FAQ

SEARCH FUNCTIONS

How do I use the search functions?
To be completed

NB remember crossover films, eg a comedy/horror might appear in both (??) comedy or horror search.

How do I use keyword search?
Keywords include words in titles, directors’/writers’/actors’/producers’ surnames, production companies, nationality, and original language of films. They don’t include genres – use the genre search to see all comedy reviews, for example.
Why can't I filter out subtitled films?
We think people should be open to as wide a range of films as possible. If a film is subtitled, this is mentioned in the review.
What does "mature content" mean
We won’t review pornographic or extremely violent films, but we recognise that sex and violence are part of the human drama. We flag up films that we consider unsuitable for under 16’s, or that adults might prefer to avoid watching on a crowded train.

RATINGS

What do you look for in a film?
Firstly, films that entertain, move, intrigue, amuse or excite their audience. We love good stories, and we believe that story is at the heart of a satisfying film.
What do the ratings mean?
***** essential viewing
**** good-quality, memorable, and highly recommended
*** well worth checking out
**  hard going, boring, or very mediocre
*  someone might get something out of this film, but we’re not sure who, or what
Do you take into account budget and experience?
We judge all films equally, and a film can be great to watch without having a huge budget behind it. We won’t be less critical because a film is low-budget or a student film, but the reviewer may mention this.
Do you judge pay-to-view releases by higher standards?
We judge all films equally. PTV films will usually be better than average if the platform has a selection process, but not all do.  

REVIEWS AND REVIEWERS

Does the fact that you charge mean film-makers are buying a good review?
No. The reviewers give their honest opinion. Filmmakers should have faith in their film!
Can a film-maker appeal a poor review, or ask for the review to be removed?
No, we will keep editorial independence. We will correct any error of fact, but we won’y discuss issues of taste or judgement. If you disagree, whip up a storm online! Start a discussion! Any publicity is good publicity, right?
Can film-makers use reviews or quotes for publicity?
Absolutely they can! (Please credit “Short Film Reviews” website)
Why do reviewers use pen-names?
Some reviewers are film-makers themselves, and we don’t want them to be inhibited from giving an honest opinion for fear of offending someone they may end up working with.
Why can't readers write a review or give a rating?
We hope to include this in the future, as SFR grows. Right now, reader feedback would stretch resources, in terms of website design, and moderating.
How can I join your team of reviewers?
Email us with some info about yourself, plus a link to a short film, and a 300 word review of it. Have a look at our “house style”, but don’t review a film already the site, unless you have a very different viewpoint.

SUBMISSIONS

Why do you charge film-makers a fee?
It costs money to pay reviewers, to administer and maintain SFR, and to run a festival. The charge is less than many festival submissions, where there’s no guarantee of acceptance, while our review will stay on the site for two years. And as your film will be considered for our annual awards festival, it’s a festival submission too!
Why can I only submit free-to-view films that are on YouTube or Vimeo?
YouTube and Vimeo are standard platforms, and we know our embedded screener is compatible with them. We can’t guarantee that the screener will work with other platforms.
Why only two years?
We want to keep the site fresh and dynamic, to encourage our audience to keep returning. They’ll drift away if they always see the same old stuff. However, you can sustain the review for a small fee.
Why can I only choose one genre?
We want to keep it simple, and avoid filmmakers opting to be in different genres to appear in more searches. Most films have – or should have – a core target audience, so if you have (say) a spoof horror, think about whether your primary audience will be people looking for horror, or for comedy. You can use the first words of your logline description to say if it’s actually a crossover.
Can I put an animation in any other genre? And if I do, will it still be eligible for an animation award?
Yes. You might want to put it as a children’s film, for example. Bear in mind that you might lose pure animation fans. We will still consider it for the animation award at the festival.
What should I put in the logline / description box?
The logline/description box is your sales pitch.

  • Start with a few punchy words to intrigue and draw people in.
  • Be specific, avoid clichés: “Ben struggles to find meaning after his hamster dies” is better than “What do you do when your world falls apart?”
  • Clarify if it’s a genre-mash – for example “Spoof sci-fi in which earth invaded by an alien race of baked beans”.  
What should I put in the “background info” box?
Here, you can help the reviewer by providing some background. For example, your inspiration, if it’s a first film or a student film, if you faced unusual constraints making it, ages of young actors or writers, and so on.