Our screeners provide feedback for every single film submitted. They will be giving you their honest, constructive, and thoughtful opinions.
Here are some frequently asked questions from filmmakers to help you learn more about the Love Your Shorts Film Festival, the submission process, awards, and what fun things take place during the festival weekend.
What is your screening process like?
Our screening committee is very passionate about film and filmmaking. It usually shows at our meeting when we hash out who will be our official selections. Sometimes there’s “heated discussions,” tears, and laughter. We get very attached to these films.
Once your film arrives, it is distributed to our screeners for viewing. Each film is scored by each screener on three criteria – story, cinematography, and acting. Once all the scores are received they are averaged out to one final number (the higher the score, the better).
When choosing our official selections, this final score is very much taken into consideration. However, this does not mean that all higher scoring films will be able to be selected. Many times it depends on the film’s length or overall content (we can’t show all six high-scoring zombie movies we receive). And this is where our screeners duke it out and fight for their favorites.
So as you can see we mix a little bit of science with a little bit of feeling to nail down what our audiences will be seeing at the festival.
Do you have any tips and tricks to submitting to LYSFF?
We know you put a lot of hard work into your projects and we appreciate that immensely. So we’ve come up with a few tips to hopefully help you with your festival submissions, whether it’s with us or another fest.
Please keep in mind these are only our opinions from previous experience and you can choose to say we’re full of crap if you’d like.
- Make your short film . . . and then make it shorter. We’ve screened some films where the story hasn’t even begun by the tenth minute. By then you’ve lost us and we’re a bit bored. We’ll stick with you until the end, but our festival audience probably won’t. Avoid slow pacing.
- Listen to your sound. Sound levels vary so widely from film to film. Be sure you have tested your sound on a theater system (or not just on your computer) and compare the levels to other films. We dance for joy when we receive a film with great audio.
- Keep your credits short. A ten minute film should never have three minutes of credits. It makes us sorta cranky. Your cast and crew are great and we love them, but at a short film festival the audience wants to move on to the next film. If you’re stubborn and you want to show your five minutes of credits, they will need to be extremely entertaining.
- Never submit a “director’s cut” or a “work in progress.” Please submit a finished product. Whatever you haven’t finished on your film will most likely hurt it’s chances of being accepted.
- Do not watermark your film. We don’t enjoy your film as much when there are big words on the screen. It’s a distraction.
- Please never ever mail us a film that requires someone to sign for your package. Our festival directors and our screeners are all volunteer so the likelihood that we are at our day job or in the bathroom when the mailman comes to the door is very high. When we receive a notice that a package needs to be signed for we let out a big “GAR!” and inevitably your film is delayed in getting processed and screened.
See, that wasn’t so bad. We want you to succeed at our festival and others. Make us passionate about your film and yell at each other when we’re fighting for your film at our official selection meeting!
Why do you charge a submission fee?
So what does your submission fee go toward? Putting on a high quality film festival so that your film is shown in the best manner possible and to as many people as possible. Our screeners will also be spending a lot of time with each film and providing you with feedback after our Official Selections are announced.
Yes! For our 2015 festival, Love Your Shorts will be handing out 12 awards. Eight of the awards are chosen by the audience, one is chosen by a jury comprised of industry professionals, and three are selected by our screening committee. The awards are:
- Best of the Fest (Jury)
- Best Opening Night (Audience)
- Best “E” for Everyone (Audience)
- Best Documentary (Audience)
- Best Animation (Audience)
- Best Drama (Audience)
- Best Comedy (Audience)
- Best Sci-Fi/Horror (Audience)
- Best Florida Flavor (Audience)
- Best Scene (Screening Committee)
- Best Director (Screening Committee)
- Best Cinematography (Screening Committee)
- Best Screenplay (Screening Committee)
Each award, known as “The Monroe,” is handcrafted by a local artist. Cash prizes are also awarded to each category except for Director, Cinematography, Screenplay and Best Scene.
Our festival is scheduled so that you can attend every screening and every event if you so desire and all screenings take place in one theater so there’s no rushing from one venue to the next.
Some events that you can expect at the festival include:
- Opening Night Party for filmmakers and sponsors (held Friday evening)
- Filmmakers Panel (held Saturday afternoon)
- Best of the Fest screening and Awards Ceremony (held Sunday evening)
- An Officially Unofficial After Party
- Filmmaker Brunch
- Filmmaker Workshops
We also have a Filmmakers Lounge with snacks and drinks and enough room for filmmakers to meet, greet, and discuss their projects.