2020 hasn’t been an easy one. And I am not sure I can summarise it eloquently either. But to look back at the year that cost us all so dearly with merely a tinge of despair and a whole lot of gratitude seems like a good idea.
Before March, there were a few things we managed to tick off at Indie Shorts Mag—one of them being the Custom Plan. This came as a pleasant surprise to us as well. With rising demand to cater to more than just reviewing, we introduced the Custom Plan that offered tailor-made services to filmmakers. I have to give a shout-out here to my critics’ team for their keen eye. It is due to their expertise alone that we managed to pull this off.
We had a slew of interesting submissions, including a great number of documentaries. It’s always interesting for us to have educational, informative and engaging content on our platform and this year, it’s been the documentaries that did it.
We did, however, raise the criteria to a minimum of 3-star rating from our experts to be eligible for selection. This wasn’t an easy decision, but considering the standard and quality of films being produced, we hardly believe this to be unsuccessful.
In fact, despite the horrendous year that 2020 has been, I can quite proudly say that we had as many as 12 films to be given the full score on our rating meter. And I am going to leave it to my editors to give us a wonderful rewind to the year that 2020 was in terms of the works we received.
And, then COVID-19 happened.
COVID-19 didn’t spare any of us, including me. However, recovering from that bout of ill-health only renewed our resolve into making something positive out of this regrettable year and that’s what gave birth to Short of the Year Awards. While it didn’t pan out entirely as intended, I am only too happy to celebrate it for having launched with minimal issues.
Considering the financial crunch everyone faced, we received multiple requests from filmmakers to consider their works at nominal to no fees. As a way to lend our support, we introduced the Free Plan, with the intent of keeping it open only until the end of 2020. However, I am pleased to inform you that we have extended this indefinitely, with the hopes that many more can benefit from it.
Additionally, we launched beta versions of filmpremiere.live and theshortfilm.net last year. Film Premiere Live is a platform that enables filmmakers to release their films for a limited period of time. Working along the principles of physical theatres, the platform offers timed shows that viewers can purchase tickets to watch on. We released two films in 2020 alone and the response was great, to say the least. The screening was followed by a Q&A session. Moving forward, we plan to release more films, and as in 2020, our focus will be quality.
On the other hand, Theshortfilm.net was launched as a marketing service for indie filmmakers. It’s still in its early stages and currently, we are helping select filmmakers with website development, marketing and film distribution. We are adding more services and shall open the platform to more filmmakers this year!
We received several suggestions and yes, complaints too. I can only apologise for the ones that felt let down. We did try our best, but it hasn’t been an easy ride. However, for those who stuck with us and continued their support, I’d like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Both the platforms mentioned earlier received tremendous support from the filmmakers who entrusted us with their projects and I’d like to thank them as well and assure that your trust won’t go in vain.
Indie Shorts Mag wouldn’t be where it is without the support system it has, so I’d like to thank my team, sponsors, advertisers and all those well-wishers out there who chose to stick with us during these trying times.
2021 looks promising. If COVID-19 can be dealt with, so can any glitches we face. I am happy to announce that we will be having more engaging content in our newsletter, a well-planned Short of the Year Awards 2021 and perhaps a much-needed change and introduction to our rating panel. And these are merely the tip of the iceberg!
Stay tuned for more updates!
Wishing you all a wonderful year ahead!