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What Is The Film Festival Circuit?

Film Festival Circuit Inc., is a partnership of Film Festival Events in the United States. We accept film and screenplay submissions from international independent filmmakers. Then, we judge and score each submission in order to present the highest rated films for theatrical release. The following is a list of our events.

Where Do These Independent Films Come From?

Thousands of films are produced by independent filmmakers from around the world every day.  For most filmmakers, there are only a few places where their work can be seen. There are online options like YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo. Then there are public screenings at Film Festival Events, which is what we specialize in. These events are an opportunity for filmmakers to project their work on the big screen for an audience that may not normally reach. Filmmakers work hard to create films for a variety of reasons. Some filmmakers are trying to build their director or actor resume, create a web series, complete a school assignment, and sometimes, they create films, just because it's fun. Our judges watch and rate every submission that we receive throughly. Therefore, we believe that our film festival events showcase the best of the best creative work that is submitted to us.

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Film Festivals Are A Celebration

Our film festival events are fresh, fun, cutting edge, creative and captivating. For example, most people are not used to watching twenty (20) short comedy films in a two hour period from twenty (20) different directors. It's a completely different experience than sitting down and watching a traditional 250 million dollar superhero film.   We've had filmmakers fly to our festival events from Japan, Israel, Canada, UK, Spain, Peru and many cities throughout the United States. Why? Because it's an opportunity to have people watch their films and then interact with the audience afterwards. It is a memorable experience that is different then simply posting a video online. Also, friends and family that have never seen these films on the big screen, get an opportunity to fully experience these films that they are personally attached to.

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Screenwriter From New York

"It was so good to finally meet you (Mikel Fair) in person at the Portland Comedy Film Festival 2018 last Saturday, and such an honor to be recognized among so many talented artists. It meant a lot. I had a fantastic time and really enjoyed the films and just the warm, friendly atmosphere - something you don't find everywhere ..."

Amanda R. Martinez Screenwriter

Want To Learn More About Our Film Festival Judging Process?

Have you ever wondered what criteria we use to judge for our comedy film festivals? Our process for selecting comedy films, dark comedy films, funny music videos and web series episodes is pretty straight forward. When my wife Brooke and I started the Houston Comedy Film Festival in 2008, there weren’t many resources available that would clearly explain the judging process. Our goal was to create a system that would eventually screen the funniest submissions at our comedy film festivals. We set out to select films that had the funniest situations, the best pacing, the best acting, and a level of production value that would screen well, in a commercial movie theater. Please read an overview of how our Film Festival Judging Process works today for each category.

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Are You Ready To Screen Your Film On The Festival Circuit?

We have over one hundred (100) judges that help us rate films and screenplays. Each festival is assigned a different group of 12-20 judges each. Some judges only watch a few films, others watch 100's. We pay our judges a small fee to watch and grade movies. Typically, they need a break from Netflix binge watching anyway. Therefore, they are happy to get paid to watch films as a change of pace. In order to fund our judging process and events we have submission fees for screenplays, films and videos. If you'd like to learn more, please click on the links below.

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Filmmakers from New Zealand @ Austin Comedy Short Film Festival Fall 2017

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Horror Filmmaker from Poland

"The Horror Film projects that you are screening are really stunning, it is amazing to see how the genre is alive. Oregon Scream Week is Absolutely Big Fest!"

Jerzy Bojanowski Director
Would You Like Feedback From Our Judges About Your Screenplay?

This service has been created for screenwriters that would like an unbiased reaction to their short screenplay. Our team of film festival judges evaluate screenplays on a daily basis for our events. Get feedback about the story, characters and overall impression of your screenplay. This is not a technical evaluation for grammar or capitalization. This is genuine feedback about the impressions that our judges get after reading your screenplay. Is it funny, scary or unpredictable? Is it well written? Are your characters or dialogue believable. Is this an interesting story or is this boring? These are the questions that we can answer for you. It doesn't matter if your screenplay has been submitted, accepted or rejected to a film festival. We will give you our feedback and notes without bias. Even if you've never submitted your screenplay anywhere, isn't it a good idea to get objective feedback before you put your work out there? A small investment of $25, could save you hundreds of dollars in submission fees. What if we catch something that could have easily been fixed? It's time to invest in your creative work. Learn more at this link: Judges Notes For Screenplays And Films.

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A Screenwriter That Purchased The Judges Notes

Hi Mikel,

A huge THANK YOU to you and the other readers for your positive comments and, especially, for the delicious, thoughtfully-considered, nuanced suggestions. This is my first comedy script, so I am thrilled that you all "got it", and I am very excited to take advantage of the opportunities you presented to fine-tune. You all made me laugh out loud imagining some of the revisions! The BEST $25 I've spent in a while!

John Wiggins Screenwriter
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Would You Like Feedback From Our Judges About Your Film?

This service has been created for filmmakers that would like an unbiased reaction to their short film. Our team of film festival judges evaluate short films on a daily basis for our events. Get feedback about the story, actors, pacing and overall impression of your short film. This is genuine feedback about the impressions that our judges get after watching your short film. Is it funny, scary or unpredictable? Is it well written? Are your actors or dialogue believable. Is this an interesting story or is this boring? These are the questions that we can answer for you. It doesn't matter if your short film has been submitted, accepted or rejected to a film festival. We will give you our feedback and notes without bias. Even if you've never submitted your short film anywhere, isn't it a good idea to get objective feedback before you put your work out there? A small investment of $25, could save you hundreds of dollars in submission fees. What if we catch something that could have easily been fixed? It's time to invest in your creative work. Please purchase the judge's notes for your short film, then email a private link (YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox, WeTransfer or Google Drive) to mikel.fair@filmfestivalcircuit.com. Please allow 7 days for delivery of judges notes via email. Learn more at this link: Judges Notes For Screenplays And Films.

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New York City Filmmaker

"Thank you so much for everything! We were so excited not only to be part of the Oregon Short Film Festival but to be an award winner as well! Hope to see you in the years to come."

Dorie Casper Actress & Screenwriter
Our Top Three Film Festivals For Comedy Films And Screenplays

The Houston Comedy Film Festival, the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival and the Portland Comedy Film Festival. These three festivals combined, have received over 8,000 submissions in the last 10 years. We strive to have a system that is consistent. Which is important to the integrity of our events. Each of these three comedy film festivals have a completely different set of 12 judges. Sometimes these different groups will rate films higher or lower than the others. It's all about the perception of "what is funny" to the individual judge. We also have three film festivals that accept comedy films as a category, as well as, accept other genres.

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Our Top Three Film Festivals With A Comedy Category

The Oregon Short Film Festival, the Austin Micro Short Film Festival and Oregon Scream Week: Horror Film Festival, accept a lot of comedy films. These festivals play the comedy films in groups. For example, Oregon Scream Week has a Horror Comedy category. Sometimes we get submissions from filmmakers that are a parody of the genre. Films that feature vegetarian vampires, zombies that take selfies, or people being attacked by a trash bag from outer space. These films really lighten the mood and get everyone warmed up at the beginning of a horror film festival program. Before the films about people falling into the wood chopper, being eaten by monsters or tortured by someone's crazy grandmother.

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Oregon Short Film Festival Attendees

I've never been to a film festival before and this was so awesome! The program was so fun and different. It felt like I went to Film School, there were so many independent and fun ideas. One film made me cry. I got to meet actors from some of the movies too.

Jessica And David Martin Elementary School Teacher
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Comedy Films Have Special Value In A Drama Film Heavy Film Festival

Growing up, I used to watch the Oscars every year. I stopped watching about ten years ago, because I get the feeling that drama films get all the glory. It is rare that fun films  get their fair share of the awards. Film after film about death, tears, illness, dramatic acting and earth shattering moments are the essence of drama films. Beautiful cinematography and actors that are fighting for social justice are very popular in Hollywood. Hence, most of our submissions to the Austin Micro Short Film Festival and the Oregon Short Film Festival have a serious tone. Filmmakers are ready to make a statement, which is awesome. But sometimes we need to mix in a few comedies, animated films, music vides and drama films with comedic elements to lighten things up. We have found that "depress fest" only works, if there are some fun moments sprinkled in. Therefore, we are looking for fun films to lighten the mood at our all-genre film festivals. As a result, getting a better audience response.

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Austin Micro Short Film Festival 2018 Submission Statistics

This is a breakdown of the type of submissions we received to the Austin Micro Short Film Festival 2018 season. 390 overall submissions. 82 films selected. 30 screenplays selected. Screenplays are no included in the graph below.

17% Comedy Films, Music Videos & Animations
73% Serious Drama, Docs, Horror, Music Videos & Science Fiction
10% Inspirational, light drama, historical, scientific research
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Our Audience Loves Drama, Horror, Documentary Films And More

Although we started with the Houston Comedy Film Festival, it's the Oregon Short Film Festival that expanded our horizons. The Oregon Short Film Festival was the first film festival that we created outside of Texas. My wife is originally from Oregon and after visiting 4-5 times per year, we decided to move. We wanted to start something fresh, new and really get to know what Oregonian film lovers wanted. We screened all genres of films and then sat around with a group of filmmakers and film enthusiasts until 2am picking their brains about the films they liked. We were shocked, because everyone had such different tastes. Drama, horror, documentary films and even our experimental category had people buzzing with enthusiasm.

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Director From Australia

Thank you for putting on such a fun event. Great page you have created for my film, The Peacock, thanks! It was wonderful to be a part of your festival and a nice bonus to be nominated for best international director. I'm flattered that my film from Australia made such an impact with the judges and the Texas audience.

Darcie Irwin-Simpson Director/Actress
The Top Drama Film Festivals And Why People Liked Them

Our audience explained to us, that drama films helped them related to real stories. Discussing powerful emotional moments, films that dealt with grief, sickness, politics, arguments, romance, relationships and sexuality. People love drama films, because of the connection they feel with them. We got compliments on the number of international films that we screened. The audience didn't seem to complain about subtitles or other languages. Drama film fans embrace the cinematography and powerful music in the Drama genre as well.

Top Documentary Film Festivals And The Demand For More

Documentary films share many of the elements of drama films. The Oregon Documentary Film audience really seem to love the education and research that our films offered. Learning something new about science, history or life in foreign countries, really made people excited. We decided to create the Oregon Documentary Film Festival as a spin off of the Oregon Short Film Festival. The support has been amazing.

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Writer/Producer for Los Angeles

Thank you for that flipping awesome shout out on TWITTER about our film "Lunch Ladies!" Putting together all those photos - all that takes so much time - thank you for working so hard to promote Oregon Scream Week!

Clarissa Jacobson Writer/Producer of "Lunch Ladies"
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Top Horror Film Festivals And Why People Travel To Ours

Oregon Scream Week shocked us all with the number of serious Horror Film fans that turned out. In Portland, Oregon, the freaks come out at night. There were so many people that showed up to watch the horror film genre and not just a specific film. It was like "show me everything you got" instead of "when is this particular movie playing." When filmmakers flew in from South Korea, Japan and France, I knew that something really different was happening.

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Oregon Music Video Director

Thank you so much for choosing my music video as the winner! I am truly honored! You've made me the happiest girl ever! I had an amazing time at your event! Thank you so much for having me!

Ana Valenzuela Director
Where Do The Judges Come From And How Do You Find Them?

We get a lot of our judges from film enthusiasts that email us and want to be a part of the process. We also run ads on craigslist as well as meet people through networking. It’s not a requirement to be in the film industry to judge films. We like to have judges that are enthusiastic, consistent and who really enjoy it. It’s easy to “burn out” if you’re not very interested in independent film. Some judges will commit to watching less films, others will binge an entire festival season without blinking.

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Who Runs All Of These Film Festivals?

Mikel and Brooke Fair started the Houston Comedy Film Festival in 2009 to give filmmakers a place to screen their comedy films and target the independent film audience. Mikel Fair worked in production and post production in the film industry from 1999-2015 as a Freelance and Union Location Sound Mixer. Mikel also worked as a Field Producer and Production Manager in the Television industry from 2009-2015. Mikel and Brooke moved from Texas to Oregon in 2015 and are now producing film festival events full time under the name Film Festival Circuit Inc.

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Why Do You Have So Many Events And How Do You Do It All?

It’s pretty simple, we love screening independent films in theaters for people that really appreciate independent filmmaking. We don’t produce these events by ourselves. We have over fifty judges in Texas and in Oregon that watch films and read screenplays all year around. Some judges prefer specific genres like comedy, documentaries or horror films. Others like to watch everything. We pay all of our judges a small portion of each submission fee collected. It’s kind of like binge watching Netflix or Hulu, but you you get paid to do it.

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Screenwriter From London

"You're doing such a great job of promoting the selected works on Facebook and Twitter. So much better than other festivals! I'm sure all the filmmakers and screenwriters appreciate it. I know I do!"

Giancarlo Fusi Screenwriter
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