Re: Anthology Film Archives and Newfilmmakers Series and Withoutabox

From: Freya (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Aug 26 2006 - 03:23:17 PDT

> Perhaps they did not used to charge a submission
> fee? If not, it
> would be interesting to know when and why it
> changed. I wonder if it
> could be related to them accepting submissions
> through WAB.
> Withoutabox is very fee oriented and require a large
> fee ($500 set-up
> fee up front) to list a series or festival and set
> up online submission.

I have to say that Adam and a couple of other people
are really starting to swing me on this issue.


You might think I might be in favour of withoutabox as
I hate filling in all the different festival forms
which often ask the same boring questions, and often
stop me from entering any festivals. Also being able
to send a load of entries off at once would help me
get my work out in those quiet patches between being
seriously ill and people throwing bricks at my windows
etc. However...

Withoutabox is a very, very horrible entity and
deserves no place in the world of experimental film
and video. The ideas behined it are the atithesis of
what experimental film and video are supposed to be
about. Withoutabox is essentially a spam system so
that you can spam festivals with your film. Why any
festival would want that I'm not entirely sure but
then I guess they can just charge fees to keep the
numbers down a bit. Maybe it's something the bean
counters in larger organisations find appealing.

This is very much the Hollywood world of mass market
films with mass market mail out to festivals.

This in itself would be very bad and a reason to not
have withoutabox around, but actually, it's much worse
than that, much, much worse than that.

Withoutabox claims to not charge any fees, neither to
the filmakers nor to the festivals! There isn't the
setup fee that Adam talks about it's all FREE, FREE,
FREE (in capital letters as the subject lines of spam
often are). This is technically true I suppose, but
the claim is somewhat akin to Hitler claiming that he
never actually killed anyone in the Holocaust.

Withoutabox don't themselves charge the filmmakers
anything, and they don't charge the festivals upfront
fees. However, they do charge the festivals 10% on
every submission they receive. So what about the
festivals that have no entry fees, surely 10% of
nothing is nothing right? Well you see there are no
festivals with no entry fees because withoutabox sets
a minimum entry fee on all festivals etc of $5.

So withoutabox charges no fees to the filmakers, but
they force festivals who join to do so. The festivals
in turn will no doubt say that they had to charge an
entry fee. They are just following orders.

It's actually no big deal to the festivals at all
mostly, it just means they increase their submission
fees by 10% and get invoiced by withoutabox every so

Obviously to the filmmakers it is different but then
they are just little people.

The idea that any festival or series or screening in
the experimental film world would be using withoutabox
is preety horrifying and would be an indication that
the experimental film and video world has become
severely rotten. If figures like Jonas Mekas were in
***ANY WAY*** involved well....

Anthology film archives should be having NOTHING to do
with any organisation that uses withoutabox.
Withoutabox is a monopoly central system of control
for festivals and filmmakers. It is fundamentally
counter revolutionary. There must surely be other ways
that the Anthology film archives can raise money, that
having any kind of connection with something so

Paying the rent is all well and fine but at the end of
the day, how far are you prepared to go to pay the
rent? If in doing so you become the exact oposite of
everything you felt you believed in then perhaps it is
better to call it a day. I know how hard a decision
that is and it is one I constantly hold off myself but
it is one that must be kept in mind. Often there are
other possibilities beyond selling yourself, your
friends and your contemparies down the river.

If you see withoutabox listed for a festival, then you
know that festival cares little for you and your film
or for ANY filmmakers. It has become a festival run by
beancounters and pod people.

Basically withoutabox is very, very bad and horrid.



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