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UFFO - Best Business Practices for Film Festivals


The Universal Film & Festival Organization was founded to support and implement best business practices for film festivals throughout the world.

UFFO,is a global voluntary organization and is not-for-profit. It was created to bring together the highest quality of Film Festivals and the filmmaking community by encouraging film festivals to become sound in best business practice. To date we have been very successful in this endeavour.

The UFFO best business practices is completely voluntary, it is free and easy to implement. In addition it is a blueprint for filmmakers in deciding which film festivals to do business with

UFFO is also an open international organization and membership is open to all creative individuals, filmmakers and film festivals.


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Universal Film Magazine 


The Best Business Practices for Film Festivals


No 1: Film Festival organisers should operate a transparent selection process and publish details of the selection process and the names of the Jury/selection committee (publication can be after a festival concludes)

No 2: Film festivals organizers should provide full contact details for the festival offices including address and telephone numbers and the names of the festival directors and or committee

No 3: A Film Festival should publish its legal status as a company, charity or non profit (this only applies to a registered entity)

No 4: Film festival organizers should not share financial data belonging to any filmmakers with any third parties

No 5: Film Festivals should publish a year by year history of festival winners and films officially selected

No 6: Film festival organizers, committee and or jury should not show or demonstrate any favouritism to any film submitted to the festival or attempt to influence other members of the jury or selection committee

No 7: Film Festivals should declare the number of films sought out and or invited by the festival organizers to participate in the festival prior to and before the general call for submissions is sent out

No 8: Film Festivals should provide the names of the selection committee and or jury members who viewed the submitted film screeners to the festival (this could be after the festival has concluded)

No 9: Film festival organizers should view at least 5 minutes of all submitted films

No 10: All Festival organizers should declare any conflict of interest that may arise from any film submitted to or invited to participate in the festival




This UFFO Best Business Practices for Film Festivals is copywrite of the Universal Film Festival Organization





During the research phase for our expose documentary on scam festivals we have spoken to many filmmakers and festival directors from all over the world.
What we learnt is that there are so many scams out it can be difficult to distinguish between them. There is however one common dominator that enables the scam festival to operate with impunity, and that is that filmmakers do not look into a festival, they simply submit their film and they hope their talent is going to be recognised by a fellow professional. Thinking like this is naive and you would be better off buying a lottery ticket.
Nowadays filmmakers really have the cards stacked against them and are not left with a lot of options. One thing all filmmakers should do and that is to check out the film festival before submitting a film, not to do so is pure folly.
Look at the history of the festival; make sure they have a address and telephone number. What are the names of the festival directors and programmers, does the festival have a selection committee. Are the festival directors connected to and have they an interest in any of the films in competition, look at the history of the festival and cross reference the winning films with the festival director’s names on IMDB.
There is no point in submitting a film to a festival if all the awards are going to the festival directors own films. Also If a festival is charging $200 - $300 and is giving you a guarantee screening for your film, look at the previous year’s festival. Contact the crew of films previously selected. Ask in particular about the organisation and the previous year’s publicity for the festival.
Do not rely on any of the online submission providers to weed out scam festivals. They are in business to take a percentage of your submission fee. One of the main providers seem to ignore complaint about scam festivals or festival impersonating longstanding legitimate festivals
Don’t be stupid, rely on yourself, If a festival seems odd in any way - pass them by
We wrote an ethical code of conduct to help stop scam festivals. If a film festival has adopted the new ethical code of conduct through (Universal Film Festival Organisation) you can be reasonably certain that you are not getting ripped off and that the festival will actually view you submitted screener. UFFO will also have a history of the festival and contacts for the festival so get involved this is your organisation. UFFO is an open organisation for filmmakers and film festivals and the code of conduct is free, it’s easy and it works
The UFFO web site is under construction


If you know of a scam festival or are dodgy in any way let me know and I will expose them as part of our documentary “Film Festival Fraudsters”
We need volunteers and shooters to take part in this documentary

Tyrone D Murphy

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