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How to prepare the film for presentation at film festivals and movie awards?

COW Blogs : Sergey Kostygin's Blog : How to prepare the film for presentation at film festivals and movie awards?

• Almost all well-known big film festivals now accept films only in a special digital format DCP (Digital Cinema Package).

• Most of the film festivals and movie awards accept content that is fully DCI/SMPTE compliant; however, content does not need to be encrypted.

• A film festival strongly recommends commissioning a professional service provider to create the DCP. Do not send untested DCP's that have not been approved by a DCP mastering facility or had a successful screening on a D-Cinema system.
For your qualification screenings, you will need to find a commercial theater equipped with a digital cinema projector that meets the requirements, as well as a digital cinema server that will play the SMPTE DCP you have received from your mastering facility.
In practice, there are only two types of DCI-compliant digital cinema projectors that are acceptable for your qualification screenings. The first type uses DLP Digital Cinema technology licensed by Texas Instruments to projector manufacturers. Be sure your cinema has a true DLP Digital Cinema projector, one that has a pixel count of 2048 x 1080, and not one of the industrial grade DLP projectors that typically have pixel counts of 1920 x 1024 with reduced color and other image performance characteristics. The second type of projector is the Sony SXRD Ultra HiRes Cinema "4K" series intended for digital cinema applications.
There are several companies who manufacture digital cinema servers that meet the applicable SMPTE specifications, and will play DCPs that are mastered according to these specifications.

• All eligible motion pictures must be publicly exhibited in 24- or 48- frame progressive scan Digital Cinema format with a minimum projector resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels, source image format conforming to ST 428-1:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master— Image Characteristics; image compression (if used) conforming to ISO/IEC 15444-1 (JPEG 2000), and image and sound file formats suitable for exhibition in commercial Digital Cinema sites.

• The audio in a typical Digital Cinema Package (DCP) is typically 5.1 or 7.1 channels of discrete audio and these are the preferred audio configurations. The minimum for a non-mono configuration of the audio shall be three channels as Left, Center, Right (a Left/Right configuration is not acceptable in a theatrical environment). The audio data shall be formatted in conformance with ST 428-2:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master – Audio Characteristics and ST 428-3:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master Audio Channel Mapping and Channel Labeling

• Sometimes recommend the subtitles to be burned into the picture instead of as a file embedded in the DCP or as a supplemental package, in order to avoid various possible subtitle problems.

• DCPs can be delivered either on a physical data carrier (removable hard disk drive), preferably in the industry standard CRU frame (eSATA or USB drives are also acceptable), or by digital file transfer via upload to files servers.
• Encryption is optional. Delivering unencrypted content accommodates our need for programming flexibility. Film festivals regularly handle a large quantity of DCP content that does not require a KDM.

• If your DCP is encrypted, KDMs need to be uploaded to server via SSL upload. Please do not send KDMs via e-mail. You will receive from festival the certificate information that is required for KDM generation along with the access information to secure upload area after an optional screening period has been determined by the program department. KDMs for selection screenings should be valid for a period of two weeks.

• DCP must be created with the following standards SMPTE 428-1:2006, 428-2:2006, 428-3:2006 и ISO/IEC 15444-1 (JPEG 2000) and characteristics:

RESOLUTION: 2K (2048 x 1080 pix)
BIT RATE: 250 Mbps maximum, prefer VBR (variable bit-rate) encoded DCPs
FRAME RATE: 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps or 48 fps
SOUNDTRACK: 7.1 or 5.1 (L,C,R,LFE,Ls,Rs) or 3.0 (L,C,R) Channels PCM

DCP distribution disks shall contain a standard “MBR” partition table. This is meant to specifically exclude “GPT”, “BSD”, and other partition table types. The MBR partition table shall contain one and only one partition record. The single partition record shall be the first Primary partition record. The partition identifier shall be 0x83, indicating a Linux native partition. The distribution media partition shall be formatted in either the EXT2 or the EXT3 format. When the file system is formatted, the inode size shall be set to 128 bytes. EXT3 is preferred.

For more info on DCI specifications and the state of the Digital Cinema progress please go to:
And for up to date Digital Cinema goings on go to:

As a practical matter, you can rely on DCP MAKER (, specialized digital cinema mastering service to provide you with a DCP that will comply with these standards.

Please contact the film office of the festival for details and upload instructions.

I hope that this information will be useful for you!


Posted by: Sergey Kostygin on Dec 17, 2015 at 12:04:18 amComments (1) dcp, creation


Re: How to prepare the film for presentation at film festivals and movie awards?
by Bailey Kosky
Although there are notable for-profit festivals such as SXSW, most festivals operate on a nonprofit membership-based model, with a combination of ticket sales, membership fees, and corporate sponsorship constituting the majority of revenue. Unlike other arts nonprofits (performing arts, museums, etc), film festivals typically receive few donations from the general public and are occasionally organized as nonprofit business associations instead of public charities. Film industry members often have significant curatorial input, and corporate sponsors are given opportunities to promote their brand to festival audiences in exchange for cash contributions. Private parties, often to raise investments for film projects, constitute significant "fringe" events. Larger festivals maintain year-round staffs often engaging in community and charitable projects outside festival season.
Thanks , :)

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