INDIE FILM FESTIVALS are starting to add a NEW category: FAN FILMS!

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!

2 thoughts on “INDIE FILM FESTIVALS are starting to add a NEW category: FAN FILMS!”

  1. My name is kenny Smith from Rancho Cordova California USA And i want to you to know this ok, i don’t really want you to get pushed around with all in all of the stuido. Networks like cbs and Parmount studio and CBS and others who don’t care about people and person who wants to do any star trek fan films going with person who want to pay and putting on the internet network and keep all of the star trek clubs and fan films. At less we like star trek TOS t.v. SHOW and keep it liveing and not to die.

    This is my idea for this here. Keep going and don’t let CBS telling you what to do with your fan films for star trek.

  2. This actually seems like a big deal, although not offering huge rewards, it is a chance to legitimitize Fan Films and align them to a positive asset to a brand. It seems the ideal marketing strategy is to have the franchise, and then all the associated revenue streams supporting it, toys, figures, fan films, fan fiction, mainstream fiction. Disney kinda did a CBS on Star Wars when they kaboshed a whole universe of several major novel streams and an established timeline, but did leave the fan films alone. Maybe this will encourage a review of their guidelines to set them to more of an industry standard, vice each company doing their own thing.

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