission. If the film is screened during the festival, you will have ample opportunity to supply us with the most recent version beforehand. If your film was submitted digitally through our Online Submission Form, you are welcome to make any changes by uploading a new version to the same location and using the same password. Again, we cannot guarantee the film will be rewatched if it has already gone through the scoring process. If your film was submitted to us through the Withoutabox Submission System, you will not be able to change your entry.
+ If my film is selected, what format will you need for exhibition?
Films must be available to screen as a digital file or a keyless (nonKDM) DCP. If you are unable or unwilling to provide us your film as a digital file, or keyless DCP, DO NOT SUBMIT your film. We do not screen off of BluRay or DVD under any circumstance. Digital files will be converted to DCP for theatrical playback at no cost to filmmakers (filmmakers may 'buy' the DCP from OWA to use again at a cut-rate deal).
+ My film didn’t get in? Can you tell me why? Do you offer feedback?
Sure, but not until after the festival. Send us an email in January/February/March 2019 before we get busy.
Didn't see the answer you were looking for? Did you try the style guides at the top? If so, and you still have not found the answer, send an email to Jordan at submissions@OtherWorldsAustin.com.