Welcome to SimsFilmFest! Please read the rules in their entirety as there have been changes made. If you have any questions please post them in our forums or contact us.

 

DATES


April Cycle

  • Machinima entry form accepted from January 1st to March 15th;
  • The festival starts on April 1st. Machinimas released after 11:59pm PST of April 1st won’t be accepted;
  • Viewer’s Choice Polls for machinima trailers and posters open from March 15th to March 31st;
  • Viewer’s Choice Polls for all machinima categories open from April 4th to April 15th.

October Cycle

  • Machinima entry form accepted from July 1st to September 15th;
  • The festival starts on October 1st. Machinimas released after 11:59pm PST of October 1st won’t be accepted;
  • Viewer’s Choice Polls for machinima trailers and posters open from September 15st to 30th;
  • Viewer’s Choice Polls for all machinima categories open from October 4th to October 15th.

** We are now accepting entries released between seasons.**

RULES


  • Entry forms will be accepted until March 15th or September 15th (depending on the festival cycle) – Note that no submissions will be accepted after this date. This does not mean that the film has to be completed by this date. Entry form can be found here;
  • Release date for SimsFilmFest machinima viewing is anytime during the months of March and September.(depending on the festival cycle). Your machinima must be uploaded to YouTube by April 1 or October 1  as we will no longer accept late projects;
  • If, for some reason, you can not complete your film in time for release let us know in advance;
  • There is no minimum or maximum length requirements. The only requirement is that it is a complete project or a complete part of a project;
  • You can enter up to 5 machinimas, but only one machinima per type (music video, series, film, etc). For those that submit under the series category, you are allowed to submit one machinima under established series and one machinima under new series (this does NOT include showcase/early release videos which you are allowed to enter one). Showcase/Early Release videos DO NOT count toward your 5 entries;
  • The festival is open to all ages, please don’t forget to review the censorship section. Failure to do so will result in the removal of your machinima from the playlist;
  • Language and Subtitles: SimsFilmFest is a gathering of The Sims machinimators from around the world, that is what makes the festival as popular as it is. Although we do not require English subtitles from foreign entries, it is advantageous to have them since the festival is predominantly attended by English speaking viewers. Machinimas in other languages are eligible for the SimsFilmFest award for Foreign Film;
  • Machinima trailers are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED as they get a lot of attention. We share these during our promotional phase and we link them to the playbill to get the fans excited. All machinima trailers submitted before March 15th or September 15th (depending on festival cycle) will be eligible for voting. Please try and keep them under 3 minutes and upload them to YouTube. Please use the contact form to let us know you have made a trailer and give us the link.
  • Posters are now required as we need them for Insider Magazine. Please review the poster guidelines below.
  • Early Release Machinima: (Originally titled “Showcase Videos”) These are machinima projects released between seasons (the time between the close of voting and the start of the following season). You are allowed up to 5 entries – one in each category (new/established series, film, music video, etc). They will complete along side the machinimas released during the festival.

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR SUBMISSIONS

  • Each entry should be a stand alone story unless you are submitting an episode for the series category. If you are submitting a film you will be disqualified if it is submitted incomplete. This means that you must finish your machinima. If it is not completed, then back out and re-enter it next season;
  • Your machinima MUST be filmed in The Sims. You can use editing effects, but the film itself, the sets and the animations are expected to be filmed in The Sims games. Footage from other game platforms or programs such as MMD will not be accepted;
  • YouTube is the platform used by SimsFilmFest. You are welcome to also upload anywhere else you wish, and we encourage music videos be shared also on Vimeo as an alternative since there can be issues with some countries not being able to view music videos, as well as copyright issues with songs;
  • Please double check your listing on the playlist, if you see any errors then please inform us so that we can correct it.
  • If you have not sent us a submission form, DO NOT submit any promotional material for your project. It will be removed.

 

TRAILERS

  • Please either send us a link to your trailer/s using the contact form (select the option “Trailer Submission”);
  • Trailers must be completed and submitted by 11:59pm PST March 14th or 11:59pm PST September 14th (depending on the festival cycle) to be eligible for viewers choice voting;
  • Trailers are subjected to the same rules on censorship and viewer discretion as full length machinimas.

 

CENSORSHIP & VIEWER DISCRETION


We won’t censor machinimas unless there’s no consideration for younger and/or sensitive audiences. SimsFilmFest is attended by people from all ages and backgrounds, so we ask that you respect them and add a warning in your machinima if it contains mature content. We are not an adult film festival. If you have any questions if your film requires a disclaimer due to content, please use the U.S. movie rating guidelines and mark anything over PG-13.  Make sure you abide by YouTube’s Terms Of Use. As long as your project complies there shouldn’t be any problem with the content.

We will disqualify your film if it contains:

  • Any intention to be hurtful or offensive;
  • Rape, incest, and/or non-consensual sex (tasteful sexuality and love are acceptable and should be shown with discretion and not with shocking scenes);
  • Anything that supports racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and/or bullying (you can submit films with these topics if the message is positive or educational, but not something that shows that these things are good or acceptable);
  • Pornography, no matter how small (this includes full view of sexual intercourse or sex organs/body parts). Penis/female nipple mods, sex animations, and 50 Shades of Grey-like content are not allowed;
  • Excessive and unnecessary swearing (the occasional swear word as we might hear in real life stressful situations is acceptable).

The following themes MUST INCLUDE a warning message directly in the introduction of the machinima (no exceptions):

  • Strong language;
  • Intense violence;
  • Nudity;
  • Sexual content;
  • Use of alcohol, drugs, and/or tobacco;
  • Blood and gore.

Disclaimers MUST be placed on all things of a political nature.

Note that machinimas should conform to the YouTube Community Guidelines.

 

CATEGORIES & LABELS


You MUST identify if your submission is a FILM, MUSIC VIDEO, SERIES, M.E.P. (Multi Editor Project), MISCELLANY or AD. In the past there has been some confusion about which category your submission falls into, so please consider the following:

  • FILM: A unique story either taken from a real life film or story, or something you came up with yourself. It may be set to music, it may include voice acting, it may be set to a single song and yet not actually be a music video. The key here is that the focus is on the story and the characters. It should be a complete, finished, stand-alone story.  If it will be part of a series, like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games then you must make it clear from the start. A NOTE ON FOREIGN FILMS: All submissions that are in any language other than English will be considered for our Foreign Film award
  • MUSIC VIDEO: Think about the music videos you see on television, they often tell a story, but are presented in a more abstract or artistic way, often showing the band playing. In a music video the focus is on the band and the song and if there is a story line it will usually be an interpretation of the lyrics.
  • SERIES: If you enter a series you have two choices: you can enter a first episode to a new series you are launching (SimsFilmFest is a great way to introduce your series to gain viewers) OR you can submit your next episode of your series, but it MUST NOT have been previously released.  Note that we will separate the playbill into NEW SERIES (pilot episodes) and ESTABLISHED SERIES, and voting polls will also reflect this.
  • M.E.P. or Multi Editor Project: Machinimas made with parts by a number of different directors. (When you submit, please list all contributing directors in your entry under director – list your name first).
  • ADVERTISEMENTS AND PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS: Advertisements might include an ad for your website, a fashion ad, a promo for your Sims story or machinima series, etc. It could be a Sims version of a real-life ad or for a Sims object.
  • MISCELLANY: If you have another machinima creation that you want to showcase, this is where it will be listed. This is the category for art or abstract films, fashion videos, home tours, a poem set to machinima or anything else that isn’t really a film, music video or series.
  • MACHINIMA MASTERS: The Machinima Masters category is  by invite only. Once you are awarded Masters, this is where you will always compete (the only exception is if you enter a MEP). Please see our Machinima Masters page for more information.
  • ADAPTATIONS – Adaptations include projects that are based on books, manga, other video games, movies, TV shows, etc. This means that if someone has turned any of these things into a “Sims version” it will be considered an adaptation. An adaptation is not an original story using characters from a book, TV show, etc. (an example of this is Vinny Visual’s Tomb Raider machinimas) . Adaptations will now be their own category (provided there are enough entries) and will not be eligible for certain awards (Best Dialog, Best Storyline, and Most Original Machinima) however there will be a new Best Adaptation award will be given out.
  • EARLY RELEASE (Previously known as Showcase) – We are no longer going to separate these entries on the playbill since they are not separated in voting. The entry form provides a place where you can mark if your project was released between seasons. We will now mark them  on the playbill as an ‘early release’.

VOICE ACTOR SUBMISSIONS


We are still in the experimental stage with voice actors and are trying new things this season to make it more fun and fair for them. We are always open to suggestions so please feel free to contact us with ideas.

  • Awards will be given for Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male Character, and Best Supporting Female Character.
  • Please use the Voice Actor Submission Form to send in your entries (DO NOT use this form for Voice Actor Directory Submissions. The Voice Actor Directory can be found here);
  • Directors can submit their voice actors for awards or voice actors can submit themselves. Keep in mind we may ask for either a picture of your simself or of one or more of the characters you have played.
  • Each roll requires it’s own entry. The entry form has been changed to reflect this change.
  • There is no limit to the number of submissions per voice actor.

POSTER GUIDELINES


Machinima Posters

We look forward to seeing and sharing your film posters each season. Starting with Season 16 posters will be mandatory. Posters appear on the playlist and will be placed in our film database (once it’s completed) along with your film. They are also used to promote your projects, and for use in Insider Magazine. If you need help putting together a poster we have put together a basic tutorial on how to do a poster in Photoshop. We are working on supplying a tutorial on using Gimp. Please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Posters need to be 831 x 1175 pixels and must either be in JPG or PNG format (we do prefer PNG as this format holds resolution best when resizing). If posters do not meet size and format guidelines they will deleted.
  • All film posters submitted before March 15th or September 15th (depending on season) will be eligible for the Best Poster Poll;
  • Please DO NOT use the ‘SIFF’ abbreviation on the posters. This is trademarked by the Seattle International Film Festival;
  • If you are going to use SimsFilmFest branding, please only use the logos provided on the Brand Asset Page. DO NOT use old logos;
  • The name of your machinima must be on the poster;
  • Posters must not contain foul or offensive language, gestures, nudity, or depictions of sex.

The Sims International Film Festival was created in 2010 as a way to foster creativity in The Sims community through machinima, an art form that uses video game footage to make movies. Over the years, as new entries in The Sims franchise were released and new editing methods became available, we’ve seen a lot of changes, but one thing has remained constant: our commitment to showcasing the creativity of this community and inspiring new artists.

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