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Update December 3, 2017

Q: I see 6 videos, where are the rest?

A: What you're seeing is our MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT.  We've decided to highlight a few of our Indie Filmmakers, 2 Musical Acts, and our November artist of the month, Pablo Matisse.  Don't worry, our catalog of videos is featured on our Channels -- if you have Amazon Fire TV, you may watch all our content on our TV Channel "Movies Plus."

Our Roku and Android apps should be publically available early this month.  Visit this page again for links, or visit www.Facebook.com/MetroFilmFestival for news.




Hi, I'm Dean Lachiusa, curator at Movies Plus and other MetroFilmFestival.com venues.

Currently Movies Plus broadcasts on Fire TV to over 340,000 subscribers.  Our Android Apps and Roku channels are in beta, and we get an additional 10,000 subscribers from those channels too.  With the exception of our www.MetroFilmFestival.com website, Movies Plus programs are broadcast on OTT devices.  That's really just a fancy way of saying we use the Internet to stream videos to Televisions and Tablets like Kindle.  

Set Top Boxes like Roku and Fire TV are OTT devices.  And they are a great way to reach folks who appreciate Indie made entertainment.  They're also a pretty safe place for your film because Amazon and Roku employ an encryption system that helps to protect content from pirates!  I think about these kind of things because I understand the challenges that a filmmaker goes through. 

I've produced and distributed through several distributors and I was represented internationally by Cine-Sales, Inc.  I personally witness how tough it is to make a buck when most distributors are really just middle men who sub-distribute to companies like Youtube Movies and Viewster.  These digital distributors promise the world, but they pay very little.  And you have little to no control over your titles once you sign a deal.

That's why I started Movies Plus.  Movies Plus is designed to let you leverage your work with no costs or fees, it's a place to broadcast your Short film, TV show, Webisode, and of course your Feature Film or a promotional-version like a Screener and Featurette.  

Movies Plus helps filmmakers like Alexander Raye Pimentel.  Alex streamed two of his films on our Amazon Fire TV channel, and after about 6 months and 130,000 downloads, he was offered a financing opportunity from someone who appreciated his success on Movies Plus.  Now, he's finished his film THE DIRECTIVE.  And he's going stronger than ever in his filmmaking ventures.  You can too.  

 

Here's a few more details about Movies Plus...

If you'd like to have your film/show broadcast on MP it's free.  We just need a link to your content so we can check it out.

If you have content on Vimeo Pro, you'll need to activate the "Share" or the "download" feature so that you can copy your video's link and then share it with me.   You can also try file sharing services like Google Drive -- and Dropbox works great.

Note: If you want a very broad and free distribution solution, try Archive.org.  I can download a film from Archive and re-post to Movies Plus quickly and easily.

Again, there is no cost to broadcast your Short or Feature Film, I just need the link!  And this is a non-exclusive arrangement...You may ask to have your content removed from Movies Plus whenever you like, just email me and I will remove your video. There's no fees, and no hidden agenda.  (Please allow me to broadcast your work for at least 3 weeks.)

 

Submission Requirements:
 
1.) Regarding video hosting: I won't download content from Youtube, however WE CAN USE Youtube videos on our Android and Kindle Apps.  This is a great alternative if you have a Youtube account and it's the only video host you want to use.  Again, I just need the link.

The points below are for those of you who want your content placed on our Fire TV, Roku and Set Top Boxes.

2.) No matter where your video is hosted or shared from; please format your movie in Mp4 or M4V. 

3.) NO MOV.  A .mov file or a video file that is converted from one formatted in MOV will typically NOT stream well.  IE: Directly output a mp4 from your editing software's timeline!

4.) 1280x720 aspect ratio is suggested.  HD is NOT required.  NO UHD.
5.) Bitrates suggested**.  

widescreenSD or 720 1280x720 1,000 - 4,000 kbps

 

6.) File size max 1GB is suggested.**


**(I know you want to use the best quality you have, but consider that we registered over 600,000 hits from our audience in Asia, and many of them have broadband  speeds of about 1meg - - that's too slow for HD.) 

7.) Important!  I would appreciate a note saying that you own the material, and you're giving me temporary permission to broadcast it on our Movie Plus venues.  (Clearance is your responsibility.  IE: Is your movies Music yours to use?)

That's it in a nutshell...

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Dean Lachiusa
www.MoviesPlus.org and 
www.MetroFilmFestival.com
www.facebook.com/metrofilmfestival

metrofilmfestival@gmail.com
Google Voice: 313 466 4629

(This phone is Google Hangouts for cyber phone calls.  If I miss your call, I will call you back IF you leave a message!)





More jibber-jabber is below!  (Yes, some of it is repeated, but gosh...I really want to inform you.)

The following info is for MAC editors especially!  DRM and ProRes and MOV really mucks up the Fire TV streaming experience...don't use it!!!!

 

The Metro Film Festival announces it's partnership with Movies Plus

Movies Plus, the App-based broadcast partner of www.MetroFilmFestival.com is currently encouraging Filmmakers to take their own destiny in the way they promote and monetize their movies, television, and multi-media on our platform.

It's Free to add on Android and select Platforms.  It's free to watch, and in most cases Ad-Free.

Owners of an Amazon Fire TV stick or box may add the Movies Plus channel via the Amazon website or directly from the Fire TV device.  Currently there are no commercial advertisments on the Fire TV channel, instead it's an Amazon subscription.  There is a one time charge of 1.99, (yes that's less than 2 bucks!)  And there's no add-on costs or hidden fees. 

Movies Plus on Android and Kindle devices will feature feature films and shorts from Youtube, and this makes it very easy for filmmakers who would simply like to use their Youtube account to distribute their work. 

Bye the way, there's no charge to have your short film or feature film broadcast on any of our Apps or TV channels.  But that doesn't mean you should wait...things could change in the future.

More info for those of you who like to read...


A Free platform for Media Makers of all Mediums.  MP is also a free service for artists of all mediums who choose to demonstrate their work through the broadcast of a video.  We invite media producers to use Movies Plus as a promotional and financial tool.  We broadcast Movies and Television of all Genres and Forms to an International audience.

⦁    Movies Plus the Amazon Fire TV channel.  Our flagship channel is ranked next to Sony's Crackle channel in the Fire TV lineup.  In January 2017, we delivered over 1.5 million hits, and in May we reached over 225,000 Subscribers.  Our Audience grows at a rate of Approx. 900 new subscribers each day.

⦁    We showcase it all.  As film advocates we love film art, but we understand that many of our viewers enjoy dramatic action and thriller programming.  That's why we intermix a wide selection of Features, Shorts, TV shows and Web Series.  In other words, Movies Plus broadcasts every genre, augmented by rare content like Slow-TV, Experimental videos, Foreign and Military News, Health, Fitness, and Sports.  Movies Plus has most anything you can imagine.

⦁    Movies Plus is a curated channel.  There's no place here for overly graphic violence or nonsensical-nudity.  The aim is to provide entertainment for the entire family, and we make it our mission to provide a portal in which the filmmaker can reach the widest possible audience.

 

Your in control.  Non-exclusive and no-contracts.  

⦁    Filmmakers, Media-Makers: You're not locked into the typical distribution scenario.  Iinstead of having us ingest your content, you have the option to place your movie on your own website or video host.  (IF) you like we will host your video for you - just say the word.  

Vimeo Pro works but you must turn on the "share" link feature.  Dropbox-free works for sharing video links with me.  Youtube only works for our Android App. 

You retain all rights.

⦁    We're not agents, distributors, aggregators or re-broadcasters.  We are simply a broadcast venue, and we do not seek to own or license your content.  We don't put your content into our servers.  We don't "download" your content unless you ask us to host your videos on your behalf.

Monetize your own way, or simply use us to promote your project.  (Click to see how an MP participant made the news with 70,000 downloads.)  

⦁    Currently Movies Plus is FREE on most platforms and AD-FREE on select platforms.  However, due to popular demand, Movies Plus is working on an arrangement that will deliver in-stream advertising on only select movie and television content.  The Movies Plus Ad Program is in Beta, and it will be an optional way for you to monetize your project IF you decide to go this route.

⦁    We encourage you to ask for donations, or sell Hi-Rez files, DVD's, and Ancillary products via your website or services like Booster or Zazzle.  Here's how - in a few steps: First, you would choose a service like Cafepress, where you would upload your image/logo from your film, and offer items like T-Shirts, Mugs, Caps, etc for sale.  Then you need to prepare your video...the next (3) steps are guidelines...  

1.    A cool idea: Encode a special version of your video.  We prefer mp4 video format.  It doesn't have to be HD, but 1280 x 720 is best*.  This is the version we'll use for Movies Plus on Fire TV.

2.    A cool idea continued: We've all seen movies that open with a studio logo, like the MGM Lion.  This is where you would tag-in your logo and website address on your video.  And you could also place a text-message like "Support us on our web site."  You should repeat this at the end of your movie too, where you might like to add text that says "Filmmaking is expensive, help us make our next film, visit our webpage and get cool swag..."  Below is an example.

3.    Once your movie is encoded, uploaded to a video host, and you've shared the link with me, then you're all set with Movies Plus.  But consider a few extra pointers before encoding your entire film...

⦁    Use Movies Plus to promote, publicize, and screen your video of 5 minutes runtime or longer.  Here's an example: The producers of "A Lonely Place to Die" used a 25 minute featurette to promote their full-length feature film.  This was a great way for the producers to showcase their filmmaking abilities while also enticing the viewer to go online and buy the full version of their film on DVD.  You might consider doing the same kind of thing.  Just remember, Movies Plus only airs "stories."  You must have a beginning, middle, and end.

⦁    Screen a story, not a commercial.  Please don't submit teasers or trailers - we won't air them.  You may submit a screener, but not a work-in-progress or a piece of a story that forces people to purchase the full version.

About Video Hosting, CDN's and free video hosting sites

There's no obligation to keep your content on Movies Plus, you may showcase your work for 3 weeks or longer.  Just let me know when you've reached your goals whether they be monetary or promotional.



FAQ's

1.) I've reached my goals, how do I remove my video from the Movies Plus channel?

After 3 weeks or more of broadcasting, and when and if you feel you have reached your goals you may then choose to remove your content from Movies Plus in two ways.  

A.  Notify me and I'll remove your movie from the Movies Plus Channel.  Then of course remember to delete your content from your video host, or rename the URL.


2.) Do I get paid by advertising revenue or another way?

Our Ad-Rev Share program is in Beta.  I can't pay you right now, but I'm working on it.  So, if you're interested in making money on your content, and you know better than to sign away your rights to a big company, then here's an idea:

A.  Get a sponsor, and burn-in a brief ad-spot or artcard at the start of your movie.  (Keep in mind that i curate all content, and this goes for advertising, so choose your sponsor carefully.  IE: I typically don't air graphic violence, nudity and cursing or foul language.)

B.  Like I mentioned earlier, place your website address at the start/end of your movie with a suggestion to the viewer to visit your website or Point of Sale (like Cafepress) or donate.  This involves the use of a donation box like PayPal or the sale of Ancillary products like Mugs, T-Shirts, etc..  If you ask for donations consider that we have an International audience.  You might want to use a service that is compatible globally, in all territories and languages.


3.)  Why is Movies Plus doing this -- is it a Goodwill jesture or are your crazy?

I studied filmmaking and made a few films.  I've worked on indie 16mm and Digital features and shorts.  I've seen the struggles that the cast and crew go through, and I don't ever, ever want to see folks suffer through the filmmaking process only to have their work shelved.  I've also watched my filmbuddies lose their financial arses because they've trusted Distributors who license to subdistributors.  So you see, I'm here for the filmmaker, and with Movies Plus I've proved that "if you build it...they will come..."


4.) What is Fire TV?

Fire TV is OTT aka a "set top box."  It's a small device that plugs right into your Televisions HDMI port.  You need Broadband Internet to get a signal.  Here's what the $40 stick looks like; as you can see the remote is twice the size of the actual Fire TV stick:

 
5.) May I read some reviews, or take a look at a sample of Movies Plus?

Sure, if you want to see the kind of films that are run on Movies Plus, you can watch a few of our selections online at right here.  Please note that we only place your video on the Metro Film Festival site if you ask us to.

And if you want to read comments, visit the link below.  Here you'll also see Screenshots of Movies Plus taken from our Fire TV channel, just click on a screenshot to zoom in.

https://www.amazon.com/Apple-Pie-Films-Movies-Plus/dp/B013MBOC4S


6.) How can I help?

A. An offer of Video Hosting is very much welcome.  Technical help, especially for our App development is an area that we very much welcome too.  Otherwise, please use Paypal or a similar service to gift me a donation.  The email is metrofilmfestival@gmail.com or buy cool Movies Plus swag, see: https://www.zazzle.com/moviesplus (Oh yes, if you're an artist and you'd like to see better looking MP products, please do help us in this area!)


7.) I need more information and I might like to submit my film, what now?

By submitting your taking responsibility for your video's content.  Your responsible for clearance.  Get the right to use Music, Images, Actors, etc.  Seal the deal with your (c) mark or Creative Commons mark within the end credits of your video.

To submit your work to be broadcast on Movies Plus on Amazon Fire TV, please use the submission form on the video player or send a link to a sample video or your entire film.  Email Dean Lachiusa, the curator for metrofilmfestival@gmail.com.

**If you just need general info or would like to chat, please visit Movies Plus on FB:  http://facebook.com/MetroFilmFestival


8.) How do I add Movies Plus to my Fire TV?  

Two ways.  Here we are on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Apple-Pie-Films-Movies-Plus/dp/B013MBOC4S

Or from your Fire TV, scroll down the left side to APPS> CATEGORIES>MOVIES & TELEVISION and scroll down just past Showtime to Movies Plus.


9.) *How do I encode a version of my movie for broadcast on Movies Plus?

Prepare your video for a large television experience.  Keep the resolution clean, but not too high.  If the rez is too high, then the video might studder (if) the viewer has a slow Internet connection.

Most video editing software will encode a file compatible with Youtube, and these settings usually work for us with minor tweaks.  Try the Widescreen settings with a bit rate of 1000 kbps to about 3,000.  (HD is not required, and really not suggested.)

A.    No UHD please.  (Ultra High Def does not stream well.)

B.    30fps is good, PAL is NOT.

C.    Stereo, usually 44.1HZ is typical, but you may drop it down to lower the file size.  

D.    No DRM please - Amazon puts DRM on Movies Plus.

E.    1280 x 720 - or a smaller widescreen size with the same Aspect ratio looks best.  SD (4x3) is okay too.

F.    Mpeg4 (mp4) is preferred.  m4v is okay but the file size is usually bigger than mp4.

G.    Video File size: About 1GB or less is suggested.

H.  No .mov files or videos converted from MOV.  They just don't stream well!

Your video file-size is important in order to save "storage" space and "bandwidth."  I know you want your movie to look great, I do too.  A video with a moderate bit rate and file size will help your movie to stream smoothly on slow Internet connections.  In February we delivered over 600,000 hits in territories in Asia and Africa where slow Internet is atypical, therefore please take my encoding guidelines seriously.


10.) Art and Description.  If you want your DVD or Movie art to be represented on Fire TV, then...After I've approved your video for broadcast on Movies Plus, I'll ask you to send 1000W x 550H art to represent your work, and I require a small fee.  This is for display on the Movies Plus channel on Fire TV only.  Please make a jpeg (.jpg) file, under 100Kb.  The cost is 10 bucks.  If I have to resize or adjust your art -- then send me a total of $20 and I'll fix it on your behalf.  Send it to metrofilmfestival@gmail.com please.

*When you're sending art to me, please send a wordpad or txt document with a one or two sentence description of your video.  You may include your website address.

 

This is an example of art and description, snapped from the Movies Plus channel on Fire TV.

 

11.) What kind of viewship does the Movies Plus Channel have?

Our main audience is English speaking in the USA and U.K. and less-than a third is International (outside of Britain, North America and the rest of the world.)  Out content is designed to be family friendly.

Earlier this year we served over 1.5 Million hits, and now we have over 340,000 subscribers and our audience grows daily.  These stats increase and improve by the thousands each month because our audience increases day by day.  In August 2017 AppAnnie.com ranked us #53 out of all Amazon TV apps, but don't quote us because this kind of data does change periodically.  Please contact Dean for current metric data.


Thank you,

Dean Lachiusa, curator for the Metro Film Festival and Movies Plus.

NOTICE: Information posted on this website is subject to change. 

IF you have a question or feedback, please ask Dean or other filmmakers on our FB page...

www.Facebook.com/MetroFilmFestival

(c) Copyright Movies Plus, MetroFilmFestival.com 2017