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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




Would an association of film festivals by film festivals be in the interests of filmmakers?

Given the number of scam festivals happily scamming impressionable and aspiring filmmakers around the world is it now time for an association of film festivals. Although it would be a good idea there are a number of reasons why this may not be feasible.
In the United Kingdom there is a quaint little set of laws that allow the Police to investigate themselves in matters such as official complaints, this as we all well know is not right or can it be seen to be transparent or fair.
Although this is perhaps an extreme example of a situation that could not in any way be impartial but would such an association of film festivals have a similar effect? An association of film festivals by film festivals for filmmakers! Festivals directors would in essence be trusted to monitor themselves and to do what is best for filmmakers. Let face it, without filmmakers there is no festival
Given the number of scam festivals out there this would be a situation that could be wholly open to abuse and would certainly not be in the interest of filmmakers.
So what could be the answer?

Given that all film festivals owe their very existence to filmmakers would it not be a practical step for filmmakers and festivals to agree an ethical code of conduct. A code of conduct that is instantly recognisable in any country by any festival and filmmaker. A simple yet effective code of conduct that will demonstrate a film festivals willingness to be transparent yet so simple filmmakers can use the code of conduct as a guideline when considering which festival to submit their film to
Such a code of conduct would also overcome the geographical and language barriers faced by filmmakers. Festivals who adopt the code of conduct will have to publish the information on their web sites to comply with the proposed code.
Of course a festival does not have to comply with the code of conduct as it is entirely voluntary but filmmakers can still use the code as a guide in appraising a film festival. It will help them to decide whether or not to submit their film to that particular festival.
Below is a proposed code of conduct for film festivals that was written with the involvement of festival director and filmmakers. It will be widely published in many of the industry publications in due course and will no doubt create a much needed debate in the industry
There are 10 simple rules in the proposed code of conduct that are mutually beneficial to all filmmakers and film festival directors.
This is the “FFCOC” Film Festival Code of Conduct

·         Rule No 1: Absolute transparency in the selection process

·         Rule No 2: Names of the Jury and the selection Committee     

·         Rule No 3: Clear contact details such as address and telephone numbers for the festival offices   

·         Rule No 4: Company registration number or charity registration number published on the festival web site     

·         Rule No 5: Number of films submitted every year  published on the festival web site   

·         Rule No6: Detailed history and statistics of selected films and genre published on the festivals website   

·         Rule No 7: A full history of all the winners and official selection published on the festivals website  

·         Rule No 8: Undertaking that the person or individual viewing the submitted films is an industry professional    

·         Rule No 9: Undertaking that at least 3 minutes of any submitted film is viewed by an industry professional
·         Rule No 10: Festival organisers must declare any interest in any film submitted or in competition 

“FFCOC” Film Festival Code of Conduct © Tyrone D Murphy 2011

We need your comments and feedback to help un implement this code of conduct

Tyrone D Murphy

+44 77799 77769   

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