Thinking 'Withoutabox'

Online submission service a biz 'network'

Despite barriers of distance and language, filmmakers showcasing their cinematic creations through the Festival de Cannes' Short Film Corner were able to navigate the registration process entirely online this year.

Through a new alliance the film market formed with Withoutabox -- the online media company that helps independents distribute and monetize their films through its Internet-based network and services -- entrants could submit their short film using Withoutabox's Filmsubmission service.

Conversely, Cannes organizers can use Withoutabox's services to track, manage and program the Short Film Corner, a venue established in 2004 for short filmmakers to screen and market their films.

"Rather than a social network, what we've created is a business network, a place for buyers and sellers and right owners to convene," Withoutabox CEO and co-founder David Straus said. "The integration of these tools allow an organization or filmmaker to have information come in from one end, use it, and then have it appear at the other end for buyers and the film community at large."

Such details as synopsis, cast and crew information and genre are transmitted upon submission into press materials and individual Web sites for each filmmaker to update with photos, trailers and video about their film.

For filmmakers Sara Bavar and Tiffany Shlain, Withoutabox has served as a lifeline not only to Cannes but potential audiences.

"It totally cuts out the middle man," said Bavar, whose documentary "Generation Tehran" will screen at Cannes. "It allows me to do all the marketing between myself and the festival, to build my fan base and know that before I even get out there people are anticipating my film."
Shlain has used Withoutabox's Filmsubmission service to enter about 50 film festivals from Tribeca to Rotterdam.