Frequently Asked Questions


We’ve answered your most frequently asked questions below. Got a different question about Filmily Fest?

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How long is the process?

Teams will have one week for scriptwriting, two weeks for video production, a week break while peer reviews come in and one week for an optional director’s cut – a total of 5 weeks for wiggle room in busy schedules to create an awesome film. Teams select their production weeks between September 1, 2016 to November 18, 2016.

Where can I submit?

Follow the link here to fill out an application!

Do we have to use our 6 photos in our film?

No team is bound to all of their 6 photos to be incorporated with equal weight some may be much more lightly incorporated than others, it is up to you and your team! Remember photos are interpretational and are meant to work best with a few as main lenders to the story others are more to give the backdrop more depth. Keep in mind that awards are given to the team who makes use of their inspirational image the best in each category, but there are many other ways to gain points in other ways!

What if something comes up and we have to withdraw ourselves from the festival?

We are making a pact to each other to be committed to being a part of this film festival and finish our films, so after July 26th when the top ten teams are announced, your filmmakers fee will NOT be reimbursed.

Are we guaranteed a position if we apply today?

The goal is 10 total teams for the festival, for simplicity on the backend and to be able to show all films and have awards done on the same evening. So in the event of high demand, unfortunately not all teams who submit are able to participate in Filmily Fest. Decisions will be based on factors such as prior film projects completed, quality of work, professionalism, eagerness to work on this project, and commitment to the entire process. If your team is not selected, we will reimburse your filmmaker’s fee.

How do we choose our photos?

For application submissions, you may choose any 10 inspirational photos whether they are taken by yourself or properly cited from the web, avoiding copyright issues.
At the Kick-Off Meeting on August 30, Filmily Fest teams will be blindly choosing 6 inspirational photos from the pool of inspirational images sent in to us during the application process.

Who is judging the festival?

You are! Teams participating in making a film know this process and are able to see improvements and appreciate their peers efforts best because they’ve lived it and so work will be peer-judged.

How does judging work?

Each team will have a score card to fill out for each team and will give teams numbers from 0-100 in each category. Judges can’t vote on their own film or a different team if they are a core member (they must appoint someone else on their team to judge them). They will determine who best used their inspiration photos/categories within their final film as well as other categories, such as best actor or best cinematography, as to be determined. The winning team will be based on the largest total number of categories won.

How much does it cost?

There is a $75 filmmaker’s fee along with your application.

How long are the films allowed to be?

Films are allowed to be a minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 15 minutes with no more than one minute of credits.

How does the inspirational image selection process work?

Submission process has teams submit photos, Jpixx will pick the best photos for each category and label the photos on the back for each category. At the team meeting on August 30th,teams will blindly select a photo from each category along with a wild card – you won’t know which photos you have until the day you start your film script writing week. These photos are the basis of inspiration for the film you create – the story, the look, the feel, etc. See bottom of document for sample images.

What size should the inspirational images be?

We ask that they be as high resolution as possible and you choose no more than 3 total illustrations for your ten images.

How do I pick the dates for my film?

Think about days that work best for your schedule (that you will be in town – days/nights that are not usually occupied with regular commitments) and work your dates around those best when using your submission form which will help you through it. Make sure your days fall in production dates of September 1st and November 18th. Your optional Director’s Cut week must also be complete by November 18th.

What is the deadline to complete the film?

Everyone’s dates are different since they are based on your schedule. But there is a week of scriptwriting, two weeks of video production, one break week with peer reviews, and an optional week of a director’s cut edit.

Your film should be complete at the end of the two weeks of video production. This first edit is the film to be judged. It’s up to your team to do final edits during director’s cut for screening; however it is not mandatory and you may submit your final film earlier (but no later than the week of director’s cut).

What format and specs are required for Dropbox upload?

The preferred specs are Quicktime.MOV format, 1080X1920, H264 codec

What if I miss the deadline?

Your film will be disqualified from the competition and ineligible for awards, but will still receive peer reviews/feedback and screened at the event.

Can more than one team pick the same date?

Yes! More than one team may use the same dates. Dates may overlap as well. But keep in mind if you plan to share crew, actors, props or equipment with other teams you’ll want to coordinate.

What can I do in advance of my start date?

Before your two weeks, you may find your locations, cast, and teammates. But remember, judging is based on how well you use your inspiration photos, so you will want to wait til you get your photos to spark your concept and idea!

How does peer review work? When and what do we submit?

There are two peer review sessions in this contest, one for script and one for editing. For the script peer review, each team will submit the script for their film to two pre-determined teams for critique. This critique is meant to be in-depth, meaningful, and idea-driven – and returned to the original team within 48 hours (sample questionnaire will be available on the website to forward with your script). Receiving teams are not required to incorporate the feedback into their final script, but it is highly encouraged.

At the end of the two weeks of video production, the final film will be sent to two different pre-determined teams for peer review. Again, thoughtful critique is expected, with this review there is technically a week given to respond but earlier is ok too. Receiving teams have additional time to incorporate this critique into the screened film if they so choose. To reiterate, judging will be based on the two-week cut, but the final festival screening will show the updated cut if one exists. It’s in your advantage to rework your film based on your festival peers feedback, so we hope you’ll do so!

Is the peer review mandatory?

Again we are making a pact to follow-through with this process. It is not a huge amount of your time to provide feedback but it can make a world of difference to someone else. Teams are also able to peer judge on peer reviews so let’s be good team players and do it!

How do I know who is peer reviewing my work and vice versa?

There will be a deadlines sheet sent out with your respective teams peer-reviewing your work so you know who to send it to and who you are peer-reviewing so you know about when things should be coming.

How long/short may the films be? Are there any labeling requirements?

There is a maximum run time of 15 minutes with an additional minute of credits. The minimum run time is 5 minutes. The labeling requirements for the screening are as follows:
  • Filmily Fest Laurel Title Card provided by Jpixx
  • A title card saying at the beginning or end “A film inspired by the following images:”
  • Six title cards with your inspiration images and their categories

Can I work on more than one team?

Short answer: Yes!

Long answer: There are no restrictions on limiting cast, crew, or resources between teams. Go ahead, live it up, join multiple teams! But we do ask if you are a major team member of another team then you can’t judge them and if you are on another team and are heavily involved then choose someone from your team that has fresh eyes and unaware of the script or video to do the peer review instead of you.

Is there a thematic thread for this festival?

There is no restriction on theme for this festival, or a thread that ties each film together; the main connecting feature is that they were all created in the same time frame and were inspired by peer-filmmaker-curated photos and feedback.

What are the awards?

Peer Review
Best Director
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Writing
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best use of category:
Visual Element
The Unexpected

Inspiration Photo Ideas

Look for photos that could work for more than one or many categories – these all might be able to work for any category – here are examples on how they might work for several. Click on a thumbnail below to view an explanation for each picture.

  • This photo is a good choice because it could be used for many different categories – here is just to name a few.

    It could be used for visual element and could inspire:

    A scene could be shot in silhouette lighting. – An ethereal or magical quality could be expressed through the editing or art direction. – The overall color theme of the film could be warm and cool juxtaposed tones.

    It could work for character and could inspire:

    A young female character present in the film with magical qualities – a mysterious character that is never seen – a character that changes things while under the cloak of darkness.


    It could be a person’s relationship with the earth or one’s relationship with small things that don’t matter vs. the things she holds dear.
  • It could be used for relationship and could inspire the relationship between the two ladybugs (such as mother and child or foes facing off) or between the ladybugs and the person (such as dwarf vs. giant or someone possessing great power over the powerless).

    I could work for obstacle – such as encountering something so big and dangerous when unaware but when aware gentle enough to stop and appreciate and lend a hand OR facing a foe only to both be sitting on a greater force that could wipe you both out.

    The unexpected – it’s unusual to have one ladybug land on your hand but two is quite special this abstract thought could be used in various ways – at first you would think the ladybugs and the person have nothing in common but it turns out that the ladybugs match the nail color of the wearer which attracted the ladybugs in the first place.
  • It could be used for tone and could inspire – serious, mystical, hippy, natural, chaotic, or a fantasy film.

    It could work for obstacle and could inspire – a sorcerer or powerful vexing person controlling the world around them and the protagonist – the protagonist having everything attracted to them and getting in their way of everyday life.

    Visual Element – could be a black and white style or a more drawn/simplistic art direction, or a drawn element or character or the idea of objects surrounding a person in a scene or scenes.