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EncountersShort Film Festival
The Encounters Short Film Festival,in Bristol, U.K., is one o the world’s mostrespected celebrations o short lms andanimation. Annually, the estival solicitsentries rom lmmakers throughout theUnited Kingdom and the rest o the world,previews all the entries and selects about10 percent o them or screenings overve days at the November estival.
Time consuming conversion o lmssubmitted on DVDs to QuickTimeormats or pre-selecting and acomputer-based digital viewinglibrary at the estival.
Additional eight-week costs or a stamember and post-production studio tocarry out the conversion process.
in the U.K.’s Royal Mail system.
discarding some 1,200 DVDsater being converted.
Expense and potential intellectual-property security problemsor lmmakers creating andsending DVDs.
Entrants were encouraged to submitlms or the 2009 estival throughYouSendIt; hal o all entries werereceived this way. Being able to workdirectly with QuickTime les insteado DVDs, estival sta cut theirpre-selecting and processing time byour weeks, reduced costs and lessenedtheir environmental impact.
Situation and Challenges
The Encounters Short Film Festival, in Bristol, U.K., is one o the world’s most respectedcelebrations o short lms and animation. Annually, the estival solicits entries romlmmakers throughout the United Kingdom and the rest o the world, previews allthe entries and selects about 10 percent o them or screenings over ve days at theNovember estival. The lmmakers have the opportunity to win one o 19 awards andup to £12,500 in prizes.The submission and pre-selection process or the estival had been a tedious operation.
estival oce. Postal services in the U.K. were less than reliable, with repeated postal
their destinations.Once estival ocials received the submissions, the process became exceptionally laborintensive. The estival works with a very small sta compared to the other Europeanestivals with which it competes or entrants. In 2009, a total o 1,486 lms were enteredin the Encounters estival and each o them needed to be viewed in its entirety andevaluated. So that pre-selectors could judge the entries and visitors to the estival couldwatch all the submitted lms at the HP Digital Viewing Library, sta needed to digitizeevery DVD in real time, encode it and convert it to a QuickTime le. One sta memberwould spend eight weeks in a commercial post-production studio playing each lm andcapturing it in real time.Forty industry proessionals would then come to the estival oce and sit in ront oa fat-screen TV to watch the lms and pre-select the ones they would send on to thecreative director or nal programming. Hal o the roughly 1,486 entries were passedthrough in this pre-selection process, and the creative director narrowed them down to just 159 nalists.This process was not only time consuming, but expensive. Filmmakers had to buyDVDs and pay postage, while the estival needed to pay a sta person or two months just to digitize the entries, converting them to computer les. And urther, when judges came across a DVD that would not play, it was dicult to arrange or the lmto be resubmitted.The methodology also was not as environmentally sound as Encounters Short FilmFestival Managing Director Liz Harkman wanted it to be, because the rejected DVDswere just thrown away:“In the U.K., we have to pay to get DVDs recycled,” she explains. “We end up with a largenumber o DVDs at the end o the estival. It was a huge waste o materials, and wantedto encourage people to stop sending us their lms on DVD.” That is when she consideredYouSendIt as a way to receive lms as digital les instead o on physical DVDs.
Encounters Film Festival
British Film Festival Cuts Screening Time in Hal, Slashes AdministrativeCosts and Helps the Environment with YouSendIt