Thank you for agreeing to be a screener for the 2020 Oxford Film Festival to be held March 18-22, 2020.

Volunteer perks are counted once the review is in and totals length of film:

  • 50+ = VIP Pass

  • 35-49.9 = 10 pack of tickets

  • 10-34.9 = 5 pack of tickets

Screeners only see the film assigned to them and no additional information or reviews of others.

2020 Screeners Guidelines

Accept invite to Film Freeway and then log in at to watch movies. 

1.     Screeners must agree to watch films in their entirety even if you are not enjoying it. Why? Because we promised filmmakers we will take each film seriously and watch all the way through. Also, they check and email when they see that people are not watching. If a film offends you or is clearly not a genre you tolerate (for example horror), please stop watching and notify me so I can reassign it.

2.     Screeners are now required to write at least two sentences on each film in the comments box. An overview of if you liked it or did not and why and what could be improved is preferred. if you loved it and nothing could be changed, then write about what you loved. I will email you if a review is not written to edit it so that it counts for your hours. Then answer the other questions below the comments box. Remember that we share these evaluations with the filmmakers and programmers so critical comments are welcome but only if useful. For example: “The film would make more sense if the scenes were edited in sequence” is more helpful than “this film sucks.”

3.     Monthly assessments will be made to check on hours and an email will be sent out at the end of each month with hours.

4.     Screeners must not share films with others outside screening committee and must not discuss any entries with anyone other than their head programmer and Executive Director. (EVEN IF YOUR BEST FRIEND OR MOM SUBMITS A FILM, NO CHATTING WITH THEM!)


You can watch directly from Film Freeway. For those that want to see on a larger screen and know how to handle this technically, you can!

If you have any of the devices on this page: (Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Samsung TV, Xbox 360, etc.) you can watch the film on your TV using Vimeo’s ‘Watch Later’ feature.

Once the screener loads, click on “Watch Later” (the little clock icon) on the right side of the Vimeo window.

On your preferred device (AppleTV, etc.) log into your Vimeo account and check your list of Watch Later films and there you have it!

If you have any trouble, this link should help: 

2020 Screeners Steps

Step #1 – Upon email notification that new entry is in, Melanie will assign 3 screeners to view. Screeners can only access what is sent to them. They will receive an email notification from Film Freeway when a new submission is given to them but double check weekly on Film Freeway in case email does not go through due to spam filters. Only three people will get access to a film so please watch every film that you are assigned as we need your feedback.

You will be assigned based on the genres you selected at sign up. 

Step #2:  Log in and watch the entire film on Film Freeway ( Notify Melanie immediately if film is listed with the incorrect genre (says documentary but it is a music video, for example). Notify Melanie immediately if film will not play.

Click on Account and choose to use as Oxford Film Festival Subuser. (if it does not go directly to page)

Category Meanings:


Is this a unique story or a universal theme told in a new way? Example: The Little Sticker dealt with the loss of a child but instead of a couple simply grieving, it showed a battle between the husband and wife removing and adding back the stick figure sticker on the back of a minivan. Original!


The director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects, and visualizes the script while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of that vision. The director has a key role in choosing the cast members, production design, and the creative aspects of filmmaking. Note: Documentaries have creative aspects, as well. Just because the film is a doc doesn’t mean things like camera movement, story structure, music and pacing don’t matter.

Writing/Story Structure

In addition to the dialogue, story structure refers to a way in which your characters, events, reactions and outcomes of a story are organized in order to create a solid plot.


The cinematographer—also known as the Director of Photography, or “DP”— is responsible for the visual elements of a film. In concert with the director, he or she makes creative choices related to composition, lighting, and camera motion—anything that audiences can see in a given shot. Note: On documentaries, the DP and the director are occasionally one in the same!


In short, its the rhythm/flow of the dialogue/action in conjunction with the overall scene or sequence. When a film is said to have bad pacing, it generally refers to something on screen happening for too long or contrarily too short in the scene or has sections of the film that feel overlong or rushed.


“Sound” refers to everything we hear in a movie — words, sound effects, and music. Is there an echo, or are the words not quite matched up with the mouth movement of the actor? Is there a drop in the sound quality?

Overall Editing

film editing is the art, technique, and practice of assembling shots into a coherent sequence.

Performances (either acting or documentary character development)

If a narrative, are the actors believable? If a documentary, are the characters presented well?

Your Overall Enjoyment

Sometimes a film just has heart or grit and has nothing to do with the ratings above. Maybe it is not the best edited film but something about it is fun. This is that rating. How did you enjoy the film overall?

Step #3: Select submissions link. The list of films you have access to screen will appear on screen. Click on film and watch it. Some may ask for a password which is listed directly under the screening window.

Step #4: Select Rate the project underneath the screening window. 

Step 5: Please select a star rating from 1-10 for each category for the film. See the descriptions of categories to the right.


  • 1-3 - Bad

  • 4-6 - Fair

  • 7-8 - Good

  • 9-10 - Excellent (meaning best film you have ever seen and must be shown!)

Below the individual rankings is this box for comments.

Step 6: Write at least two sentences in the comments as to your general understanding of the film - don’t copy the synopsis. Explain the film in your own words.

Step 7: Then click either: Pass (no), Recommend, Award Worthy or Maybe.

Step 8: Answer the three questions below this:

  1. Name three things you like about the film.

  2. Name three things that could be improved about the film.

  3. Would you pay $15 to see this in a theater? Yes or no.

Step 9: Then click on Create Rating to enter your review. It will not save if you do not take this step.


Screenplays will be judged on Film Freeway this year using similar feedback forms.  

·       Concept / Originality 

·       Structure 

·       Plot 

·       Pacing 

·       Characters 

·       Dialogue

·       Comments - The Good - Positive qualities of the script.
The Bad - Negative qualities of the script.
The Fit - Reasons this script should win.

·       Then choose either: Pass (no), Recommend, Award Worthy or Maybe.

·       Finally Answer: What is the feedback you most want to convey to the writer to improve their script?