In this digital era, file sharing through the cloud is becoming a standard in all sorts of industries. Perhaps you already work with Dropbox, Sharepoint or the Google suite. In the film festival industry, we are used to different platforms to share screening previews for selecting films, such as Vimeo. For the actual screen copies, festivals still rely on hard copy files, being delivered by FedEx or by mail. This costs a lot of time, money and effort by both festivals and filmmakers. Also, all this flying back and forth of digital files on hard disks is not very environmentally friendly. That’s why some Dutch film festivals together with an experienced team of film festival technicians developed a new tool, called FilmFetch. We want to share our experience with FilmFetch and Fiona festival.
From trial to proven success at IFFR
FilmFetch is an online platform which offers a secure environment for filmmakers to digitally send their DCP files to film festival. The logistics of these files no longer depend on physical hard disks. Hard disks that before were sent all across the world to and from film festivals. With FilmFetch and Fiona, this process is now digitalized. The logistics of files have become faster and more efficient.
After some trial runs in 2017, the first big experiment of the integration of FilmFetch and Fiona Festival happened with IFFR 2018. This was an immediate hit. For the following festival in 2019, IFFR invited 350 filmmakers to use FilmFetch to send their film files to IFFR. From those 350 filmmakers, more than 80% used the FilmFetch platform. With success. The high percentage of films being uploaded meant there were a lot less hard disks coming into the office, which previously all had to be returned. This saved a lot of administration, time, office space and money. Besides that, the uploading technique and the integration between FilmFetch and Fiona made the overall logistics for festivals much more efficient. FilmFetch is not only a secure environment to upload files, but it also does some clever checks of the files when they come in. And best of all, the programme and logistics department of the festival never have to leave Fiona to see how everything is going!
How does it work?
While working in Fiona, you create an upload environment in FilmFetch for each film you selected for your film festival. By sending out a bulk mailing to all your filmmakers, you give them each a personalized link to upload their DCP files. Screening copies can then be uploaded and shared with the festival through a secure connection on the FilmFetch environment. After uploading, the files will be fully checked on both content and technical integrity. Once that is done, FilmFetch will automatically send a full report with the results to the filmmaker.
Meanwhile, all the upload information and statuses will be automatically updated in Fiona. This is all visible per film, but also in film lists. We have added customized columns to this functionality to monitor the full process.
As soon as a ‘fetch’ is finished and the uploaded DCP file is technically approved, the CPL files will be automatically added to the correct film in Fiona. Without ever leaving Fiona, you have all the information you need in one place.
KDM distribution via Dropbox
Next to the integration with FilmFetch, Fiona also offers another feature to make the work of the film control department much easier. Fiona can be integrated with your festival’s Dropbox account, where KDM files for can be upload. Fiona will read these files, analyse them and match them with the correct CPL files. Since Fiona also knows everything about your screening schedule, Fiona distributes the KDM files back to Dropbox-folders for the correct venues and warns you about missing KDM files. Sounds ideal, right?
Would you like to know more about the integration between FilmFetch and Fiona Festival? Drop us a question here.
Written by Roland van Putten
Roland is co-founder and technical director of Fiona. He helps many film festivals as a technical consultant with a deep understanding of festival processes.