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Indieflix

Film Festival in a Box

Film Festival in a Box

Scilla Andreen wears many hats: mom, entrepreneur, film director, producer and award winning costume designer. Through her latest project, called Film Festival in a Box, Scilla works tirelessly to make people aware of the thousands of independent films that are created each year but never get shared with us. She’s changing the way short films are distributed by letting indie filmmakers keep the rights to their movies while also generating revenue for their creative work.

For us, it’s a chance to see “shorts” that very
few people outside the film industry get a chance to enjoy. “What I really love about this concept is that you get to see raw talent,” says Adrian Gill, who tested Film Festival in a Box for us. The films haven’t been sterilized by Hollywood, and their imperfections make them even more engaging.

We think Film Festival in a Box is a fun, easy way for movie lovers to screen independent films and spark lively, thoughtful discussions and a great excuse to invite friends over, pop some popcorn and play the role of movie critic.

If your book club could use a change of pace, why not mix things up and host a movie night? Each DVD contains four films, each are between 8 and 14 minutes. Choose from any of the available genres, then settle in and enjoy the show!

— Ann
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Indieflix - Film Festival in a Box

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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Scilla
    Scilla

    Hi fellow Daily Grommet fans. My name is Scilla and I am the co-founder and CEO of Indieflix. Indieflix is a bit like Daily Grommet for the movie industry. We connect independent filmmakers with their audience and give them a vehicle to distribute their work. Mostly we love connecting people through movies.

    Film Festival in a Box is a new interactive movie game that brings the fun of a film festival into the home. Invite your friends over. Watch 4 short films and choose "Best Picture," "Best Performance" and "Best Original Story" then announce your winners online to notify the real filmmakers! It's a great way to spend the evening with friends or family and you'll be directly supporting independent film. You can also use the game to start your own Movie Club. It's made in America and recyclable. I hope you enjoy it. Watch the Grommet video, read the story. If you have any questions I'm here to answer them!

  • Drew
    Drew
    11/5/10 12:15 PM

    Scilla-

    This looks fun. I'm thinking of trying it. About how long do each of the films run?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/5/10 12:37 PM

    @Drew: The total run time of the four short movies will range from 25-45 minutes.

  • joanne domeniconi
    joanne domeniconi – Grommet Team
    11/5/10 12:51 PM

    @Drew:the shorts are typically between 8 and 14 minutes long.

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/5/10 2:29 PM

    @Drew: All of the boxes vary. The Zombie box is the longest running box coming in at 52 min total for all 4 films. Thanks!

  • Charles
    Charles
    11/5/10 12:25 PM

    I don't understand how the 4 films are chosen. Aren't there thousands upon thousands of these movies that just need to be released? How is this selection better than the big money Hollywood way of selecting for me? Also why is the Grommet called a "Movie Game"?

  • Deb
    Deb
    11/5/10 1:08 PM

    @Charlie: I think it's called a movie game because of the aspect of going online to vote for the "winner" or the one that you and your friends liked most of the 4 short movies on the DVD. Not sure how they were chosen though.

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/5/10 2:44 PM

    @Deb: It's really more of a social game experience but that was too long to put on the box and it sounded too clinical. The game play comes in more online as we build out the website to offer rewards to players as well as beat the clock trivia, scavenger hunts and riddles with regard to the films in that particular box. Over time we will have actual rewards you win such as movie tickets, free screening passes, and film festival party invites. It's very exciting. Thank you for your comment. We LOVE feedback.

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/5/10 1:47 PM

    @Charlie: Hello fellow Daily Grommet fans! We are honored to be a part of this fabulous website! We're so excited about Film Festival in a Box reaching new audiences. About how we selected the films, it was a huge deliberation process in which we went through IndieFlix's extensive online library (2,000 films and counting) and picked staff favorites, award winners and critically acclaimed films from festivals around the world. We are continuously finding new and inspiring films and filmmakers!

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    11/5/10 4:50 PM

    @Scilla Andreen: I loved how you described Daily Grommet on your Facebook post: “the selective marketplace with a conscience.” I am so going to start using that description…it is better than anything I have ever written myself!

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/5/10 2:38 PM

    @Charlie: All excellent questions. You are correct there are tens of thousands of films looking for distribution. We have a pretty healthy library of shorts, features and documentaries from around the world. We choose the films based on story, execution, originality and production value. We then program them by genre so that it's a pretty even competition. Hollywood chooses films that they think will sell and have big star talent in them. We focus on good stories since most independent films often use more unknown talent although as I say this I am thinking about the last few years of best picture Academy Award winners, The Wrestler with Mickey Rourke, The Hurt Locker, Little Miss Sunshine, Precious and of course Slumdog Millionaire which had a cast of total unknowns. Our goal is to bring films to the people and hopefully for you to enjoy them after all movies are the most powerful medium and a little movie can raise a lot of awareness to even do things like create compassion in people. I hope you enjoy them and thank you for your questions. Scilla

  • Charles
    Charles
    11/5/10 3:45 PM

    @Scilla Andreen: Thanks so much for your personal reply! That is quite helpful. So these are those "big time" unheard of films.

    p.s. There is still the need for a) access to 1000s of indy films , aka Netflix for indy b) because there are so many, recommendations from a person you really trust and you know where they are "coming from" (e.g. so you don't wind up with something objectionable).

    But now I understand how it fits in. Good luck with your work - VERY, VERY important. Down with big Hollywood! (kidding)

    Charlie

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/5/10 3:59 PM

    @Charlie: Thanks Charlie. These films are big and small. The comedies box has the following films: An oscar nominated film, a Sundance Film Festival hit, a small 1st time filmmaker movie and a film from a tiny little festival in the midwest. The winners all vary based on the group that is deliberating. Our films range from $25- 250K budget ranges and come from festivals from around the world, including Sundance, Cannes, Berlin, LA and Toronto but small ones too such as Sonoma, Bahamas and from film schools.

  • Dianne
    Dianne
    11/5/10 12:34 PM

    Scilla, This is an awesome idea. What a fun alternative from family game night. My children are older...24 & 26. I could put a different genre in their stockings at Christmas and then they would have to come home and visit Mom so that we can all have movie night together. (Always a Mom.)

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/5/10 12:57 PM

    @Dianne: What a great idea! When you see an opportunity to create fun and memorable family time together...grab it!

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/5/10 2:47 PM

    @Katherine Klinger: The deliberation is the funnest part! I see my kids in a whole new light.

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/5/10 2:41 PM

    @Dianne: I play with my kids a lot 13 & 17. We've played several of the boxes multiple times with new people and surprisingly we have different outcomes. What I love is to see them deliberate and fight for their film to win Best Picture. Thankfully Best Performance and Best Original Story nods help off set a stand off. The game is a great conversation starter. I also play with my neighbors and friends and we end up talking about the films at the store, STBX and other people's parties. It's a great connector. Enjoy! thank you

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/5/10 2:46 PM

    @Dianne: BTW I am a mom to - we have 6 kids between us and it has been a great way to bond. The time frame works really well - it's not too big of a commitment.

  • Mimi
    Mimi
    11/5/10 1:19 PM

    GREAT idea! Hey, how about an 'inspirational' category? We've got a lot of movie buffs at my church. And I don't mean the selections have to be smarmy or bland, either. Controversial is just fine.

  • IndieFlix
    IndieFlix
    11/5/10 1:50 PM

    @Mimi: We are always thinking of new ideas for future Film Festival in a Box genres. Inspirational, Adrenaline, Memory Lane, Nominated... The list goes on and on!

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/5/10 2:48 PM

    @Mimi: We have potential boxes in the works one of which is definitely inspirational and another one zen. The films we are getting are amazing and so moving. I can't wait to share them with the world.

  • Jill
    Jill
    11/5/10 2:35 PM

    I'm thinking of this for Xmas presents, but I don't want to give something someone would find offensive. I'll skip the pottymouth one for obvious reasons. How much sex in the "love" category? Anything else that would be too violent or too bad of language?

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/5/10 2:51 PM

    @Jill: No sex in the LOVE box. We played LOVE in Times Square on 9/26 it was awesome. Fantastical is Fabulous also as is Comedies, Dark Comedies Powered by Girls. Zombies, potty mouth and Chillers are for a more mature audience although Chillers is incredible but it's very tense and scary!

  • Dan Weinreb
    Dan Weinreb
    11/5/10 4:44 PM

    Back in the 1970's and early 1980's, there was a wonderful small cinema in Central Sq, Cambridge, NMA, called "Off The Wall". They ran all kinds of unusual stuff, very often shows with many shorts that you'd never see anywhere else. Often they were animated films intended for adults. There were Eastern European films that were often dark and even disturbing, about war or oppression. (I liked these when they were artistically good; some of my friends totally couldn't take them.) But most were cheerful and delightful. Often they were animated films, including stuff you could never see, or by novel animators. One show had propaganda cartoons from World War II. Once they showed a Warner Brothers film called "Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs", a version of Snow White with all black characters, told entirely in rhyming sonds, with zoot suits and so on. You will NEVER see this one anywhere, but once you get past the racial stereotypes, it's actually an amazing work of art.

    When I first met the woman who is now my wife of 24 years, our first several dates were at Off The Wall, so I remember it extremely fondly. Many of my M.I.T. friends were huge fans. Sadly, they closed and nothing has ever taken their place. As far as I can tell, the only place to see great short films is at film festivals, and for those of us with full-time jobs, it's hard to get to, say, the Toronto Film Festival even though I know I'd love it.

    So I am very much looking forward to checking out what you're offering! There are still sophisticated, for-adult, artistic animated short films. Not too long ago I saw a show of them at the ICA (Institute for Contemporary Art) in Boston. I hope you can get some of these.

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/6/10 1:55 AM

    @Dan Weinreb: thank you for sharing your history of short films. As a filmmaker, juror, sponsor and distributor I have seen thousands of short films. Now I am on a mission to share some of these films with others. I love all of the boxes but some of my favorites are Chillers, Fantastical, Comedies, LOVE and Dark Comedies. I also love Powered by girls and Potty mouth but PM is harsh. There is a 9 min documentary in there that is about a grandma who does phone sex. She lives in a small town and couldn't find any other work to support her kids. She ultimately puts them through college doing this. It's a powerful conversation piece for sure. Some of our audience has claimed it to be contemporary art. The Zombie box is not my favorite genre so I programmed those films purely based on great stories, well told about zombies. It's turned out to be one of our most popular boxes. We played LOVE in Times Square back in Sept and had thousands watching and voting. It was magical. I think you will enjoy these boxes very much. Share them with others. We have found that inviting friends over to watch and vote creates these water cooler moments that pop up everywhere long after the evening is over. Enjoy and thank you. I think it's so cool that we are all supporting the arts just by watching and voting. Scilla

  • Sally G
    Sally G
    11/6/10 11:49 PM

    This would be an interesting evening at my congregation; what are the copyright/licensing issues for hosting an evening in a public place (church, library, etc.)? I know showing to a group in one’s home is O.K., but what about a somewhat larger audience? I don’t think we would be especially interested in the game aspect, more in the screening and discussion amongst ourselves. Actually, the documentary about the risqué grandma sounds as though it would indeed be a powerful starter for a social-justice discussion about the economy, jobs for older adults, education costs, etc.—something that would definitely interest many in our UU congregation.

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/7/10 2:01 AM

    @Sally G: Hi Sally, I would NOT recommend the Potty mouth comedies for the congregation. That particular box appeals mostly to college age kids. It's truly pottymouth and has a lot of vulgarity in it. I sometimes feel embarrassed showing it to people. The only reason I moved forward with it is because it has won hundreds of awards all over the globe and is a very popular film mostly for its comical side and less so for the reality aspect. It is a documentary for the most part but does not show how Opal the grandma raised and supported her kids. It really gives a peek behind the sex call operations in a rather vulgar way.

    I would highly recommend the fantastical box and the Powered by Girls boxes. They have some very powerful films that bring up some excellent conversations about family values, today's news media coverage, alzheimers, the hero in all of us, mother daughter relationships, parents trying to connect with their kids and more. I also like LOVE. It has four short films that make you want to fall in love. I look forward to hearing how it goes playing with the congregation. The conversation will be very strong if you deliberate and choose only one film for Best Picture and discuss all the reasons why it should beat out the others. Thank you Scilla

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/7/10 2:03 AM

    @Sally G: BTW - you can show these films to your congregation. So long as you are not charging money for them you will be fine. We are going to be selling them to the educational market at a much higher price point and it will come with a curriculum and discussion points as well. But you are fine with these boxes as is for your church now.

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/8/10 11:56 AM

    @Sally G: BTW - you can show these films to your congregation. So long as you are not charging money for them you will be fine. We are going to be selling them to the educational market at a much higher price point and it will come with a curriculum and discussion points as well. But you are fine with these boxes as is for your church now.

  • M
    M
    11/7/10 3:19 PM

    Hi Scilla,

    I went to the website because I wanted to find a little more information. Most of the genres are straightforward, but I couldn't find out if Chillers are horror or thrillers. A little more info on Fantastical would be helpful too.

    Thanks

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/8/10 1:08 AM

    @M McDonald: Chillers are suspenseful and scary but not horror. They're more psychological. Fantastical are sort of magical sprinkled into real life. They are NOT unicorns and dwarves. For instance there is one film that is about a cable man who becomes a super hero in the most realistic sense. It's a film that addresses how negative the media can be in our lives. Lastly, Powered by Girls are films made by or starring teen girls. They are funny, touching and unique. We look forward to doing releasing many more boxes into the retail market and eventually on our own branded Cable VOD channel. Thank you for your question. Here if you need me. Scilla

  • L. waggs
    L. waggs
    11/25/10 12:08 AM

    I'm thinking of this as a gift for a 13 year old boy who is super interested

    in making films - the photography aspect of it. He is hard to chose a gift for as he isn't interested in things most kids his age are into. Which Topic would be best for this situation. I can see him doing this with his cousins (youngest is 11) and other friends his age. Would he need adult help?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/25/10 12:37 AM

    @L. waggs: I have sent Scilla your question. What a great idea for this budding young cinematographer!

  • Scilla
    Scilla – Special Guest
    11/25/10 1:00 AM

    @L. waggs: I have tested FFB on my own kids and lots of kids in my neighborhood and at various schools. They all loved it and still talk about the films like little critics. The best kid friendly versions are Powered by Girls (doesn't sound good for a boy but they are great films made by teen girls or starring teen girls and the content is geared for general audience, male and female. We probably should have called it something else because everyone loves this box. The other boxes that are good for kids are, Fantastical, Comedies and Chillers.

    To sum it up a 13 yr old boy could enjoy Chillers, Comedies, Fantastical & Powered by Girls. If you only want 1 box I would pick Fantastical. If you only want 2 I would get Fantastical and Comedies or Powered by girls. The Chillers is also good. I guess I'm not that helpful. They are all so popular it's hard to pick just 1 or 2. The great thing is to play with the whole family, deliberate and see who wins. Remember there is only 1 winner in each category. Best Picture, Best Overall Performance and Best Original Story. Be sure to share your vote online at www.indieflix.com so the filmmakers can be notified when they win. You can play several times with different people and each time a different outcome.

    Enjoy. Holler if you have any more questions.

    Thank you,

    Scilla

  • Angie S.
    Angie S.
    12/16/10 6:41 PM

    My friends and family are hooked on Film Festival in a Box! It all started when my boyfriend bought me the "Dark Comedies" version for my birthday. We invited a few of our film school buddies over for BBQ and beer and then pigged out and drank while we watched the four short movies on the DVD. That alone was a blast, but then we got to vote on best film, best performance and best story. We all liked different ones, so it was pretty funny coming to a consensus. We went online and voted and we all thought it was very cool that the winners get a cash prize.

    Since we had so much fun, I bought the "Fantastical" version to play with my family at Thanksgiving. Let's put it this way... it was such a hit, I just bought the "Comedy" version for Christmas and everyone is already talking about it and we now have an awesome holiday tradition!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/16/10 6:45 PM

    @Angie S.: That is wonderful. What a great tradition!! Thank you for sharing your how much you have enjoyed this movie experience.

  • Lorelai
    Lorelai
    12/22/10 5:03 PM

    What a great concept! I've watched the Fantastical and Powered By Girls versions with kids (11-15yrs old) I babysit. Both were a hit! Great way to entertain and provoke discussion and debate especially with this age group. Also, I bought the Love Film Festival in a Box to watch with friends. So cute! Looking forward to future Film Festival in a Box versions and in the meantime plan to share the "Love" for Christmas gifts :)

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/22/10 5:08 PM

    @Lorelai: That's great to hear that this age group loves them as well. Thanks for stopping back to let us know!

  • Joan
    Joan
    12/10/11 10:06 AM

    Can you tell me what age group the "Powered by Girls" set is appropriate for?

    Love this- win win for everyone!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/10/11 10:32 AM

    @Joan: We agree! Powered by Girls is suitable for ages 12 and up.

  • Lisa Mansell
    Lisa Mansell
    2/9/12 12:38 AM

    I love this!! I am on the Board of Directors for the Sunscreen Film Festival, which was started by two filmmakers 7 years ago when they realized that even if they made the most amazing indie film on earth, it probably wouldn't be seen by anyone outside their circle of friends. I know you have a ton of films that come your way, but would you be at all interested in seeing this year's best short film, and possibly including it in a future package? It would be a nice prize to give a deserving filmmaker. Earlier fabulous shorts that ran at the festival included "Struck", "Validation," "A More Perfect Yellow", "Picture Perfect" and "Shoes Maketh the Man". * - post was edited to comply with our no outside advertising policy.

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    2/9/12 1:38 PM

    @Lisa Mansell: Kudos to you all for banding together to provide a wonderful venue to showcase Indies talent. We will contact you directly re: submitting short films for consideration.

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    2/9/12 1:37 PM

    @Lisa Mansell: Kudos to you all for banding together to provide a wonderful venue to showcase Indies talent. We will contact you directly re: submitting short films for consideration.

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