And the winners are....

are proud to present...
Both JM Northern Media's Book Winners and DIY Film Fest Winners

Congratulations to all the 2014 DIY Film Fest honorees!  Both Honorable Mentions and the category winners, and all DIY film enthusiasts everywhere, we salute you!

We did a little bit of saluting on Saturday night at the annual Gala festival, which honored both DIY Filmmakers and JM Northern Media's Book Fair contestants (www.diyconvention.com)

We had a handful of filmmakers on hand, and the ones who could not make it sent in clips of themselves, or a thanks in lieu of there being there in person.  Understandable, as we have finalists from Israel, Iran, Ukraine, Uganda and Norway to name a few.

But those who could make it had a great time.  Here's a list of the WINNING ENTRIES and some photographs to go along.  All Honorable Mentions and Winners will get a certificate, and the Winning films will get editing software from our sponsor Pinnacle Editing systems, now a division of Corel Industries.

See the post below for links to the films and filmmakers.
Thanks again and keep the DIY flag flying high!

Directed by Matthew VanDyke

A scene from the gripping documentary, Fest Winner "Not Anymore"

Scene from the dramatic film shot in Aleppo Syria
Shot DIY in Syria during many gun battles
Directed by John Adams and Toby Poser
Knuckle Jack's co-director Toby Poser

Directed by Krista Imbesi (Uganda) 
Documentary about handicapped children in Uganda

Director Keith Reimink
Director of the South Pole Doc Keith Reimink sent a video message
Directed by Gary Null

Director Christine Farina
Tyler Bodamer and Christine Farina (and others)
Directed by Adam Becker

Directed by Chad Withers

Directed by John Adams AND Toby Poser

Best Feature and Best Directed "Knuckle Jack"
Directed by John Adams and Toby Poser

Directed by Casey Puccini

Directed by Gorman Bechard

Directed by Tyler Bodamer
For Anabela

Tyler Bodamer "For Anabela"

Directed by Jennifer Sheridan and Matthew Markham

Directed by Leslie Hope

Directed by Sherese Robinson Lee


Directed by Jeremy Etienne & Julienne Rathore (India/Norway)


Directed by Adi Navon (Israel)

Directed by Elham Sepehrjou (Iran)

Directed by Godefroy Ryckewaert

Directed by H.J. Leonard

Directed by Chris R. Wilson & Zacharia Persson

Zach Persson & Chris Wilson

Scene from Mocumentary "Throng"

Directed by Eric Hayes

Directed by Dan Siegelman

Directed by Vasily Chuprina

Directed by Benjamin Warhit

Directed by Ari Grabb

Directed by Parker Winans

The gala event

Fest Co-founder Rich Martini

Stacy Green & fest co-founder Bruce Haring

Applause for all of you!!!

This year's finalists!

Drum roll please....

Ladies and gentlemen, we at the DIY Film Fest are pleased to announce this year's finalists in the DIY Film Festival... (click on the titles to watch a trailer or view a link)



Director Keith Reimink

Director Christine Farina

Directed by Gary Null


Directed by Matthew VanDyke

Directed by Adam Becker

Directed by Chad Withers


Directed by John Adams and Toby Poser

Directed by John Adams and Toby Poser

Directed by Casey Puccini

Directed by Gorman Bechard


Directed by Jennifer Sheridan and Matthew Markham

Directed by Leslie Hope

Directed by Tyler Bodamer

Directed by Sherese Robinson Lee


Directed by Jeremy Etienne and Julienne Rathore (India/Norway)

Directed by Krista Imbesi (Uganda)


Directed by Adi Navon (Israel)

Directed by Elham Sepehrjou (Iran)

Directed by Mariia Ponomarova (Ukraine)


Directed by Godefroy Ryckewaert

Directed by H.J. Leonard

Directed by Chris R. Wilson and Zacharia Persson


Directed by Dan Siegelman

Directed by Vasily Chuprina

Directed by Eric Hayes

Directed by Benjamin Warhit


Directed by Parker Winans

Directed by Ari Grabb

Congratulations to all of you!!! If your film is not listed, it only reflects the amount of amazing films that come in from across the globe.  It's a victory to finish your film, and we wish all of our entrants the best of luck at getting their films into the marketplace and to be seen around the planet.  These films were absolute standouts in their categories, and we congratulate them all on a job well down.

Our annual gala will be in late March, details to be determined, where the Winning films are announced along with the Honorable Mentions.  Congratulations to all of you!!!!

The DIY Film Fest Team


DIY Film Fest Deadline

Hello!  As the award season heats up, just a reminder that the DIY Film Fest accepts entries up until Feb 15th.. So if you haven't popped it into the mail and were planning to, please do so.

We also accept vimeo or online submissions, but only through withoutabox.  So once you've signed up for submission with them you can send us an email with the link and you're entry number.

The awards and DIY Film Fest banquet will be held in March this year.  Venue to be determined, but it's always a fun adventure.  The finalists will be announced towards the end of February, and if you can make it to the banquet, a good time is always had by all.

2013 winner Thomas Dolby performing the music of his film "Invisible Lighthouse"
Here are some pix from previous banquets:

Last year's winner Thomas Dolby has been touring with his film, and has had amazing response worldwide.  Kudos to him and his live performance of the film and the music last year was amazing.  This year's show promises to be just as interesting.  We have film entries from around the world, and an amazing array of story tellers, who over and over prove that do it yourself filmmaking is the wave of the future.
 2012 winner Cody Blue Snider & Jessie
Filmmakers schmoozing
2013 gala at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood

Thanks again for your submission and we look forward to announcing the finalists and the banquet in March! Break a leg, and keep up the good work and best of luck with your film!!!!


Happy Holidaze!

We at the DIY Film Festival wish y'all a wonderful holiday season. 
DIY Santa

We're getting closer to the deadline for submissions - and we will be announcing the finalists in February for the awards ceremony in March.

First, sit back and congratulate yourself for having finished your film!  Not everyone does that.  Many folks want to start a film and never get around to it.  So you've won that battle.  And now that you've done all that work and have started to submit it to festivals worldwide, also consider the most logical and best ways to market your film, as well as to consider how to distribute your film.

We here at the DIY Film Festival are fans of do it yourself distribution as well.  If you've entered it into festivals and gotten great feedback from friends and the viewing public, all the better. But if you want to find your audience online, there's no better way to do that than doing it yourself.

One method we've seen work is to:

1. Consider creating a method for distribution through Amazon.com - they're the largest online retailer, and posting your film on their website is a logical way to do reach people you never considered reaching.  How to do that? Easy.  Use Createspace.com - they're the aggregator for Amazon, don't charge you anything to create and build your own catalog.  You follow their easy instructions, submit your film in the way required, submit your artwork to their easy to design covers, and within a few days you could be looking at a sample copy of your film.

Once the film is on their site, it automatically becomes linked to Amazon.  Then make sure all your friends check out your film, and if possible get them to write a review of what they thought of the film. It's a way of building interest.

Also, the film automatically is offered as a DVD, as a streaming video and a download on demand. Amazon keeps a percentage of the money collected, but it's worth checking into.

2. Consider putting your film onto itunes.com - another giant retailer.  However, it's a bit harder to do so, as you must go through an aggregator to get them interested in your film.  And the aggregator has to be able to format the film in the way that apple will accept it - and sometimes they will charge money to do so.  However, KinoNation.com offers a simple and easy alternative - they will format and put your film onto all the major outlets, and retain a percentage of what the film earns.

3. Then its up to you to consider how to create public awareness and interest.  That would be offering your film to colleges and universities to review, getting yourself onto radio shows or television outlets, or having public screenings at your local library - which usually cost very little to do.  The only thing preventing the filmmaker from creating their own tsunami of publicity is themselves.  So get to work!

And good luck with all your festival entries, including ours!
Monty Python wants you to have Holiday Fun


Independent Spirit Awards nominees are...

Congrats to all the nominees!

Spirit Awards Nominees Are Announced! Excitement Ensues

Award Season Fever is about to reach epidemic proportions thanks to this morning’s announcement of the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominees. We are excited to reveal that the Best Feature nominees are: 12 Years a Slave, All Is Lost, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska.  (See the full list of nominees in all categories below.)
We’re especially thrilled this year that seven of the nominees are Film Independent Members: Neal Dodson (Producer, All Is Lost); Rose Troche (Producer, Concussion); Troche is also a Film Independent Fellow (Fast Track 2011); Michael H. Weber (Screenwriter, The Spectacular Now); Jill Soloway (Writer/Director, Afternoon Delight); Soloway, too, is a Film Independent Fellow (Screenwriting Lab 2012); Morgan Neville (Director, 20 Feet From Stardom); Julie Goldman (Producer, Gideon’s Army); and Aaron Douglas Johnston (Director, My Sister’s Quinceañera).
Now comes the fun part: the big vote—don’t forget: only Film Independent Members vote; join by December 6 to cast your vote— and, of course, the big show on March 1.

Best Feature
12 Years a Slave, All Is Lost, Francis Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska
Best Director
Shane Carruth, Upstream Color; J.C. Chandor; All Is Lost; Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave; Jeff Nichols, Mud; Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Best Screenplay
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine; Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater Before Midnight; Nicole Holofcener Enough Said; Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Spectacular Now; John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Best First Feature
Blue Caprice, Director/Producer: Alexandre Moors; Producers: Kim Jackson, Brian O’Carroll, Isen Robbins, Will Rowbotham, Ron Simons, Aimee Schoof, Stephen Tedeschi; Concussion, Director: Stacie Passon, Producer: Rose Troche; Fruitvale Station, Director: Ryan Coogler; Producers: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker; Una Noche, Director/Producer: Lucy Mulloy, Producers: Sandy Pérez Aguila, Maite Artieda, Daniel Mulloy, Yunior Santiago; Wadjda, Director: Haifaa Al Mansour, Producers: Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul
Best First Screenplay
Lake Bell, In A World; Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon; Bob Nelson, Nebraska; Jill Soloway, Afternoon Delight; Michael Starrbury, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete
John Cassavetes Award (best feature made for under $500,000)
Computer Chess, Writer/Director: Andrew Bujalski, Producers: Houston King & Alex Lipschultz; Crystal Fairy, Writer/Director: Sebastiàn Silva, Producers: Juan de Dios Larraín & Pablo Larraín; Museum Hours, Writer/Director: Jem Cohen, Producers: Paolo Calamita & Gabriele Kranzelbinder; Pit Stop, Writer/Director: Yen Tan, Writer: David Lowery, Producers: Jonathan Duffy, James M. Johnston, Eric Steele, Kelly Williams; This is Martin Bonner, Writer/Director: Chad Hartigan, Producer: Cherie Saulter
Best Female Lead
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine; Julie Delpy, Before Midnight; Gaby Hoffmann, Crystal Fairy; Brie Larson, Short Term 12; Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now
Best Male Lead
Bruce Dern, Nebraska; Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave; Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis; Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station; Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club; Robert Redford, All Is Lost
Best Supporting Female
Melonie Diaz, Fruitvale Station; Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine; Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave; Yolonda Ross, Go For Sisters; June Squibb, Nebraska 
Best Supporting Male
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave; Will Forte, Nebraska; James Gandolfini, Enough Said; Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club; Keith Stanfield, Short Term 12
Best Cinematography
Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave; Benoit Debie, Spring Breakers; Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis; Frank G. DeMarco, All Is Lost; Matthias Grunsky, Computer Chess
Best Editing
Shane Carruth & David Lowery, Upstream Color; Jem Cohen & Marc Vives, Museum Hours; Jennifer Lame, Frances Ha; Cindy Lee, Una Noche; Nat Sanders, Short Term 12
Best Documentary
20 Feet From Stardom, Director/Producer: Morgan Neville, Producers: Gil Friesen & Caitrin Rogers; After Tiller, Directors/Producers: Martha Shane & Lana Wilson; Gideon’s Army, Diretor/Producer: Dawn Porter, Producer: Julie Goldman; The Act of Killing, Director/Producer: Joshua Oppenheimer, Producers: Joram Ten Brink, Christine Cynn, Anne Köhncke, Signe Byrge Sørensen, Michael Uwemedimo, The Square, Director: Jehane Noujaim, Producer: Karim Amer
Best International Film
A Touch of Sin, (China), Director: Jia Zhang-Ke; Blue is the Warmest Color, (France), Director: Abdellatif Kechiche; Gloria, (Chile), Director: Sebastián Lelio; The Great Beauty, (Italy), Director: Paolo Sorrentino; The Hunt, (Denmark), Director: Thomas Vinterberg
17th Annual Piaget Producers Award
Toby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston, Jacob Jaffke, Andrea Roa, Frederick Thornton
20th Annual Someone To Watch Award
My Sister’s Quinceañera, Director: Aaron Douglas Johnston; Newlyweeds, Director: Shaka King; The Foxy Merkins, Director: Madeline Olnek
19th Annual Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award
Kalyanee Mam, A River Changes Course; Jason Osder, Let the Fire Burn; Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, Manakamana
Robert Altman Award
Mud, Director: Jeff Nichols, Casting Director: Francine Maisler, Ensemble Cast:  Joe Don Baker, Jacob Lofland, Matthew McConaughey, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Tye Sheridan, Paul Sparks, Bonnie Sturdivant, Reese Witherspoon


Tis the Season for Critical Darlings

It's moving into that time of the year when people start voting for their favorite Independent film or filmmaker.... highlighting those films that for whatever reason, were able to go from dream to reality.

The Independent Spirit Awards will announce their nominees in a few days, Criticwire has announced their favorites.  It appears there's a wonderful batch of films out there in the world - and many of the filmmakers are moving from independent films to Hollywood films, and back again.  We at the DIY Film Festival are happy to tout and highlight those who pursue filmmaking with a passion, whatever their budget.

But just as an incentive;

Jennifer Lawrence of "Catching Fire" was only 3 years ago, and independent darling in the indie film "Winter's Bone." Budget was 2 million.

David O Russell, director of "Three King's" and "Silver Lining's Playbook"'s first film "Spanking the Monkey" was made for $200K.

Richard Linklater, director of "Before Midnight" first film "Slackers" was shot for 23K.

The point is - you've finished your first film, or your second film, and you've found the right genre for your work, whether it's comedy, drama, horror, thriller, etc.  And you've made your short film and gotten rave reviews and great audience reaction for it.  It's your best calling card for your career.  Take a similar screenplay or book around with your short film and submit it to an agent or producer through an attorney or agent if possible.  The worst they can do is say "yes" and then you'll have to make the film.  But barring that, let people know you're going to make the film with or without them - and offer them the chance to make it with you.

We're getting in some amazing films from filmmakers across the globe - from as far away as New Zealand, on topics from the future of the planet, to the future of a relationship.  Excellent work filmmakers!  "And may the odds ever be in your favor!"

Criticwire Members' List of Highest Ranked 2013 Indie Movies Adds 'Nebraska' and 'The Great Beauty'

According to the nearly 500 critics listed in Indiewire's Criticwire Network, there are over 70 indie films that have been released in theaters or on digital platforms this year worth checking out. Of course, 2013 still has a few more months to go. The following list, updated on a weekly basis, contains all films released in 2013 that currently hold a B+ average or higher on Criticwire as long as they have been graded by at least 15 critics. 
You can also browse a list of the top-rated documentaries released in 2013 here
Cannes can be a tough crowd. Just ask the two films that join the ranks of Best Reviewed Indies of 2013 this week.
Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" and Paolo Sorrentino's "The Great Beauty" both made their debuts in France back in May, both receiving tepid acclaim. Reviews and overall response were somewhat underwhelming against the backdrop of "Blue is the Warmest Color," "Behind the Candelabra" and "Inside Llewyn Davis." In fact, neither film was able to crack the Best Feature top 10 in our festival-end poll
Fast forward to the New York Film Festival last month, where "Nebraska" experienced an influx of support from stateside audiences. Along with Sorrentino's latest, other advanced screenings have netted them both a "B+" average, good enough to put them alongside some of the best from around the world in 2013. 
Payne's latest is drawing specific attention for its contemplative sense of humor, anchored by two strong performances from Bruce Dern and June Squibb. Meanwhile, the Playlist's review of "The Great Beauty" compared the lavish excess of its many party scenes to the work of another Italian director, Federico Fellini. Both films are now available for viewing in limited release, with expansions planned as the month of November progresses.
Because critics can grade films at their leisure, all averages are subject to change; this list will grow or shrink on a regular basis to reflect fluctuating averages and new releases. The list is ordered in terms of letter grades first, followed by the number of grades a film has received. Duplicate numbers reflect ties in volume of grades and totals in italics reflect changes from the last update.

Head to a film page to browse reviews and other information pertaining to each film. For more rankings, check out the top documentaries of 2013 and the top foreign language films of 2013.

1. Before Midnight (Film Page), directed by Richard Linklater (2013 Sundance Film Festival; June 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A (108 grades)
2. The Act of Killing (Film Page), directed by Joshua Oppenheimer (2012 Telluride Film Festival; July 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: (48 grades)
3. Upstream Color (Film Page), directed by Shane Carruth (2013 Sundance Film Festival; April 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (93 grades)
4. Frances Ha (Film Page), directed by Noah Baumbach (2012 Toronto International Film Festival; May 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (89 grades)
5. Stories We Tell (Film Page), directed by Sarah Polley (2012 Venice Film Festival; May 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (64 grades)
6. 12 Years a Slave (Film Page), directed by Steve McQueen (2013 Telluride Film Festival; October 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (61 grades)
7. No (Film Page), directed by Pablo Larraín (2012 Cannes Film Festival; February 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (60 grades)
8. Blue Is the Warmest Color (Film Page), directed by Abdellatif Kechiche (2013 Cannes Film Festival; October 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (56 grades)
9. Fruitvale Station (Film Page), directed by Ryan Coogler (2013 Sundance Film Festival; July 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (55 grades)
10. Blue Jasmine (Film Page), directed by Woody Allen (June 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (52 grades)