Home > North American Film Festivals > Action On Film International Film Festival

Action On Film International Film Festival

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Monrovia, California
+1-323-878-5522
website

17 positive user reviews     5 negative user reviews.

  1. Katarzyna Kochany
    October 29th, 2013 at 15:30 | #1

    @Jordan
    There were some filmmaker passes, don’t remember how many per film

  2. Katarzyna Kochany
    October 29th, 2013 at 15:28 | #2

    Your experience will depend on your expectations. This is not Cannes, Sundance or Toronto. However, it is a solid mid-level festival great for expanding your indie network. AOF is not just an event, it’s a community.

    I’ve entered work several times and attended twice. The organizers remembered my name – at first I thought, do they really know who I am or is this just Hollywood? But then they started talking about my projects, and remembered what I had submitted even in previous years. They don’t just focus on your one film, they focus on you as a filmmaker, and want you to grow and develop. Very few festivals go out of their way to do that.

    Throughout the year, AOF stays in touch, and looks for ways to connect filmmakers with one another with programs like the writers invitational collaboration. I would highly recommend this festival to independent filmmakers who want to expand their indie network.

    Stars
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  3. Dan G.
    September 9th, 2013 at 21:31 | #3

    A film I was in played at this festival two years ago. Right away we were ignored by them for films by their friends. The film I acted in played at many larger festivals and got distribution, but it got hardly any notice or award nominations from them, instead they seemed to only nominate buddies of theirs. You can see the festival head posing with the same people every year and those are the people who get nominated. A lot of films that won there seem to go nowhere else. It seems like a scam where they just cater to bad filmmakers who don’t get in anywhere else and just return year after year. My producer didn’t even include the AOF festival laurels on our website and DVD case, they are a joke.

    Stars
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  4. Lee
    September 7th, 2013 at 12:53 | #4

    I have had continued poor experiences with the Action on Film Festival. Because it is near where I live we regularly submit but are always met with poor communication from the festival when our film is accepted. I’ve had to contact them about changed screening times, have had slow responses when asking questions, poor projector quality, etc. The final straw came recently when we were accepted but AOF did nothing to follow up about a screening time. I contacted them and was told the film was screening, I asked when, they wouldn’t respond to several emails. I then emailed after the festival asking for a refund – no response. Keep in mind, they treated a repeat alumni this way, I’ve had several films there and they couldn’t even take the time to answer me.
    Withoutabox sided with me and is currently forcing them to give me a refund.
    Bad festival. Go elsewhere.

    Stars
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  5. Lee
    September 6th, 2013 at 18:40 | #5

    I have had continued poor experiences with the Action on Film Festival. Because it is near where I live we regularly submit but are always met with poor communication from the festival when our film is accepted. I’ve had to contact them about changed screening times, have had slow responses when asking questions, poor projector quality, etc. The final straw came recently when we were accepted but AOF did nothing to follow up about a screening time. I contacted them and was told the film was screening, I asked when, they wouldn’t respond to several emails. I then emailed after the festival asking for a refund – no response. Keep in mind they treated a repeat alumni this way.

    Bad festival. Go elsewhere.

    Stars
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  6. Jordan
    July 8th, 2013 at 19:40 | #6

    Also, do they grant tickets to filmmakers, and if so, how many people involved with the film can attend? @Jordan

  7. Jordan
    July 8th, 2013 at 19:39 | #7

    Hi,

    We are excited to have just received a phone call that our film will be a part of this year’s fest. I am trying to figure out how many days to go for, etc. I don’t know my screening date yet, but how much time do you think a filmmaker should spend at the fest? Is the Award Ceremony still 150 dollars to attend? And if so, is it worth attending?

    Many thanks!
    Jordan

  8. Ben
    August 3rd, 2011 at 23:58 | #8

    Wow, just finished this show again. When I arrived, I got a copy of the local newspaper, the Pasadena Weekly. The story said that the AOF was better than Sundance and I thought even for a true beleiver, this was a bit much. But these people do everything right. From the theaters, The Arc Light and the older Academy to the parties at a pub called T Boyles, a sushi restaurant called Japon Bistro, the Sheraton Hotel and the incredible black tie dinner, it was all amazing. I spoke to a few filmmakers who were a bit miffed because their screening times had been changed but I asked one of the staff memebers what had happend and they said they were trying to accomodate other filmmakers who were coming in from out of the country so they had to rearranbe some times. I can’t say enough about how great these people treat everyone and there were some really fantastic crowds as well. One downside, they had so many films playing that it was hard to see all of the ones I wanted to see so my group and I had to jump from theater to theater. Other thank that, another fantastic show put on by some really great people. Last thing, when they said they had industry connections I thought it was a joke until I met agents, sales reps, great industry speakers and pics with actors John Savage and Harry Lennix. Wow.

    Stars
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  9. Nicholas B
    December 15th, 2010 at 23:30 | #9

    What a great festival. I have been to festivals all over the country and I have never, never had the kind of treatment I got at the AOF. These people literally trip over themselves to make sure filmmakers get the royal treatment. Communication was excellent. I got e-mails telling me everything I needed to know from day one. I called them twice with questions and they called me back within 24 hours with answers about our screening, our format and our promotional materials. When our screening, -which was packed- was over, they gave us our posters, screener and we had a great Q&A.
    After our screening we went to one of the sushi parties and they even gave us free credit cards for our dinner and drinks. Mark Ruffalo was sitting two seats away from us and we got photos and autographs. If I had one complaint it would be that there were not enough seats at the award show dinner. We tried to buy three additional seats the week of the festival but they were already sold out. The dinner was something I will never forget and I got a chance to talk to Deborah Kara Unger. Everyone at this show is so approachable, even the celebrities.
    I don’t have a film for 2011 but if I did, the first festival I would enter would be this one. Keep up the good work guys and I’ll see you in 2012. Nicholas B.

    Stars
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  10. bobby-peru
    August 25th, 2010 at 11:54 | #10

    I would say my experience with this festival was mixed. I submitted a feature film that played there last summer. It was a very micro-budgeted, modest feature film, so I was excited to hear it got in. And most of the buzz I read about AoF was good.

    Pros: The fest plays in a very nice theater (depending on what screen you get). They displayed the poster I sent them in the front window, facing out onto the main sidewalk, which in and of itself, was a very happy moment for me to discover. During the day of the screening, they displayed a second one (I sent them 2) on an easel in the lobby. The day I attended my screening, they urged me to get there early, where they invite you down the street to a local coffee shop and conduct a very easy and professional video interview with you. They then even put this video on YouTube for you, edited all nicely. The email communication is very good. And the location (Pasadena, CA) is very pretty and a good film town.

    Cons: It’s tough to deal with just one person, as you get someone different attached to most emails. And yes, the calling system was a little annoying, and I was usually leaving voicemails for people, rather than getting someone direct on the line. There are two main theaters that films screen at. One is more in the ‘heart’ of Pasadena (on that main strip). The other venue (and the one our film played at), is a little father down. Mind you, it’s not off the beaten path or anything. You can walk to each one within 5 mins. It just didn’t seem to be in as ideal a location.

    The real con I have is with the projection. My film looked pretty shitty and blown out. Maybe I should have submitted something better than a DVD, but it’s never looked worse. My editor was in attendance, and he immediately leaned over and whispered to me, wondering what was wrong. There was also something funky going on with the colors.

    The screening was only about a third full. This looked sort of impressive, due to the small size of the theater we were in. But in hindsight, most of the people there were my friends. They offer better ways to promote your film, but it costs money, and you get submitted into some magazine that I think they sell and/or leave at local shops.

    They allowed me to do a Q&A after, which was cool, but again, most of the people in the audience were family and friends.

    Like the above commenter, picking up my posters after was a big hike out to Monrovia to that UPS Store. It took me about 45 mins to an hour, and I had to make the trip twice because the first time, only 1 out of my 2 posters was there. I didn’t deal with any jerks on the phone, but it was a big inconvenience driving out there twice.

    I also didn’t bother attending the awards ceremony, as it’s $150 to get in, which is sort of ludicrous.

    So all in all, a mixed experience. Would I go again? Yes, but only b/c it’s local and I’d want to use the experience to learn and do some things different.

    Stars
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  11. Samantha Campos
    June 25th, 2010 at 11:02 | #11

    I’ve attend the AOF Festival the last three years and what I’ve noticed is that they go out of there way to make you feel at home. They’re extremely helpful and I am happy to say, that I’m thrilled to be able to attend the festival again this year. There knowledge of the films being presented is unbelievable, it’s as if each person who works/volunteers at the festival has personally reviewed each film themselves. It’s a positive event in every way, which I hope more people will have the opportunity to experience and enjoy as I have.

    Stars
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  12. Guy
    May 24th, 2010 at 13:14 | #12

    AOF Film Festival is FANTASTIC!!! This will be my third year going and we are all excited to be there again. Not only is it packed with great films, you can tell by the faces of the film makers and film goers that they are having a great time! That says a lot to me. The after parties are killer as well! I would like to send a BIG THANK YOU to all involved to make this festival what it is, OUTSTANDING!!!

    Stars
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  13. Michelle
    May 20th, 2010 at 12:42 | #13

    I’ve been to numerous festivals and I cannot rave enough about AOF and the organizers and volunteers. This is the festival where everyone is made to feel like they belong. I’ve been to two AOF’s and I can’t wait to go to a third. Where do I start on the reasons why?

    First off, there’s the regular email updates that goes out. They make sure everyone know what’s going on. There’s the fact that those emails also includes any updates that alumni of the festival wish to share about their careers. Very inspirational stuff! Then lets not forget that the festival organizers have no problem putting their name to everything that they do. I know who I need to email, and I know how to contact the festival. They make sure we all do.

    Regarding the comment about the answering machine, that’s standard at every festival. These people are working their butts off and can’t always answer the phone, but hats off to the AOF folks, they always call back.

    Secondly, I’ve never seen anyone treated with anything but the utmost respect. If you need information, help or advice, this festival takes the time to be there for you. These folks are gracious to a fault. They’ve made me feel like part of the family.

    Lastly, I know costs are an issue for everyone these days, but they give you a ton of stuff for your money. The after-parties rock. I generally need a vacation after AOF because I haven’t slept for something like 8 days. There’s tons of people to meet and you have a chance to meet them all.

    The banquet price is a pretty standard price nowadays. Any event involving a meal costs about that. I went to one fest where it was even $250. I don’t think AOF is gouging or charging something beyond reason. It’s the nature of the beast when trying to put on a huge, classy, quality banquet and that’s exactly what they do.

    This is a must attend festival on my calendar and it’s the people, courteous, caring, open and passionate, that make it as special as it is.

    And as a final note, there’s no festival out there that does as much for us writers. We aren’t treated as an after thought or cash grab, we’re a part of AOF. We get a banquet, they film scene readings for us and show them, and they treat writers just as they treat filmmakers. Find me another festival that does all that!

    Stars
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  14. Jason
    April 30th, 2010 at 14:17 | #14

    I’ve been involved with the Action On Film people for a couple of seasons and each year I am amazed at how they balance a week long show, multiple theaters, thousands of guests and still manage to make everyone feel special. This festival is a rare one indeed. Keep up the good work!

    Stars
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  15. Thomas M.
    April 15th, 2010 at 23:45 | #15

    I took part in the 2009 AOF Festival and I can’t say how great these people are. They take care of filmmakers, go over and above what ‘needs’ to be done and into what ‘they can’ do for their attendees, filmmakers, writers and guests. It was a real honor for me to be a part of something that was run so professionally and it was fun to see the people at the top of the organization doing everything from signing people in to cleaning up trash. Filmmaker Mike Walter nailed it when he said, ‘There were no egos at the AOF’. Simply put, there is no other film festival like the Action On Film Festival and I’m proud of these guys and gals for creating something new, unique and one of a kind. Great job, keep it up and don’t listen to the negativity, those folks either didn’t attend or have an axe to grind. The AOF kicks butt!

    Stars
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  16. Bebe
    March 13th, 2010 at 14:45 | #16

    What a killer festival. I met so many great people there. I’d heard good things about the festival and people who run it so I was expecting a lot and I wasn’t disappointed. From the minute we got there to the day we left, everything was run professionally, on time and I really felt like they cared about the details. I saw articles in local magazines and newspapers and they even had a filmmaker pavillion for interviews and free coffee that started before the screenings and went all day. I’ve been to many festivals but this one tops them all. I’ve seen couple of negative reviews of this festival on this site but I was there and I can honestly say that this is one of the best run and attended festivals out there. If I did have a complaint it would be that we couldn’t get into the Closing Awards Dinner. We waited too long and it sold out. They told us to get our tickets early but we didn’t so we lost out. However we were invited to the pre awards party where there was plenty of free drinks, celebrities and food. Good times. Speaking of the parties, the Canadian Bowling Party with actor Kim Coates was amazing. I’m hoping to go back to the next show, it was really the highlight of our 2009 festival season.

    Stars
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  17. December 3rd, 2009 at 12:46 | #17

    A week-long festival with strong support from its host city, Pasedena, CA, which romanced the fest away from Long Beach, CA. Del Weston, the director and managing staff are present every single day and seek out filmmakers to introduce them to others.
    Very professional handling of screenings, poster display, materials (postcard) distribution. Very informative lectures included in all-access pass for filmmakers on cutting edge distribution and state film subsidies.
    After parties every day, again Del and staff at all of them.
    For screenwriters, every film block starts out with staged readings of scenes from scripts submitted. I’ve never seen any other festival do that.
    Registration includes filmed interview and new YouTube-posted interviews are announced periodically with updated delivered long after the festival is over, so the fest is an ongoing concern.
    Well worth the entry fee, with the only downer a stiff awards ceremony fee that many filmmakers will balk at, but it is optional and many filmmakers not present did win awards so no hint of bias.
    In attendence in 2009 were a few stars like Ron Pearlman and fest honorees W. Morgan Sheppard and Raymond J. Barry.
    In this, my first outing as a filmmaker (previously, I had been accepted as a screenwriter), I won “Best Spoof” for my CG animated spoof of Dirty Harry films ‘Magnum Farce’ and a scholarship worth $1,000 to a filmmaking technical college.
    This is definately a fest I will enter again, and the standout fest experience of my four 2009 fest screenings.

    Stars
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  18. Susana Marquez
    November 25th, 2009 at 17:00 | #18

    The AOF Festival is well organized, you can tell that they put a lot of thought into every detail of this event. The staff and the volunteers are courteous, friendly, helpful and they make you feel as if you are a part of their family. Needless to say, I had an awesome time!

    Stars
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  19. Tammy Jackson
    November 25th, 2009 at 14:18 | #19

    In 2008, I was introduced to the AOF Int’l Film Festival by a friend who was a volunteer. I showed my support by attending the dinner and awards show. It was wonderful and worth every penny and them some! I was very impressed. I met a lot of wonderful people…including the executive producer and creator of the festival Del Weston. Every filmmaker that won was there to accept their awards. They were truly gracious and humble that their work was acknowledged and appreciated by major players in the film industry. I was inspired by all of the filmmakers and entered the festival in 2009. Everyone at AOF were very kind and answered my 1001 questions. I highly RECOMMEND this festival to everyone…whether they are a seasoned pro or a novice filmmaker/screenwriter like myself. And yes, I won…for Best New Writer!

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  20. Zack B.
    November 23rd, 2009 at 12:16 | #20

    Great people, great parties, great award show!
    AOF is the best thing going.

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  21. Tony
    November 23rd, 2009 at 12:08 | #21

    Great festival! There was a warm welcome from both the founders and the staff. There was obviously alot of hard work put into the festival, and it is always good to see the founders so involved with every aspect of the festival. The founders were present at every screening and could discuss any and all of the films in detail at the drop of a hat. The after parties were a great time too. The founders passion for film is obvious throughout every event in the festival. The awards dinner was very pleasant and well put together as well. I will definetly be back next year. I would definetly reccomend this festival to everyone!

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  22. TERRI
    November 23rd, 2009 at 09:12 | #22

    I have volunteered (ie NOT PAID)for the last 6 years at various film festivals including AOF for 3 years. I don’t have anything to gain by suggesting one over the other but I definitely recommend AOF. I can say emphatically that this film festival is the Most organized, the Most filmmaker friendly, and definitely worth the fees. Each year it is getting better. The director of the festival is everywhere during the festival… wherever you are, you turn and there he is. ALL of the staff are friendly and helpful. I saw and heard alot of requests by filmakers and the AOF team always tried to not to just accomodate them but make sure they were happy. All of the filmmakers that I came in contact with were happy. This festivals is constantly giving away free gifts to the filmmakers as well as throwing 2 free AFTER PARTIES nightly (giving away free drinks)and a free bowling with food as well. The selection of films that I watched over a 5 day period were of much higher quality than alot of the other festivals I volunteered at. It seems to me that the cost of the awards show is reasonable considering YOU actually get to eat great food as well (belive or not I was at one festival that charges $75 per person, no food, and the awards are crap..)If You participate in the festival, and not just enter a film and do nothing else, you will feel it is worth it, as they give so much.

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  23. Ben
    November 22nd, 2009 at 23:25 | #23

    AOF Rocks! Named One of MovieMaker Magazine’s Top Festivals Worth the Fees for a reason. Great people, great parties, celebrities and cool theaters. I don’t know what filmmakers expect but I’ve been to festivals that are so poorly run that when I get to one that has everything a filmmaker could want, I appreciate it. I was at the 2009 show for four days and everyone I met had a blast. I even got free storyboard software. A guy was walking around giving stuff to everyone he saw. The Award Show was killer, I got to sit behind Ron Perlman and Kim Coates and I even got to talk to them, they were pretty cool too. The parties were packed and I don’t know how often you get to meet stars like Eric Bana but he walked in a was taking pics with everyone who asked. These guys must be doing something right. I’m going back.

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  24. Jason
    October 20th, 2009 at 12:46 | #24

    AOF was the First festival that taught me that not all film festivals are about films. This fest seems like just a way for the festival director to meet celebrities, and to try and hock his own scripts to them. Charging 150 a ticket for the awards is a little high for most filmmakers that are broke after making their film. They do give away about 100 awards, but if you get nominated for more than one don’t think that you are going to get more than one. They seem to like to spread the wealth and get as many different films awards as possible, some might think that’s a good thing. But the big awards are only given to films that have a celebrity in them, even if the film is crap.

    The Selection of films at AOF also leaves a lot to be desired.

    Over all the fest feels unorganized, Communication with the organizers is very difficult, they will charge you for everything, and you as the filmmaker are made to feel insignificant.

    Stars
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  25. joabaldwin
    October 18th, 2009 at 21:08 | #25

    I posted this on my blog a while back, so I’m pasting it here. I don’t recommend this festival based on my own bad experience with them.

    One of the film festival organizers yelled at me for being too lazy and not showing up to their awards ceremony. Here is how it went:

    The festival is the Action on Film International Film Festival (http://www.aoffest.com/), for which I paid an entry fee of $35. They operate in a strange way: The only phone number listed is only a machine, no one behind it ever. They never sign any emails with names or numbers or contact info. They are very vague on their emails and website, which is not updated frequently.

    My mom was here visiting recently, when the festival was going on. They charge filmmakers and guests $150 per ticket to go see the awards, so we said “screw it, too expensive for us” and we had a better time at the Topanga film festival for free instead (Topanga was a very cool festival by the way!).

    So AOF Fest grants me the Best Animation Award though I wasn’t at the awards ceremony, and I emailed to ask if they could mail the certificate to me. Their email reply said I could go “pick it up after the 23rd” way out in Monrovia (45 min drive with no traffic). So we did, Gus and I drove there to pick it up on the 24th, to what turned out to be an UPS store who handles some things for the festival (again, no personal contact with festival directors, ever).

    The award wasn’t there… So I ask the nice UPS lady to please call them and inquire about it. After talking to someone on the phone she said that nothing was shipped yet, and the award was going to be there later that day, to come back much later.

    I didn’t want to drive that far again, I’d rather pay for it, so I asked to speak on the phone to whoever she was talking to…

    (this is where things got f***ed up)

    The man on the line (didn’t get his name sadly enough) was angry from the start. I said that they told me to come after the 23rd (it was the 24th), so he simply started yelling, paraphrasing:

    “We give you a chance to pick it up at the awards ceremony and you don’t show up, then we give you a chance to pick it up later, and you don’t even have the energy to drive 10 minutes away to get it?”

    Me: “But I did drive! 45 minutes and not just 10, and it’s not here like the email said it would be. I just want to know if you can mail it to me, I’ll cover the costs.”

    “No, we can’t mail it to you, and I’ll tell you why! Because we can’t be doing this for every single filmmaker who thinks the awards ceremony is not important enough for them to not show up, and then want everything delivered to their door. If you really wanted the award you should’ve been there to receive it at the closing night. It is obviously not important enough to you if you can’t even drive to pick it up.”

    Again I tried to explain that I had driven, to no use…

    The anonymous man kept yelling, basically giving more emphasis on how lazy I was being and how disrespectful to the event they put up for us (which, I remind you, I paid $35 to be included in, plus they wanted to take $150 more per person just to go see the awards).

    I said something like “well you make us filmmakers feel very welcome to your festival”, to which he mumbled something I didn’t understand and hung up.

    Luckily, the UPS lady was pretty awesome and she said not to worry, that she would pack it for me, and give me a call so she’d just charge my card over the phone. She did already, and the award is on it’s way (thanks UPS lady, you are awesome!). The man on the phone wasn’t even willing to consider that idea, it wasn’t worth his time.

    I say don’t waste your time with impersonal festivals who don’t really care for filmmakers (that is, unless the filmmakers are willing to pay up). You can add as many celebrity names to your list as you want, but it’s not your red carpet or your media frenzy that makes you, it’s the films and the filmmakers who shared their passion and work with you and your audience.

    Verdict: AOF Festival – Not recommended

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  26. October 18th, 2009 at 19:59 | #26

    Love this festival. Warm welcome, nice after parties, the founders are always everywhere and know every single filmmaker and film by heart. Will definitely come back. The only complain I would have is the high price of the Awards Show tickets but that was overshadowed by all the great time we had.

    Stars
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