Sponsored by the Aruba Tourism Authority and located on one of the most exotic tourist destinations in the Caribbean, the Aruba International Film Festival (AIFF) is the industry's must-attend event this October. Described as “a breezy, relaxed affair” by The Hollywood Reporter and “one helluva journey” by Ain’t It Cool News, the AIFF is an annual gateway between Europe and the Americas, bringing together filmmakers, international press and film enthusiasts from around the globe. The festival has become known for developing long-lasting relationships between Aruba and the international film community, while raising public awareness for Aruban culture and promoting regional filmmakers and productions.
Over its past four editions, the AIFF has welcomed a number of high-profile film talent to Aruba. Visiting filmmakers and patrons are given rare access to unique and exciting value-add industry events, such as master classes, “in conversation with” talks, and panel discussions with such notable industry names as:
• Oscar winning director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia)
• Oscar-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker (The Wolf of Wall Street, Hugo)
• Oscar-nominated actress Virginia Madsen (Candyman, Sideways)
• Dutch film director Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Total Recall)
• Hollywood film producer Randall Emmett (2 Guns, Lone Survivor)
• Stunt coordinator/actress/producer Zoë Bell (Kill Bill, Raze)
• Cuban-American actor Steven Bauer (Scarface, Traffic)
• Actor/musician Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson (Escape Plan, All Things Fall Apart)
• Costume designer Michael Kaplan (Star Trek Into Darkness, Fight Club)
Hosted by the state-of-the-art Caribbean Cinemas at the Palm Beach Plaza Mall, the AIFF always offers its guests a well-balanced program of high-quality narrative features, documentaries and shorts selected from a diverse international pool. The AIFF program exhibits films in the following categories:
• International Features (narratives)
• International Shorts (narratives)
• Doxnfocus (documentaries)
• Caribbean Spotlight Series (Caribbean shorts and features)
• Aruba Flavor (locally produced shorts)
Films selected for the AIFF program will compete for audience and jury awards and have the opportunity to receive press coverage from top media outlets such as BBC Europe, Film Journal International, Screen Daily, Fest 21, Empire Magazine, HBO Latino and the Huffington Post. Filmmakers of each selected film will receive two all-access passes to the festival plus discounted rates on hotel accommodations and other island-wide recreational activities.
This year, the AIFF will be introducing its inaugural International Film Market Aruba (IFMA), one of the first of its kind in the Caribbean region. Visiting actors, directors, writers and producers from all over the world will have the opportunity to revel in the sheer beauty and hospitality of our island, while pitching and selling their films to international agents and distributors in a relaxed, conference-style atmosphere. Market participants will also have the opportunity to maximize their film's exposure by arranging special industry screenings for their peers and the visiting press. It’s the perfect balance of “work and play”. All films submitted through FilmFreeway for the program categories will automatically be entered into the IFMA film market, and will be able to enjoy the following benefits:
• Discounted "Market Pass" to the festival, giving you access to the film market, all of the film screenings and industry events, filmmaker lounge, parties, and award ceremony
• Discounted hotel accommodations
• One-on-one meetings with attending film buyers and sales agents
• Ability to schedule industry-only screenings of your film for buyers, agents, and press
• Listing in the IFMA market catalog for easy access
For more information, visit: http://www.aiff.aw/market
As part of its dedication to promoting local and regional filmmaking talent, the AIFF established its Caribbean Spotlight Series. In the past, this series has screened the great work of filmmakers from Aruba, Venezuela, Curaçao, Colombia, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Virgin Islands, Haiti, Mexico, Cuba, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Be sure to join us on the "One Happy Island" from October 7-11 for the 5th annual Aruba International Film Festival!
Thank you for submitting and good luck!
• Jury Award for Best International Feature
• Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature (Doxnfocus)
• Jury Award for Best International Short
• Jury Award for Best Caribbean Spotlight Series Feature
• Jury Award for Best Aruba Flavor Film
• Audience Award for Best Caribbean Spotlight Series Feature
• Audience Award for Best Aruba Flavor Film
SUBMITTING TO THE AIFF FILM PROGRAM AND IFMA MARKET:
• The AIFF typically does not offer screening fees for its films. By submitting through FilmFreeway you are agreeing to NOT request a screening fee as a requirement for your film's participation in the festival, should your film get selected for the program.
• Since the AIFF only requires a nominal entry fee, we will NOT accept requests for entry fee waivers.
• ONLY films produced on January 1, 2013 or later are allowed to enter.
• ONLY secure online screeners (password-protected Vimeo or YouTube links are accepted for review!) Please do NOT send screener DVD’s unless requested to do so. Due to variations in internet connectivity, we ask that all entrants PLEASE ENABLE the “Download” OPTION on their Vimeo/YouTube links so that the selection committee can review the entry without having to rely on their internet connection. You may be contacted separately via email after you have submitted for the downloadable link and password.
• By submitting to the AIFF film program, you are also consenting to having your film participate in the IFMA film market at no additional cost. Please notify us at the end of your submission process if you do not wish to have your film in the film market.
• Films previously submitted to the AIFF will not be considered.
• Considering there will be international press at the festival, we PREFER films that are having their world, international or regional premiere in Aruba; especially the local films that are being considered for the Aruba Flavor category of the AIFF.
• Acceptable genres are narrative fiction, documentary, or animation, made of an original and non-pornographic topic. Instructional films, industrials, wedding videos, music videos and corporate promotional videos are not appropriate for submission.
• Please submit to the category that best suits your film (narrative features in International Features category, documentary features in the Doxnfocus category, all short docs and narratives in the International Shorts category, Caribbean-produced or themed feature films in the Caribbean Spotlight Series category, etc.)
• For Caribbean Spotlight Series entries, we only accept films based in the Caribbean, or films produced by Caribbean filmmakers. The Caribbean is defined here as: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saba, Saint Barts, Saint Eustatius, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Maarten, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands. Non-Caribbean filmmakers are welcome to submit only if their film’s topic is directly relevant to the above-mentioned Caribbean nations. Productions from continental countries (Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela) with islands in the Caribbean are also eligible, as are those continental countries with Indo-Caribbean roots (such as Suriname).
• Film entries are accepted from any country and in any language. Films not originally in English MUST contain English subtitles.
• While we do accept short films up to 20 minutes, historically, films between 10-15 minutes or less have had greater successes with being programmed at the AIFF.
• Entries may not have been publicly screened or broadcast in Aruba prior to the 2015 festival dates, but exceptions might be made on a case-by-case basis at the sole discretion of the AIFF programming team.
• Works in progress (with most of the film complete) are accepted for film program review purposes and for the film market. If selected for the program, the final version must be ready in time for the exhibition. Filmmakers must have a final copy of their film available for screening on or before September 15, 2015.
• Submission period ends on August 15, 2015. Films submitted will be notified of their selection status by August 22, 2015.
• Films accepted to screen at the festival will be categorized in competitive and non-competitive categories at the sole discretion of the AIFF programming team.
• By submitting their entry, the entrant guarantees that they have obtained all necessary rights and clearances, and that they have legal right to publicly screen and enter their film at the Aruba International Film Festival. The entrant also agrees will hold the AIFF harmless from any legal actions taken against the entrant, should the necessary rights.
• By submitting their entry, the entrant consents to having sections of their film used for AIFF promotional purposes, both before and after the festival.
• By submitting their entry via FilmFreeway, the entrant consents to having their film participate in the AIFF’s International Film Market Aruba (IFMA), with the opportunity to sell their film to visiting distributors and sales agents.
• Filmmakers whose films are not chosen for the AIFF program will have the opportunity to have their film participate in the AIFF’s International Film Market Aruba (IFMA), and will be eligible to purchase a heavily discounted all access pass to the festival.
• After submission, films may not be removed from festival participation. However, certain films may, on a case-by-case basis, be disqualified at the sole discretion of the AIFF programming team.
• Entry fees to the AIFF will NOT be refunded.
SELECTION, SHIPPING & EXHIBITION:
• For selected program films and IFMA market participants, entrants must ship their film on a region-free Bluray disc or an industry-standard “unlocked” DCP file (without KDM) on a properly formatted USB hard drive. These are the ONLY two formats accepted for exhibition at the AIFF. No DVD’s are accepted for exhibition.
• Digital files (ProRes .mov, .mp4, etc.) may be accepted on a case-by-case basis at the sole discretion of the AIFF programming team. All digital files would need to be sent via file transfer service (such as Dropbox) and will be converted by AIFF technical staff for exhibition via Bluray. All digital files will remain in the AIFF archives and will not be destroyed.
• Exhibition copies must also contain embedded English subtitles. All costs associated with the subtitling of a film shall be the sole responsibility of the producers of that film.
• Filmmakers of selected films will be contacted for their electronic press kits, trailers, and printed marketing material (posters, postcards, etc), and will be sent an “AIFF Official Selection” laurel for their marketing purposes.
• The exhibition format and marketing material must arrive at the AIFF office no later than September 15, 2015. If you are unable to do so, please notify the AIFF as soon as possible, but no later than September 8, 2015.
• The cost of shipping exhibition and marketing materials to the AIFF office will be paid by the film’s producer. All films being sent from outside the United States must be sent to the AIFF office with all transportation charges, duties and taxes prepaid by shipper.
• All shipments must be labeled as “non commercial” or “for cultural purposes only”.
• AIFF will not handle customs clearances. Please be sure to include all of the proper customs documentation (invoices, etc.) required by your shipping service.
• AIFF will not cover return shipping to the address designated as the Print Source, or to another festival or destination within the continental United States via ground shipping. AIFF cannot cover shipping, or ship US films to an address outside the United States.
• The AIFF is not responsible for damage or loss of submission or exhibition materials en route to the festival. Please package materials appropriately. Do not send Blurays in fiber filled envelopes. The fibers threaten the lives of your media and our machines.
• All entries will be insured against damage or loss while participating in the AIFF, although the AIFF will not assume responsibility for damage to originals, special prints or masters. Please do not send originals, special prints or masters. Our objective is to show your work in the way you intend it to be shown. Please let us know exactly what you have in mind and we will be happy to work with you in an effort to achieve your presentation goals.
• Marketing material such as movie posters, postcards and banners must be shipped to the AIFF office at the producer’s expense. These will remain in the AIFF archives and will not be returned to the film’s producer.
• The AIFF programming may, on a case-by-case basis, invite certain selected films to participate at special private or public screenings after the festival dates. These filmmakers will be notified in advance of these events. Screening fees may be provided for these screenings.
• For IFMA market participants interested in organizing industry-only screenings of their films, they will have the opportunity to rent a theatre screen for a nominal fee. Please contact the festival office for more details.
The AIFF will provide each selected film with two all access passes (valued at $250), but does not cover cost of airfare and accommodations. If your film is selected, we would prefer to have you present at the festival, so we hope to give you enough advance notice in order for you to make the necessary travel arrangements.
Please confer with the AIFF office should you decide to attend. It is understandably difficult for filmmakers to cover all of their travel expenses, so rest assured that we will try to assist you with finding the best deals. For those filmmakers shouldering most of their travel expenses, there may be opportunities for subsidy. We promise to do our best to help get you to Aruba!