Amazon’s Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is continuing to enhance its offerings on Withoutabox, the submission service for film festivals and filmmakers. Being a film festival juror just got a whole lot easier.
Since 2001, Withoutabox has logged nearly 3 million fest submissions. At any one time hundreds of global festivals from Austin to Toronto are active on the platform.
Now IMDb is adding to the Amazon Appstore a Withoutabox free Amazon Fire TV app that will enhance the viewing and rating of Withoutabox film festivals submissions. As of Wednesday, film festival programmers and judges can easily view and rate films submitted through Withoutabox on any HDTV— in full HD resolution.
The Amazon Fire TV app is easy to set up, and once programmers and judges are within the app, they can see what’s in their queue to watch and rate. Now they can watch a movie on their home TV and take notes on a laptop, points out Col Needham, IMDb’s founder and CEO. “This brand new app will transform viewing and rating films for festival programmers,” he said. “It’s the first dedicated app created specifically for them. Now you can watch films in full resolution on any HD Amazon Fire TV system. The benefit is that from the festival programmers and judges’ perspective, it’s a simple interface, a native app experience. You can view films with a remote control from the comfort of your chair.”
When film festival judges log into the Withoutabox Fire TV app, they see a list of films assigned to them to view in HD and they can enter ratings and keep tabs on which submissions they have not yet rated. Festival programmers can also enter recommendations and ratings for these films directly in the app. Any information entered on the app will automatically sync with the festival’s main judging platform on Withoutabox to allow administrators and programmers to track judging progress in real-time. Filmmakers can choose to upload their films directly to the app or via vimeo links.
The exclusive online submissions system for the Sundance Film Festival since 2008, Withoutabox took feedback from Sundance as IMDb improves its WAB festival tools. Now any Withoutabox festival can use the app, which IMDb built for Fire TV because it’s an open platform, according to Needham. They will eventually extend it to other platforms.
“Withoutabox’s release of their Amazon Fire TV app is a game-changer for festivals,” said Adam Montgomery, Sundance Film Festival Senior Manager. “One side effect of the transition to digital uploads for festival submissions was that it really limited the viewing experience for programmers to small screens. To pour your heart and soul into an independent film only to have festival programmers watch it on a laptop has always been a huge concern for our applicants. Thanks to Withoutabox’s new app, we can easily scroll through digital submissions and view them on larger screens in full HD quality, which is more in line with how filmmakers want us to experience their work.”
“The Withoutabox Festival Judging App makes evaluating festival films easier, more streamlined and actually more fun,” says Austin Film Festival’s Harrison Glaser. “Withoutabox’s new app makes watching submissions as simple as sitting down in my living room to watch a movie.”