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.

What is SciFi?

Filming Advice

Submission and Mailing Advice

For the particulars of our rules, deadlines, etc., see the FAQ below.

Specific Submission Questions

+ When are the deadlines and entry fees for the 2017 Festival?

Early Bird Deadline: April 30th ($30 shorts and fan films, $35 features)

Regular Deadline: July 31st ($35 shorts and fan films, $45 features)

Late Deadline: August 31st ($40 shorts and fan films, $50 features)

Extended Deadline: September 15th ($50 shorts and fan films, $60 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 2017 Festival?

SciFi Feature

SciFi Short

Fan Film

Horror Feature

Horror Short

+ 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 4, 2016 are not eligible to be screened at Other Worlds Austin. This includes 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, FilmFreeway or our online entry form), all we need is a digital copy of the film.

+ What formats do you accept for submission?

OWA is a green festival and only accepts SECURE ONLINE SCREENERS. You may submit one through our online submission form, 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 our online submission form: you will not be able to change the password on the film or the online location once you hit ‘Submit.’ If the film is not watchable when our programmers attempt to access it because it has been moved, removed or has had the password changed, your entry will disqualified and your entry fee will not be refunded. 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 (or received your DVD/BluRay). If you have not heard from us within a month of mailing us your film or submitting it online, email us so we can check and see if we have it.

+ 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 10, 2017 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 is not accepted this year, am I eligible to resubmit the same film next 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, 2015.

+ How old can my film be?

Films submitted for screening at the 2017 Festival must have been completed after July 1, 2015. 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. Winning feature will receive $500, winning short will receive $250. Fan Films will be considered with shorts or features, depending on their length. Filmmakers will be allowed to vote for their own films if in attendance.

In addition, the Mary Shelley Award, sponsored by Canine Productions, will be awarded to the best film that furthers the involvement and representation of women in genre filmmaking. Granted by a jury of Industry professionals, the award includes a $500 cash prize.

+ When will the awards be given out?

Audience awards will not be anounced until after the festival.

The Marry Shelley Award will be given out on the last day 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?

Features, Shorts, and Fan 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. If you really want it. But not until after the festival. Send us an email in January/February/March 2018 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.

© 2014 OWA SciFi Film Fest, LLC