Judges Scoring Criteria

Indie film festival

The IndieFEST Film Awards is proud to serve filmmakers, of all levels of experience, with the same objective scoring criteria thus providing access to informed and impartial judging feedback.

Each film is scored as a “stand-alone” piece using a comprehensive system of scoring (and not compared directly to any other film in the competition).  This allows for honest and valuable feedback to the filmmakers with regards to their own film.

Below are SOME of the criteria that are used in determining the final score of  the films that are reviewed.

******** For ALL Films ********

Cinematography / Filming – Shots are all in focus 100% of the film – especially when there is a set up scene or an opportunity to reshoot.

Audio – The audio is clear, clean, leveled and consistent throughout the piece.  There are no obvious dubs.

Sound mix – All dialog, soundtrack and underbeds are crisp, clear and at the correct volume levels / proportions to adequately hear the dialog.  All foley and background sounds are appropriate and well done

Music – The music is appropriate to the film delivering the right emotion for the scene

Editing – The piece is put together with perfectly timed elements.  Special effects and transitions are used appropriately for the piece

Lighting – The lighting is even at all times with no dark or overblown spots.  If there are night or dark scenes – the subjects are still easily visible to the viewer.

Emotional Impact – The film clearly elicits the desired emotional response from the viewer

******** Fiction ********

Storyline – The plots and sub-plots are well laid out and understood by the viewer eliciting the appropriate response for the story.

Acting – The actors make the audience believe they are actually the character.  They feel authentic and portray the range of emotions of the character

Characters / Casting – The characters are interesting, well written and well-acted.  The actor is well suited for the role

Structure / Style – The structure of the piece is appropriate to the story and supports the film. Creative style and approaches fully support the piece and are not distracting from the story.

Writing / Dialog – The script is illustrative and entertaining for the genre it portrays.  The lines for the actors are consistent with the character and deliver the desired emotional response from the viewer.

Direction – The film’s pacing, acting, plot lines, character development and themes are all professionally presented and consistent.  All elements of post-production are fully integrated into the constant whole of the piece.

Attention to detail – All the elements of a scene are high quality and appropriate to the piece.  Period costumes are authentic.  Cinematographers / production equipment are never accidentally in the scene.  Continuity is assured for every scene even if completed in different takes.

******** Non- Fiction / Documentary ********

Tight Narrative –  The intention / vision for the piece is clear, strong and informs every creative and editorial step

Set-Up – The film is well laid out with an over-arching theme and set-up that guides the viewers and not just a series of shots edited together

Length –  The film is tightly woven and presented in the shortest time possible to fully illustrate the story.  No extraneous / unnecessary scenes that do not support the narrative.

Reconstructions – How the film portrays reconstructions of events in a professional and interesting way

Overarching Theme / Purpose – The film portrays more than just an interesting subject (person) and asks a broader question or illustrates a bigger viewpoint

Research – The film is well researched and thoroughly presents the issues.  If there are multiple sides they are presented

Documented Facts – If the documentary puts forward an argument, or a theory (like crime rates, etc) then it is backed up by fact.  “Opinion” only counts as such – and not a substitute for actual facts.