WorldFest FAQs & Rules

The 50th Annual WorldFest-Houston – April 21-30, 2017

WorldFest-Houston is an International Competition for all Film & Video Productions & Screenplays. You may enter the 50th WorldFest beginning on Thursday, September 15th, 2016. Entries for 2017 close Saturday, December 31st, 2016. The Final Brickwall Entry Deadline is JAN 15, Online – Send us an email for a special extension! Entries must reach us by JAN 31.

Entering is Quick and Easy! We  Welcome Your Entry!  (You must click on 2 or more extra categories to see and enter the Craft Categories, as they will not appear in the Entry Form drop-down category list if you do not select 2 or more categories)

Welcome to WorldFest. We now use FilmFreeway.com for entries in addition to our own online entry system! We look forward to your entry! We do now accept Online Streaming Entries in Vimeo via FilmFreeway in: Short, Student, Experimental, and Music Video Categories

InkTip is a VIP Sponsor of WorldFest, offering Winners a listing of your script on InkTip so that producers and reps can find you. InkTip helps writers sell their scripts and get representation. Producers have made more than 200 films from scripts and writers they found through InkTip.

A major new WorldFest Master Festival Program: All Remi Winners in TV Production Categories, Shorts, Features, Documentary, Experimental & Student Films & Videos will now be officially submitted for consideration in either the 18th Annual Seoul Drama Awards-Korea, the Concorto Short Film Festival in Piacenza, Italy, and the 48th Annual USA Film Festival in Dallas — at no additional entry fees or charges! Winners selected for either the SDA in Seoul or the USA Film Festival Dallas will receive VIP invitations to participate and attend these exceptional festivals. This new “Sister-Festival” Program of WorldFest will add some additional participating events in the future. This is the 1st time in festival history that a program of this sort has ever been offered! WorldFest is a founding member of the UFFO! (United Film Festival Organization) The 50th Annual WorldFest is a Founding Member of the new FilmFreeway.com

Some Key Dates

  • 50th Annual WorldFest Festival dates are April 21-30, 2017 — 10 Great Days in April!
  • Entries officially open on Thursday, September 15th, 2016 right here online. We are awaiting your entries and will confirm their receipt! We now accept PayPal for even better payment security. Info on the Entry Form.
  • The EarlyBird Discount Deadline is Tuesday, November 15th, 2016.
  • The MAIN FESTIVAL ENTRY DEADLINE is Online Midnight Saturday, December 31st, 2016! (A Enter-By deadline! Entries do not have to reach us until Dec. 31st!)
  • Need a later deadline? Simply email us – entry@worldfest.org – And we will check with your Category Jury to see if it is OK!
  • FINAL “Brick Wall” Entry Deadline is Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 – The Late Fee is an additional $15!! This is per Entry or Entries (1 or more late entries, $15 total Late Fee), for Late Entries that are entered from DEC 16th through Jan 15th! The entries Must reach us by JAN 31, 2016!
  • Jury sessions in all categories will be completed by Wednesday, March 15th, 2017.
  • Top nominees will be notified as Jury results are received around Friday, March 31st, 2017.
  • Feature and Short Film Screening Schedule will be approx. Thursday, March 30th, 2017
  • Screenplay/Script Awards offer Options, Production Deals & Seminars!

‘Indie Rules’ for Features and Shorts only

WorldFest prefers actual premieres! If you have been screened in many other festivals, and won lots of awards, all over the world, our sincere Congratulations, and we do welcome your entries into competition, but Premieres receive a higher Screening Priority. This is a highly competitive film and video festival with more entries than most other festivals. Our Discovery history includes Spielberg, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, David Lynch, Ang Lee & Spike Lee (no relation), The Coen Brothers, Randal Kleiser, Robert Rodriguez, Brian De Palma, Atom Egoyan, John Lee Hancock, among many others. WorldFest is the oldest Indie Film Festival in the world, and the 3rd oldest International Film Festival in North America (After San Fran & NYC), so we are seeking the newest and the very best!

For Exhibition Screenings we do insist on at least a Texas Premiere. Opening & Closing Nights are to be World Premieres!
We screen in DVD, USB, DCP & BluRay on big screens in the AMC Theaters. We use 3 large AMC Theaters with Commercial Christie Digital Projectors with 20,000+ Lumens on big 60′ theater screens! You can still win a Remi Award and not be screened to the general public. (We have never screened the Best Medical Film!)

We do not participate in WAB – Without A Box, as we prefer to be “Truly Independent!” We do work with filmfreeway.com

Entering the Festival

Entering the festival is really easy. First, read this FAQ to answer your questions and then proceed to fill out your automatic online entry form. After you submit your form, you’ll receive an email with further instructions and all the details of your entry. You’ll also be taken to a second page with instructions and details. We do suggest that you print this page for your personal reference or at least keep note of your Entry Code/Codes and fee totals for each entry.

Short subjects are all in the 300 series, Features are in the 001-027. Film & Video production is in the 200 series. Scripts are in the 700 category series. TV, Cable & Web Production is in the 100 series and so forth. Simply fill in all the categories you wish to enter. You can see a full list of all categories here. They are also provided for you in dropdown menus on the online entry form.

1. ENTRY FORM: Our new Online Entry Form is simple and easy to complete. It automatically assigns a unique entry code to your entries. It is sent to us via email and is instantly on file in our secure online database. Once we’ve received your payment and your entry arrives in the mail, your entry process is complete and we will send you a confirmation e-mail. So please do place your assigned Entry Code / Codes on your entry DVDs, Blu-Rays, Beta-SPs, and Screenplays. There is no limit to the number of entries that you may submit.

Our online entry form will remember your Primary Contact information, so if you’re submitting more than one entry, you won’t have to fill that part out each time. Our fine new Online system remembers all the basics for you.

Any problems? Send us an email and we will email or fax you an entry form. It can be filled out in less than five minutes! All fees automatically calculated for you by the online entry form! If you prefer, there is the option at the top of the online entry form to download the traditional entry form. Just print it out, fill it out, and mail it in with your entry.

2. DEADLINES: The EarlyBird discount deadline is Tuesday, November 15th, 2016! The main entry Deadline is Saturday, December 31st, 2016. These are Postmark-By/Ship-By Deadlines; entries do not have to reach us by then. For a Special Entry Deadline Extension, simply email your request to entry@worldfest.org. Your wish will be carefully reviewed to determine if those juries are still hard at work! The final entry deadline is Sunday, January 15th, 2017, but must reach us by Tuesday, January 31st, 2017. We are very flexible here, as our juries cannot finish their work over the weekend! But the brick-wall deadline is Tuesday, January 31st, 2017!

3. ELIGIBILITY: Productions from 2013 to 2016 are eligible. The entry form is now fully online! It’s simple and intuitive, and does your math for you. If you prefer, however, just ask, and we will email or fax you a Microsoft Word form. With the traditional entry form, the most frequent entry error that is made is not putting in your email address and/or a category number.

The “Indie Rules” apply for Official Selections of Feature Films & Short Subjects, not to any other categories. (The “Indie Rules” means we screen only “Indies,” not major studio features, but do accept entries in all other categories from all major companies.)

4. CATEGORIES: Our complete list of categories can be found here or on the online entry form. Select the main competition category number that seems most appropriate. You can enter in up to four additional categories for an additional fee of just $30 per category (or $25 for Early Bird entries). Certain categories are very competitive, so it is very important to consider other appropriate categories. If you do not receive an award in your first choice, you will then be automatically considered in your additional categories! WorldFest receives more than 4,500 entries in all 200+ sub-categories, which is about 23 entries (average) per sub-category. Some categories have more than 400 entries. For all series entries, submit one to three examples, no more.


4A. RULES & REGULATIONS: 
All filmmakers understand and accept that if their film is accepted for presentation and screening at the film/video festival, they grant full and unrestricted permission for HIFF, Inc. to screen the film/video at times of the festivals choice and to charge an admission fee for the presentation of the digital video program. The presented film/video may or may not win an award from the festival (HIFF).

 The Filmmaker understands and accepts that they do not participate in receiving any funds from the Box-office proceeds which are fully retained by the festival to help cover the cost of the festival presentation. It should be noted for the record that box-office proceeds never cover the cost of presentation of the Short Film Programs. The Festival (HIFF) is a non-profit, 501-c-3 Educational/Cultural Organization with Federal, State, County & City Tax-Exemptions.

 The filmmaker releases the festival (HIFF) from any and all liability for damages or destruction of the entered DVD/BluRay. The Filmmaker understands that the entered DVD or BluRay will be retained in a secure facility by the festival, and every effort will be taken to protect and control the viewing of this production. The festival assumes no liability whatsoever for theft, copyright violations or piracy of the entry.

 The Filmmaker accepts and understands that the festival, in conjunction with AMC Studio 30 Dunvale will do everything possible to present the video in the best possible manner but the festival (HIFF) is not responsible for any and all malfunctions during the presentation of the production at its festival screening. We use Professional Pioneer BluRay/DVD International playback systems, all formats, all regions, including Region 0, also DCP & USB Flash Drive formats. All entries are carefully pre-screened prior to the public showing to assure that the BluRay/DVD/USB/DCP does perform to industry Standards. The Festival (HIFF) assumes no responsibility for any technical difficulties in the presentation of this video at the actual event.

 
The Film Festival (HIFF) reserves the complete right to make changes in the program dates and times and to possibly not screen the video, despite its being selected for screening.

 
The filmmaker will endeavor to present to The Festival (HIFF) a new and pre-checked BluRay/ DVD or Jump Drive for the actual presentation of the video at the festival. If this is not possible, the festival reserves the right to present the actual entered video if a special Presentation Screening BluRay/DVD/Jump Drive is not available or provided.


5. LOGISTICS:
You may send just one DVD/BluRay for multiple category entries. You may combine multiple TV commercial entries on a DVD, with no color bars, no automatic looping feature to begin again  and a 5 second break between spots. Make sure their titles and order/sequence are correct on the DVD. Screenplays must be properly bound in some way, and can be optioned but not currently produced, and there is no limit to the number of screenplays that can be entered. DVD Entries can be NTSC, PAL, or SECAM, – any and all regions. There is no extra charge for PAL or other formats. We accept all regions and all formats. We also accept USB Flash Drives, DCP & Blu-Ray discs, any region.

6. PAYMENT: The actual category entry fees are listed on the entry form under the Fees section, but are calculated for you by our online form. Please fill out the entry form carefully, especially the e-mail address! One entry form per entry. Fill in all the blanks possible. You are required to use the official WorldFest entry form. Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diner’s Club, Discover Cards, checks, money orders, postal money orders, PayPal & even cash are acceptable.

After submitting the online entry form, it will take you to a page which includes your payment options, and links to our secure Authorize.net Credit / Debit card gateway, and the PayPal gateway for payment. You can also pay fees or make payment adjustments any time on our Entry Payments page.

Please make checks and money orders payable to: WorldFest-Houston (or Houston Intl Film Festival, Inc.). International entries MUST pay by credit card, PayPal, or US bank/US Funds checks only. We require an email address! This helps us in contacting you quickly and easily.

Our IRS Federal Tax ID # 74-2168997 – WorldFest is a non-profit 501-(c)-(3) educational/cultural organization founded in 1961. The oldest and longest running Indie Film Festival in the World!

7. SPECIAL MATERIALS: A short paragraph, 50-100 word synopsis, is required for all scripts and all entries (except TV commercials, music videos), which is for the jury and if selected, for the program book. Shorts and features are to provide (when selected into program) a color or B/W production digital still photo (resolution of 300 Dots per square inch DPI or higher, higher is much better) for the program book jpeg photo files are OK. (Photos not required for video, cable, TV commercials, website entries, or screenplay entries). If accepted, feature entries should also send several production still photos of a high resolution (300 DPI or better), a press kit, and short CV (resume) with photo of the director(s).

Special note for script entries: A Synopsis needs to accompany the script. You may ID the script with title, your name & contact details, and your WorldFest entry ID. Scripts must be bound in some way! We do prefer scripts to be printed in Courier 12pt – 14pt if at all possible. We will not accept loose pages in a box. Unproduced scripts only, please, and no digital files. Our judges like to hold the script in their hands and feel the paper! WorldFest highly recommends – www.hollywoodscriptexpress.com – if you need a company to print out your digital file, bind it correctly and send it to us! They are a wonderful service!

8. SHIPMENT: Ship or Mail your entry to our offices at:
Kelly Mann, Entry Director, WorldFest-Houston, 9898 Bissonnet, Suite 650, Houston, Texas, 77036 USA.
You may use US Media mail, 2nd Day USPS, Priority Mail, DHL, UPS or FEDEX.

9. FURTHER SHIPPING NOTES: Save yourself some money! Send your DVD, Blu-Ray, DCP, USB Flash Drive or hard-copy, bound screenplay, with your entry ID written clearly on the disc face or cover, and your check if you’re paying with check, in the same package. Please do not use fiber-padded envelopes, as they break open and spill fine paper dust/powder on your entry. Use bubble or foam padded envelopes. And for heavens sake, do not ship your DVD with just a mailing label and postage put on the bare DVD case! Pack it carefully. The US Post Office will give you a free Priority Mail shipping box, and free larger boxes for multiple entry shipments, as will FedEx, UPS & DHL. Priority Mail with delivery confirmation is only about $5.05 for 1 or 10 DVDs! Media Mail is a little as $1.50 an entry!

Remember, THE FINAL DEADLINE is an “ARRIVE BY” deadline, entries do have to reach us on the deadline date of Tuesday, January 31st, 2017. But please do not waste your money on overnight or Saturday rush shipments or those fancy presentation folders. The juries just watch the entry DVD. The jury does not even see the fancy package.

10. NOTIFICATION AND RESULTS: You will be notified by a personal E-mail when your entry is processed! You will then be notified via e-mail of the competition results before the festival. Winners will be notified approximately 30 days before the festival. All award-winning entries will be placed in the WorldFest Archives and are to be recorded in the Library of Congress. The archives contain award-winning entries going back to 1980. If you want your entry returned, please provide an SASE (self addressed stamped envelope).

11. QUESTIONS? Any questions or problems? PLEASE call us toll-free at (866) 965-9955 (in the USA). International calls to 1-713-965-9955 or FAX 1-713-965-9960. (Real people answer during office hours. We’re on CST/CDT.) E-mail: mail@worldfest.org. Or visit our website: worldfest.org.

The WorldFest posters are famous! You can see and purchase past posters here in our Merch store. For the 2017 WorldFest poster created for the 50th WorldFest, we offer a rolled limited edition, numbered out of 1,000 posters, 24″x36″, suitable for framing, shipped in a tube for $15 plus postage. The 50th WorldFest Poster will be available after Saturday, April 1st, 2017.

12. SOME SERIOUS THOUGHTS on other “FESTIVAL SUBMISSION SERVICES” – We do support and highly recommend FilmFreeway.com WorldFest will now accept Online streaming entries via filmfreeway on the Vimeo platform, but we will need a thumb drive, BluRay or DCP if you are selected for screening at WorldFest-Houston.
WorldFest does not really like most of these other services. Here are our thoughts:

A. Yes, they are “EASY” – but sometimes easy is not the best path. They charge both you and the festival a fee. They charge the festival a very significant fee. This means we would have to raise our fees to cover the cost. And we get more than enough entries as it is, without their services! We do suggest you check out www.fest21.com – a wonderful and totally free film festival entry service. You can search by category, date, genre, anything! It is wonderful!

B. We like to judge entries on our big 110-inch digital plasma screens with the juries in session. We do not think that your entry should be viewed on a tiny lap-top screen. We do not think your entry should be judged by one individual looking at their little lap-top screen. We like the jury interaction, and the big picture on the big screen with Bose surround sound. This shows your production at its best and gives you a better chance.

C. We will not accept digital screenplay submissions. Our script judges want to hold the script in their hands and read it, not play the “Kindle” game. (Yes, we are old-school and proud of it.)

D. Finally, we do not want a third party (the Fest Entry Services) to know everything; your personal details, the jury notes and scores, E-mail addresses and contact information for all concerned. We think this is just a little too much information to be floating around out there in ether-land.

Thanks for reviewing our very sincere concerns and we very much welcome your thoughts and comments!