The US-American crowdfunding platform Seed&Spark collects on a list binding agreements from film distributors and festivals to waive for a limited period of time guidelines that exclude films that have been previously shown online.
Many festivals have so far generally excluded films that are accessible to the public on the Internet. Film sales agents and distributors ban online presence in contract clauses so as not to prevent trade and license sales of films. At a time when film festivals can only present their programmes online, many filmmakers are therefore faced with a dilemma. In order to enable filmmakers and festivals to move safely to online engagement, Seed&Spark has drawn up an agreement that can be signed by festivals and distributors who are willing to temporarily suspend their exclusion criteria.
Nearly 250 festivals and companies, mostly US-based, have already signed this pledge called the “Festival Survival Pledge”. Among the provisions are
- admission of films that have been shown online in official competitions with an admission ticket
- maintenance of premiere status in the event that a festival puts its programme online
- abandonment of geographically based premiere guidelines if the previous online broadcaster is based in a non-competing territory or geoblocking is not available for the region
- extending the authorised production period to include films that could have been submitted in the previous festival cycle
- distribution clause: A distributor may extend this promise by committing to acknowledge that a film is not generating revenue from online screening in a temporary, pay-as-you-go official festival exploitation or is sold to consumers in a VOD market and therefore remains profitable for future sales opportunities.
URL: Film Festival Pledge at the website of Seed&Spark
URL: registration form for agreement
URL: About Seed&Spark
About the activities of Seed&Spark see our article Service providers in the short film sector – vertical integration among online suppliers