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Last Call for American Indie Features in Post to Find Finishing Funds

by Sydney Levine
August 21, 2011 2:30 AM
  • |

November 17 - 19, 2011

Last chance to submit your rough cut to Gotham in Progress

After the feedback during Toronto, The American Film Festival decided to extend the deadline for submissions to Gotham in Progress at the 2. American Film Festival in Wrocław until 1 October 2011. You can find the submission form here.

Gotham in Progress is an amazing opportunity for ALL U.S. indie filmmakers completing their features to catch attention of European buyers. Some of the companies confirmed for the event already are: Le Pacte (France), Haut et Court (France), Indie Circle (Europe), Artificial Eye (UK) and Scanbox (Scandinavia).

We also have one more sponsor: a leading French company Mac’Tari offered sound mix services amounting to 10 000€ for the winning project.

More info

Don’t miss this opportunity! Once the film is finished you can submit it for Sundance; it is eligible!

I know it's called "Gotham", but that's a misnomer. This is a call that every U.S. independent filmmaker with a work in rough cut should heed! Gotham in Progress is an industry event in Poland, presenting U.S. indie films in post-production to European buyers in order to foster the circulation and distribution of American films marked by the stamp of singularity and independence in Europe. This is an easy way to go international and 70% of the market is international! 30% of that comes from Europe just as U.S. holds a 30% market share.

The dominant position of American majors and their subsidiaries in all European markets is a reality that cannot be ignored. According to the European Audiovisual Observatory, the European market share of American movies fluctuates between 60 and 90%, depending on the country. Usually, studio-produced movies (blockbusters/big budget films), which give an entertaining but also a formulated and unilateral vision of the United States, have their own channels of distribution. Outside this studio-driven system, however, the picture is very different. Indeed, the vibrant independent film scene, mostly based in New York and Los Angeles, is left pretty much to its own devices when it comes to distribution. The traditional route towards distribution is to hope to be noticed during a major film festival and to be “picked up.”

As a result, each year, hundreds of quality indie films made in the United States by passionate filmmakers and producers, who believe that they have something different to show and say, vie for these top festivals. For these producers, the process is long, hard, and costly. Unlike their European, Canadian and Latin-American colleagues who get public funding for their films, American producers do not. They have to invest their own money, look for equity and other sources, to finance their films. Unsurprisingly, after completion, only 1% of those independent movies will achieve domestic distribution (Box Office Mojo Annual Publication). The number finding distribution abroad is even more dismal. This situation does not have to be this way!

Rethinking Strategies

Most independent movies and their producers lack an international strategy, which requires a good knowledge of the European market and its key players in terms of sales and distribution. This failing works the other way around as well: most European sales agents and distributors simply are not aware of the existence of these indie movies and do not know how to look outside of the main markets and festivals. Thus, very few American indie movies find their way to European audiences, even though there is a large artistic and cultural appetite for them.

Gotham in Progress' call for entries for new U.S. indie films at rough cut stage is on!
Submission deadline : September 15 2011

Gotham in Progress is an industry event presenting U.S. indie films in post-production to European buyers in order to foster the circulation and distribution of American films marked by the stamp of singularity and independence in Europe.

Gotham in Progress 2011 will screen on November 17-19 2011 in Wroclaw/Poland 5 films at rough cut stage to around 25 top European buyers (screenings behind closed doors only opened to accredited professionals). Among them : Le Pacte (France), Artificial Eye (UK), Celluloid Dreams (France), Prokino (Germany), Scanbox (Scandinavia), Haut et Court (France), Indie Circle (France, Italie, Belgium, Switzerland), Lumière (Belgium), Gutek (Poland), Arthaus (Norway).... These screenings are not considered as world premieres because they're part of a professional event.

The filmmakers of the selected works will be invited to Wroclaw to present their movie (travel & accommodation expenses covered by Gotham in Progress).

A jury will award one of the movies which will get free subtitling by Belgian post-production facility Studio L’Equipe and a free digital master (DCP) by Belgian Lab XDC (around 10 000€ in kind). Other services (sound services, opening and closing credits services...) are in negotiation.

The application requirements for the films are the following:
• Narrative only (no documentaries)
• Expected duration minimum 60 minutes (feature length)
• At least one production company needs to be U.S.-based.
• Films looking for completion money, sales agent or European distribution.
• At least 30 min of the film edited and to reach feature format by November 1st (rough cuts)
• Only one film in post-production per Production Company can be submitted.

For more information :
Ula Śniegowska, Programming
Email: ula AT
American Film Festival

Adeline Monzier
Black Rabbit Film
Email: adeline AT
Tel: +33 6 07 65 70 40 / +1 646 422 9348
Skype : adeline.monzier

Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    


  • belinda | August 17, 2011 6:49 AMReply

    I am a new author, Will you please read my book."MY LITTLE SECRETS" author Belinda Davis,MY book is about the south and it make me think about the movie COLOR PURPLE and I know my book will make a great movie Belinda!

  • SydneyLevine | August 15, 2011 2:15 AMReply

    I wrote it along with the American Film Festival writers. My opinions are my own and IndieWIRE is not a censor for anyone's opinions.

    Thanks for reading SydneysBuzz. Hope you like other articles more.

  • SydneyLevine | August 15, 2011 2:14 AMReply

    Who said you had it easy? It is NEVER easy. Sweeping statement: U.S. filmmakers get no public funding. True, except ITVS, Latino Broadcasting, NEA are some government funding bodies for films, but those are minimal and exceptions that prove the rule. Thanks for reading my blog. I really appreciate it!

    And crowdfunding is a great entrepreneurial endeavor. It is good for honing in on the audience for your project as well. Every filmmaker should know about it!

  • me | August 14, 2011 5:58 AMReply

    ? who wrote this article and why would anyone from indiewire let you publish it?

  • K Stief | August 14, 2011 4:43 AMReply

    "Unlike their European, Canadian and Latin-American colleagues who get public funding for their films, American producers do not." What a generalized sweeping statement aka bullshit! I'm in Canada and there are plenty who have to seek money elsewhere and I know of one filmmaker in Scotland who resorted to crowdfunding for completion funds of his feature. We don't have it easy either!

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