Film Festivals: Positive Reviews & Deserved Boos: Pt. 35 – Et Cultura and Molins Horror Film Festivals

Film Festivals: Positive Reviews & Deserved Boos


Film Festivals: Positive Reviews & Deserved Boos: Pt. 35 – Et Cultura and Molins Horror Film Festivals

Article by Justin Bowler

The past two weeks have been R-O-U-G-H, ROUGH! Don’t believe me, check out week 33 and week 34 below.

Week 33 – This is RICH.


But, now it’s a new week and YAY! Look at all of this AWESOMENESS!!!!

For those of you who don’t know, this is an ongoing review series about my film festival submission experience. These festival reviews are NOT BASED ON WHETHER OR NOT I WAS ACCEPTED TO THEIR FESTIVAL, it is based merely on my interaction with them as a filmmaker inquiring about their festival and if my genre film is the right fit. I send them three questions, and they are “Yes or No”. It’s pretty easy. Yet, for some reason, some fests, despite multiple inquiries, can’t/don’t/won’t respond.

Submit your film

Filmmakers submit their films online to festivals. They can pay upwards of $100 just to be considered. Yet, they never get confirmation that their film was actually watched. They never speak with anyone from the fest. They don’t know who is judging the film. It could be someone well versed in cinematic theory, who has studied film for years, dissected scenes for hidden nuances, and has a few degrees in writing, film studies and art. OR it could be some random guy who “really likes” going to movies, sees a lot of Hollywood blockbusters, and has opinions on which Transformers movie is the best of Michael Bay’s work. Sadly, filmmakers are forced to “trust the system”. It can be very sketchy. Some festivals take the time to make sure it isn’t, whereas others just don’t want and/or care to make it otherwise.

Official Rejection

Check out my friend Paul Osborne’s documentary Official Rejection. It will give you some real insight into how unfriendly some fests are to filmmakers. Sadly, it will blow your mind. Some fests only watch the first few minutes of your film, some don’t watch any of your film. Yet, they all accept your submission fee. It is an eye opening and sad realization.

Let me set the scene. I have a short film called OH, THE EFFING HORROR. (That’s right, the title is meant to be shouted.) Check out the trailer HERE.

Oh, the Effing HorrorClearly, it is a genre picture. It’s a horror/comedy, or “Horr-omedy”. In addition to the gore and general subject matter, it contains nudity. Finally, with a run time of almost seventeen minutes, it may be too long for some festivals to program. All three of these points give rise to questions I have for festivals.
– First, do they program horror films? (The majority of the fests out there are NOT horror fests, so I would like to know if they even consider the genre in their short film competition.)
– Second, do they accept films with nudity? (Plenty of festivals have to keep it family friendly. I don’t have a problem with that, but, I would like to know that before I shell out my $45.)
– Third, is a seventeen minute run time too long? (Many fests have time limits for their shorts, but don’t always post that info on or (For you newcomers, these are the two websites used for the majority of festival submissions.)

My journey began by contacting festivals through the informational email they listed on (and in some cases Withoutabox). In my email, I stated who I was, the answers I was seeking and inquired who could answer. Typically, I was referred to the Artistic Director or Programming Director.

Molins Horror Film Festival

Molins Horror Film Festival
Submission Price – Up to $33

I originally contacted the festival email listed on on 3/7. I got an immediate response from the festival, giving me the name and email of the Artistic Director.

Yes, Miquel Pastor…. ********

Enviat des del meu iPhone

So, on 3/10, I sent my questions off to Miquel and got an immediate response from Miquel.

Hi Justin,

Yes, no problem with the length or nudity as long is a horror short.

Having said that, we only accept submissions through our online platforms (Filmfreeway and Festhome).

Good luck


Enviat des del meu iPhone

I’m guessing his brevity was due to the language barrier, but, he gave me the info I needed none the less. In addition, he responded to me immediately. So, I submitted, confident that this festival is on the up and up.

Molins Horror film Festival gets a Positive review for filmmaker friendliness. Submit to this festival with confidence.

et cultura

Et Cultura
Submission Price – Up to $15

I originally contacted the festival email listed on on 3/7. I got a response from the festival the following day, giving me the name and email of who I should talk to.

HI Justin

Thank you for contacting Et Cultura.
I am copying Joel Malizia, Director of Development and our lead on the Film portion of Et Cultura.

Hope you two can connect.
Lea Umberger

Before I could contact him specifically, he contacted me.

Hello Justin!
Glad to hear from you.  Give me a call when you have a chance to talk.
Talk with you soon!

So, I sent my questions off to Joel. Two days later he got back to me, and apologized for taking so long (so far, I love these guys).

Sorry for the delayed response.  We are in Austin at SXSW until the 22nd and our schedules are packed.  

See below:
Will I be ineligible based on the genre?
Is your festival against nudity? (I have two versions of my film, one with a topless shot and one without.)
Not against Nudity.  We love great films however they come/arrive.
Realistically, do you program 17 minute shorts?
How filmmaker friendly is your festival? Can you give me an example?
Our number one priority at Et Cultura is to make sure that all films are screened with the utmost respect and the filmmakers leave the festival feeling respected.  We have partnered witn a World Class AV company, Molecular Media (, that provides our festival with the best projectors, screens, lighting, audio, etc. available.  Beautiful images with huge theater sound and zero technical issues.  They are incredible.
We love it when filmmakers/industry people are able to join us during the screenings. 

Thanks for reaching out and i hope to talk with you soon.

Like I said, I love these guys! I immediately submitted.

el cutura gets a Positive review for filmmaker friendliness. Submit to this festival with confidence.

Isn’t it nice to see some great fests with great people running it?

If you would like to know more, check out the past articles for this series with the links below. They are not all like this week. If you would like to find out more info about my genre film, follow it on Instagram @OhTheEffingHorror for instant updates.

Once again, I’d like to hear your stories about festival submitting. If you think there is more to be said about any of the festivals I have reviewed, then I would love to hear it.

Thanks for joining me, check back Friday to find which fests are fab and which fests are effed. (See what I did there?)

Justin Bowler
IG @IndyFilmTwittic and @OhTheEffingHorror
Twitter @JustinTBowler

Read More of Justin Friday Film Festival Friendliness reviews:
PART THIRTY-FOUR – Woodstock Film Festival Follow-Up
PART THIRTY-THREE – Catalina, Woodstock Film Festivals & Artists Forum Festival of the Moving Image
PART THIRTY-TWO – Killer Valley Horror, Los Angeles Reel & Halloween International Film Festivals
PART THIRTY-ONE – Sidewalk, Nightmares and HorrorHaus Film Festivals
PART THIRTY – Austin, Monmouth & Atlanta Horror Film Festivals
PART TWENTY-NINE – Cinema at the Edge, Amsterdam International Filmmaker Festival & London Independent and Los Angeles Thriller Film Festivals
PART TWENTY-EIGHT – Crested Butte, NEPA Horror and Norwich Film Festivals
PART TWENTY-SEVEN.5 – Breckenridge Film Festival Follow-Up
PART TWENTY-SEVEN – Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival, Idaho Horror and Kansas City Film Festivals
PART TWENTY-SIX – Sick ‘N’ Wrong, Woods Hole & CayFilm International Film Festivals
PART TWENTY-FIVE – Overlook, Milledgeville and Provincetown Film Festivals
PART TWENTY-FOUR – Breckenridge Film Festival
PART TWENTY-THREE – Indie Horror, FAMEUS Int’l & Atlanta Underground Film Festivals
PART TWENTY-TWO – Brooklyn Short Film, Buddha Int’l & Sun Valley Film Festivals
PART TWENTY-ONE – Festival Reviews REVIEW!
PART TWENTY – Lake George Film Festival and Lisbon, NY State & Illinios Int’l Film Festivals
PART NINETEEN – Hoboken Int’l, NYC Downtown & Love Horror Short Film Festivals
PART EIGHTEEN – West Chester, Oaxaca and Crimson Screen Horror Film Fests
PART SEVENTEEN – Nashville, Minneapolis/St. Paul Int’l & FirstGlance L.A. Film Festivals
PART SIXTEEN – Dances With Films & Southside Film Festival
PART FIFTEEN – Int’l Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema & Maryland Int’l Film Festival
PART FOURTEEN – Big Easy Int’l & Omaha Film Festivals and Pacific Coast Premiere
PART THIRTEEN – Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema & Dallas Int’l Film Festival
PART TWELVE – Chhatrapati Shivaji Int’l, Columbus Int’l Film + Video & Newport Beach Film Fests
PART ELEVEN – Northeast Film Festival Horror Fest + Depth of Field Int’l, DC & NYC Independent Film Fests
PART TEN – Dawson City & San Louis Obispo Int’l Film Festivals + Zed & Short. Sweet. Film Fests
PART NINE – CISF, Cinemagic London, Atlanta & Liverpool Independent Film Festivals
PART EIGHT – Julien Dubuque, IHSFF, Atlanta Shortsfest, Austin Revolution & Media Film Fests
PART SEVEN – Dam Short, ICE & River Run International Film Festivals
PART SIX – Tampa Bay Underground, CinePlay Film Awards and more
PART FIVE – Fic Autor, Long Beach Int’l & Green Bay Film Festivals
PART FOUR – Los Angeles Film & Script, Fantastic Planet & Tally Shorts Festivals
PART THREE – Die Laughing Film Festival, Slamdance & SIFF
PART TWO – Cheyenne ZombieFest & MiSciFi
PART ONE – SoCal Clips Indie Fest & Brightside Tavern

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *