While studios like Paramount, CBS, Warner Brothers, Disney, Fox, and others try to figure out what to do about fan films, Independent Film Festivals already have a solution: CREATE SPECIAL CATEGORIES FOR THEM!
Up until recently, if you were a Star Trek fan film, your options were pretty limited when it came to entering your production into a film festival or contest.
For the last few years, the annual Treklanta convention has held the Independent Star Trek Film Awards (now called the “Bjos”). Obviously, entries are limited to only Star Trek fan films.
And then there are the independent film festivals that allow entrants from all genres and production backgrounds. There’s a lot of these. In fact, Prelude to Axanar won awards in 19 different film festivals, including the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, Creative Arts Film Festival, Widescreen Film & Music Video Festival, Nevada Film Festival, IndieFEST Film Awards, and California International Shorts Festival.
Star Trek Continues has also taken in its fair share of awards at the Accolade Global Film Competition, The Burbank International Film Awards, and most recently was given awards in five categories of the International Independent Film Awards.
And while some award shows, like the Geekie Awards, limit the range of entrees to specific genres like sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc., Trek fan films are still competing with “real” independent films with professional production teams and budgets that are often into the six or even seven figures. Micro-budget Trek fan productions often face almost insurmountable competition. And if the awards show is not limited to just sci-fi and related genres, the competition becomes even more wide ranging.
With high budgets, Hollywood actors, and professional production quality, Prelude to Axanar and Star Trek Continues were able to make their mark. against stiff competition. But with the guidelines now limiting how much fan films can spend and who can work on them, will Star Trek fan films be able to be competitive again in film festivals?
In an effort to draw in more entries from the emerging genre of fan productions, some independent film festivals have begun to introduce a brand new category: FAN FILMS!
You read that right.
The first film festival to do this is the Berlin Sci-Fi Filmfest screening in Berlin on November 17-18, 2017! Even though they are focused on independent science fiction films, they’ve included a category called “Fan Films” this year for the first time ever.
Other categories include best feature film, web series, action short, drama short, animation, comedy, VF, direction, actor and actress, and best trailer. Entrants include productions from the USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Holland , Austria, Brazil, Turkey, Japan, and China. (The film festival itself is being held primarily in English and will provide English subtitles for any film with dialog in another language.)
For anyone curious, here’s a list of fan films that have been nominated in this first year that has the category:
|Stalled Trek: Prelude to Ax’d-We-Are||USA||Mark R. Largent & Jonathan Lane
|Chance Encounter – Star Trek||UK||Gary O’Brien|
|Starship Republic – Serpent of Yesterday||USA||Ray Tesi|
|Survivors: Star Trek||USA||Matthew Lee Blackburn|
|Prelude to Axanar – Star Trek||USA||Robert Meyer Burnett, Alec Peters
|Where No Jedi Has Gone Before||USA||Rena Yamamoto|
|Tears In The Rain – Blade Runner||South Africa||Christopher Grant Harvey|
|The Secret of Tatooine – Star Wars||France||Jordan Inconstant|
|Dawn of Resistance – Star Wars||UK||Gareth Carr|
|Bride of Frankie – Hammerhouse||USA||Devi Snively|
The winners will receive an award and/or certificate. But come back tomorrow, and I’ll tell you about the IndieBOOM! Film Festival…which is offering a grand prize of $500 to the best of show!