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Surpassing Film Submission Goals In Just Three Weeks

AT&T harnessed the power of Submittable’s software as well as its vast base of creatives to grow their network of emerging filmmakers

AT&T builds a network of talented, emerging filmmakers through the AT&T Film Awards, an open competition seeking imaginative, undiscovered short films. When they wanted their program to reach new heights, they decided to change everything up through Submittable’s review platform and marketing services. 

The end result? They got so many high-quality responses that they had to close the submission window early. 

There were a number of other similar or related activities that [Submittable] has worked with that reached our target audience.

Dave Okamoto

Senior Marketing Manager at AT&T

Testing the waters with new software

Before switching to Submittable, Dave Okamoto, Senior Marketing Manager at AT&T, used a different vendor to help manage video submissions. When AT&T decided to increase its goal to 1,000 video submissions for the AT&T Entertainment Awards in the spring of 2017, Dave started looking at other options. He came across a high school film festival in New York using Submittable and decided to “test the waters” by signing up for a demo.

Finding the right audience (and a big one) 

While his leadership team was initially cautious about switching vendors, Dave convinced them that they were in a position to try something different. 

“There were a number of other similar or related activities that [Submittable] has worked with that reached our target audience,” recalls Dave. The audience included professional and student filmmakers from around the United States.

Nicholas Arioli wins the Entertainment Project Emerging Filmmaker Award presented to him by Director Patty Jenkins and AT&T’s David Christopher

Nicholas Arioli wins the Entertainment Project Emerging Filmmaker Award presented to him by Director Patty Jenkins and AT&T’s David Christopher

Exceeding expectations

In the end, obtaining the 1,000 videos wasn’t the issue. 

“I thought [submissions] were going to be our biggest challenge,” says Dave. 

He pointed out that there are a large number of competitive film contests and festivals in the market looking for talent. Because AT&T is emerging as an entertainment channel for content creators, Dave and his team wanted to make sure they were reaching their new demographic. 

“Putting myself in the shoes of the filmmaker,” says Dave, “[I asked], ‘Why should I care? What do you have to offer me?’” Utilizing Submittable’s vast audience of artists and filmmakers, they found their niche: AT&T reached their goal in just 3 weeks.

They received responses from 41 states and had to close the submission window early due to the overwhelming response. When it came to picking a winner, Submittable’s collaborative review process “was a huge help” in reviewing the films and coordinating the short list of winners. You can view the 2017 AT&T Entertainment Project winning films here.

In recent years, AT&T has partnered with Submittable again and again to power the AT&T Film Awards, with both companies dedicated to putting new talent in the spotlight.

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