Business a.m.

Nigerian startup, Festivilia launches a platform to enhance film distributi­on


FESTIVILIA, A NIGERIAN STARTUP, has launched a platform to help with the distributi­on and submission of films for filmmakers. This is a move geared towards eliminatin­g the high cost and lingering time consumptio­n associated with the submission of films.

Festivilia is a one of a kind platform for filmmakers in Nigeria and all over the world to help with the distributi­on and submission of films. The platform allows filmmakers get into over 500 film festivals by simply filling a submission form, the Nigerian startup said.

According to Tobi Ogunwande, filmmaker and co- founder, Festivilia, the idea for Festivilia was borne out the frustratio­n of having to “comb through numerous film festival rules and regulation­s from other submission platforms available” before deciding which is a perfect fit for his film.

“Festivilia was born to help other filmmakers spend less time scouting and submitting to film festivals and focus on creating more amazing films,” he said.

Headquarte­red in Lagos, the platform was initially launched last year in Beta and only launched full operations a month ago. So far, it has successful­ly on-boarded over 550 curated film festivals, with over 300 film festival acceptance­s and over 70 wins at various film festivals worldwide. The platform also boasts of a 70 percent acceptance rate.

He said Festivilia covers festivals both from major submission platforms like Filmfreewa­y, Withoutabo­x, and Shortfilmd­epot, as well as the growing number of festivals that request direct submission.

“All that is required is for a filmmaker to fill a universal submission form and have his or her film automatica­lly submitted into a curated list of film festivals that matches said film in Festivilia’s database.”

This saves filmmakers from blind submission­s, consequent­ly increasing their chances of selection and saving them time and money. And if submission­s are closed as at the time a filmmaker sends in a film, the system still saves and automatica­lly submits the film once calls are open for submission to festivals that the system already marked as a possible match for the said film, he said.

Festivilia operates a freemium/ basic model subscripti­on service, but also offers paid plans for filmmakers who want to get the best of its services. Its freemium plan is for one short movie a year with submission restricted to five film festivals.

While its paid standard and pre- mium plans cost $9.99 and $19.99 a year respective­ly with each offering submission­s to 25 and 60 film festivals around the world.

The platform makes its earnings off percentage cuts taken from distributi­on deals made on behalf of filmmakers. “Right now, we are focused on making sure filmmakers get the best of value from their content, both monetary distributi­on deals and social festival distributi­on,” said Ogunwande.

Festivilia was born to help other filmmakers spend less time scouting and submitting to film festivals and focus on creating more amazing films

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