PBIFF & Film Freeway Sever Ties

by Jerry Armbrewster

The Palm Beach International Film Festival has severed ties with the film submission platform Film Freeway after Film Freeway sides with disgraced and dis-qualified film makers who tried to wreak havoc at PBIFF 2023.

PBIFF acting festival director David Parker states that Film Freeway did not reach out to PBIFF for any clarification and that Film Freeway was unwilling to conduct an internal audit to clarify as to whether the campaign launched by these destructive film makers was based in fact or if the complaints they received were even from film makers, dis-qualified or otherwise.

Film Freeway is owned by Backstage Magazine and has been accused of providing preferential treatment and back door deals across both companies.

Since its beginning, Film Freeway has been plagued by complaints resulting from their unauthorized and undisclosed sales of film maker and festival information to third parties, poor and rude customer support, fake film festivals, spamming, excessive fees, being removed from the platform after asking for answers and more.

Here are comments from a few Independent Film Makers:

Trust Pilot User

I paid thousands on Film Freeway…

I paid thousands on Film Freeway applying to festivals.
I now receive literally tens of thousands of junk emails from all sorts of festivals I never heard of nor applied to. I can only explain this by Film Freeway selling our data to third parties. Utterly useless website.

Amy Lynn

Worst Support Ever!

Worst support ever. They have no idea what to do with spam reports other than to tell you to click remove AND they tell the spammer too! Instead of closing down the abusing site, they actually SUPPORT THE SPAM. I’m royally pissed and disgusted. They breached my companies Terms of Service THREE TIMES! They acted without my permission!
Look at their reply name calling, how unprofessional and childish! WOW! I don’t need to say anything more! Because I got spammed, and they did nothing about spam is correct. I’m not their customer and if they treat NON-customers like this, GOD HELP THOSE THAT ARE! Previous reviews were incomplete thus removed.


WARNING – Sudden Hidden Fees! No Transparency.

WARNING! For the indie filmmakers, especially those that make shorts on a micro budget. After a few submissions you will (or you won’t!) see a filmfreeway sudden “SERVICE Fee” to “help us run our platform, build new features and offer best customer service”.

The submissions are already so high, why sudden additional service fees have to come out of the struggling filmmakers pocket? I emailed them asking why there is no disclosure, no heads up about the sudden fees, why no transparency – they emailed back with even more hard sell – suggesting to get a Gold membership “… .

“We have recently introduced a nominal service fee on paid submissions to help us cover the costs of operating our platform. Also, there are no service fees for Gold members, should you become interested in trying this service in the future. “

Which means – you, filmmaker not happy with sudden additional Service fee, why not buy a membership?!

I feel cheated. So many articles online state that “filmfreeway is always FREE to filmmakers”.

Dishonest. Disappointing. Not trustworthy.

And complaints from Festivals:

Booze Andthe Dudes

Complete Crap Company

Complete crap company, they have a list of requirements to make you’re festival public I did everything on the list and they still denied me. Not sure the policy or politics behind this company but after reading the reviews glad they didn’t.

Dreamworld Press

Very Scam Company

Very scam company. We have used this platform for 2 years, they have used our image to take users’ money. When we registered another festival, they asked us for money, and we didn’t refuse and they closed both accounts, creating big problems for the various participants and for our organization. We have also sent all the press information on our events supported by the institutions, but we have not solved anything. We filed a complaint with the Canadian police and reported it to the Embassy, these scams cannot be suffered. We do not recommend using it if you do not want to lose your money and damage the image.


Scam Company, Don’t Use It

This company is scam. We had the festival for three years in their archive, without a reason, they closed the account, took the users’ money. We have to stop the competition because the works were lost. We made the complaint and everything is documented and the users can to witness it. Not recommended.

PBIFF acting director David Parker said they are working behind the scenes with a technology development firm and some other film festivals to come up with a more honest, ethical and reputable solution to Film Freeway for independent film makers to be able to submit their films to festivals without being scammed by the submission platform. Parker states that the PBIFF is in the process of a revamp which will include being able to take film submissions directly on the PBIFF web site at www.palmbeachfilmfest.com sometime in June of 2023 for their April 2024 film festival.