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BIGSTAR.TV ANNOUNCES ONLINE FILM FESTIVAL, the global online film networking community and digital distribution platform for independent cinema, has entered the online film festival arena, announcing the highest cash prize yet for fledgling film auteurs. The BIGSTAR Online Film Festival (BOFF) will award a $50,000 cash grand prize to the best film of the festival and honor other submissions with awards of merit in the categories of Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Animation, Best Foreign Film, Best Comedy, Best Documentary, Best Drama, Best Experimental Film, Best Original Song, Best Screenplay and Best Visually Artistic Film. 

A blue ribbon panel of industry professionals is currently being assembled to judge the entries. Included in the mix are actors Steve Guttenberg and Ian Ziering, directors Victor Nunez and Billy Corben, and Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) honchos Gregory von Hausch and Bonnie Leigh Adams. More industry and celebrity jurors will be announced shortly, with FLIFF taking on the task of assembling the judging panel.  

"The Festival is a new way for us to promote the excellent work of independent producers", President and CEO Xavi Dalmau explained. "Our motto is the global headquarters for independent film and having a film festival gives us and the filmmakers who are with us added exposure and industry awareness." The Grand Prize winners will be announced on March 31, 2011 at a gala awards ceremony.

Founded in 2006, is a digital distribution platform offering downloads of independent films and premium content online in high definition. users can preview, download and transfer cutting-edge indie films directly to their computer, DVD or TV screen, and make money by entering monthly short film contests for cash prizes. "We combine a diverse library of content for our users to sample with a strong social networking aspect that allows people who are passionate about making or seeing independent and international cinema a way to network, collaborate and promote the works of emerging talents from around the world", Dalmau added.

Based in Miami, has been actively buying full film libraries while also reaching out to individual filmmakers on the film festival circuit. The company currently has over 1000 individual films available for download, from classic Charlie Chaplin shorts to award-winning documentaries to cutting-edge auteur projects from a growing community of U.S. and international film talents. "This is the future", Dalmau exclaimed in my phone interview with him. "Viewers want to seek out films that are not playing in theatrical releases near them and are turning to the internet for a much broader palette of innovative and stimulating content. We want to be part of that wave and even ahead of the curve." has tied in the announcement of its Online Film Festival with a new membership service that begins on April 1. For a monthly rate of $4.99, members will receive unlimited streaming of BOFF film entries and can choose from over 1000 titles in the online movie star. Revenues generated are shared with the participating filmmakers. Committed to being on the cutting-edge of tech innovations, will soon be making films available direct to television through Yahoo! TV Widgets, Roku and Boxee; and for those on the go via iPhone, Google Android, Palm Pre and other mobile devices with internet capability. 

In another major breakthrough, recently launched a royalty free music section through a partnership with Kompoz, an online network for musicians.  Songs produced by Kompoz artists are featured on’s online community, enabling the filmmaker to browse, listen and easily license a variety of music for film, tv and web projects. "It makes sense to link the worlds of independent filmmakers and independent musicians.....they can really help each others' careers and generate the necessary buzz that creates global awareness of their work", Dalmau continued.

Keeping up with technological innovation is a full time job and seems obligated to explore the possibilities inherent in these new distribution platforms while keeping faith with its original mandate to help filmmakers make and promote their works and audiences find exciting and innovative programming content. "We are in it for the long haul", Dalmau concluded. Filmmakers and film buffs interested in learning more about the Festival should log on to:

Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Circuit Editor


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About Festival Circuit

Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

Coverage of the world of film festivals on the international film festival circuit.

New York

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