There’s no such thing as an ‘A’ fest, accreditors say

FIAPF gives stamp of approval, not grades

Ever wonder who decides which festivals get an “A” ranking? So do the staffers at the Paris-based Intl. Federation of Film Producers Associations, the only global organization that officially rates film festivals.

“That ‘A’ rating never existed,” says Phyllis Mollet, FIAPF’s director of festivals and communication. “FIAPF doesn’t rate festivals as A, B, C or D.”

The confusion might have stemmed from the fact that FIAPF does assign the film festivals it recognizes to one of four categories: competitive, competitive specialized, noncompetitive, and documentary and short.

“I think someone started using ‘A’ to describe the first (competition) category, which includes festivals like Cannes, Berlin and Venice,” says Mollet.

One thing the 11 festivals in that first category have in common, says Mollet, is that they cannot accept a film for competition if it has been in competition at another fest. Whether or not that makes it a superior event is something Mollet declines to pass judgment on.

Festival scrutiny is just one of FIAPF’s many tasks. In a broad sense, the org represents the interests of film producers culturally, legally and economically around the world. It is an umbrella group for national producer associations from 24 nations and deals with issues surrounding subjects such as intellectual property, piracy and taxation.

“The objectives of FIAPF are to defend and promote the interests of the film producers,” says Mollet. “Through the act of recognition, FIAPF exerts a quality control on festivals and thus guarantees producers that their films will receive proper treatment.”

FIAPF’s Regulations for Intl. Film Festivals is a minimum code of rules and practices that all the festivals with FIAPF accreditation pledge to apply. Festivals must reapply annually for the FIAPF seal. Currently, the org blesses 56 festivals and Mollet says that number is not likely to grow much.

Throughout the year, Mollet travels to many of the festivals and checks whether film prints are handled correctly as well as things such as the quality and quantity of screening facilities, press coverage and attendance from the film industry.

“Producers are interested in festivals for promotional spin — whether a film gets exposure, shown to international press and a chance to get distributed,” says Mollet.

Then again, producers also care about the prestige level of a festival that screens their films. Now, if you hear a producer saying his or her film is playing at an “A” fest, you’ll know better.

More Film

  • Choas Charles Mansion and the CIA

    Amazon Studios Takes Film Rights to Manson-Centered Drama 'Chaos' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the grisly murders executed by the followers of Charles Manson, Amazon Studios has optioned film rights to a nonfiction title about a journalist who spent decades obsessively following the case. The studio will adapt “Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties,” from [...]

  • Sword of Trust

    Marc Maron on 'Sword of Trust,' Lynn Shelton and Conspiracy Theories

    Marc Maron has interviewed everyone from Bruce Springsteen to President Obama, so he’s probably learned a few things about being a good interview. Of course, as he points out, he generally has over an hour to talk leisurely speak with his guests in his home and draw out stories beyond the public narrative; it’s a [...]

  • Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The

    Andrew Lincoln's ‘Walking Dead’ Movies to Be Released Only in Theaters

    The first planned movie centered on “The Walking Dead” character Rick Grimes will now run in theaters rather than on AMC. The announcement was made with a brief teaser video played at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, with the video ending with the words “Only in Theaters.” The film will be distributed by Universal Pictures. [...]

  • Jennifer Beals The Last Tycoon

    Jennifer Beals Seeking SAG-AFTRA Board Seat as Matthew Modine Ally (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jennifer Beals is running for a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Beals is best known for starring as Bette Porter on the Showtime series “The L Word” and for her lead role as Alex Owens in the 1983 hit “Flashdance.” She’s starred in the [...]

  • Alamo Drafthouse Opens New Downtown Los

    Alamo Drafthouse Storms into L.A. with New Location

    “Cinema is alive and well tonight!” Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League declared at the theatrical venue’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday night, where a gathering of 160 employees cheered and sliced into a strip of 35mm film in keeping with the company’s tradition. Despite dire predictions heralding the end of the theater-going experience, League was upbeat [...]

  • The Lion King Teaser

    'The Lion King' Leaping to $185 Million North American Debut

    Disney’s “The Lion King” is heading for a dominant $185 million opening weekend in North America, early estimates showed Friday. Should that number hold, “The Lion King” will record the second-best opening of 2019 — and give the sagging domestic box office a badly needed boost. “The Lion King” would replace “Incredibles 2,” which launched [...]

  • Joe Anthony Russo

    Russo Brothers Announce 'Grimjack,' Live-Action 'Battle of the Planets' Adaptations

    Joe and Anthony Russo are looking to their youth to populate the development slate at their production company AGBO. A relatively obscure comic book called “Grimjack” will count the Russos as producers for an adaptation, they announced at San Diego Comic-Con. They’re also cooking up a live-action adaptation of the animated show “Battle of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content