Scam Film Festivals

Stop Fake Film Festivals Exploiting Independent Filmmakers

As a filmmaker, I understand the frustration of investing time and resources into events that fail to meet expectations. This page is an integral part of my book, An Independent Filmmakers Guide to Preparing and Submitting to Festivals. Having curated two festivals myself, I hold a deep disdain for sham festivals. Exploiting unsuspecting filmmakers by offering little to no effort in return for their hard-earned money is un acceptable.


Discovering that your investment in a film festival was a scam is disheartening and an experience shared by thousands of filmmakers. It’s time to unite against these deceptive practices and uphold the integrity of our independent film community. By engaging with this page, you actively join the fight against the spread of fraud.


Instead of embracing an empty laurel or a printable certificate from a deceptive festival, it is time to adopt an assertive stance. Voicing your discontent through negative reviews and firmly stating that achieving recognition at a sham festival carries no honor is crucial in stopping these exploitative practices.


Here are 6-pages that unveil and counter Scam Film Festivals. You can gain insight & strategies to safeguard you and other filmmakers. View the topics and links below:


Acknowledging the enduring nature of this issue, respected voices across the industry have shed light on the problem through insightful articles and posts. Dive into the recommended readings penned by prominent figures, delving deep into the realm of scam film festivals. Here are a few to start:

SCREEN DAILY – Max Goldbart 2019 – Call for film festival regulator following spate of scam events

MEDIUM – Claire J. Harris 2019 – Indie Filmmakers Beware of Scam Film Festivals

SHOW ME SHORTS Mark Prebble – 2022 – Avoiding Fake Film Festivals

GO SHORT – Bram Megen 2022 – Dismantling the illustrious world of scam film festivals with Cesar Majorana

FILM INQUIRY – Eugene Sun Park 2015 – Are Film Festivals Scams?

ISMAEL MARTIN – Blog 2017 – After the fake festivals: analyzing pseudo festivals

SHORT FILM – Reinhard W. Wolf 2017 – Laurels for Greenbacks – Making Money with Short Films in a Thriving Festival Scene

EYE FILM – Sarah Famke Oortgijsen – 2022 – Fake festivals: innocently stupid or evil scam?

THE SPINOFF – David Farrier – 2018 – David Farrier goes to the Auckland International Film Festival and, guess what, it is total balls!

INDIE FILM HUSTLE – Podcast – 2016 – Top 5 Film Festival SCAMS Filmmakers Need to Be Aware Of!

INKSPIRE – Toronto Youth Shorts – 2018 – Scam Festivals: Signs of a Fake Film Festival

INDIETRIXVIDEO –  – YOUTUBE – 2022 – How to avoid fake/scam film festivals



Action You Can Take

CLICK & SIGN THE PETITION - Add your voice. Demand transparency & Accountability.
Scam Film Festivals
The DUBIOUS FILM FESTIVAL FORM is there to fill in & share your experiences with us.
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CLICK AND CONTACT FILMFREEWAY - Let them know your greivances against dubious festivals.
Template letter to reply to film festivals
This TEMPLATE LETTER TO A FILM FESTIVAL gives you the basis for contacting a festival directly.
A list of Scam Film Festivals to avoid.
CLICK & DOWNLOAD a list of festivals that have been brought to our attentiion by filmmakers
Subscribe to Submitting to Film Festivals
Subscribe to Submitting to Film Festivals and get the information you need as a Filmmakers.

GET IN TOUCH  – If you’re passionate about this cause and want to discuss it further, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Together, we can make a difference and stop the exploitation of independent filmmakers by scam festivals.

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