We’ve been entering film festivals…

The following is an amazingly kind and encouraging letter notifying our crew that we did not make it into the Austin Film Festival. Though disappointing, I felt it helped to place our hard work into perspective - we’re doing the best we can, and hopefully someone out there caught a glimpse of the film and loved it, even though it didn’t make the final cut.

Thank you Austin Film Festival! We were honored just to have been considered!

September 14th, 2011


Dear Amina Benalioulhaj,


Thank you for submitting your film Women Behind Bars to the 2011 Austin Film Festival. With over 2,500 submissions, it has been extremely challenging to determine selections for this year’s competition.  Regretfully, we must inform you that your film was not selected for screening at the festival this year.


Please know how much we appreciate the filmmaking process, the labor of love and the trials and tribulations that come with taking a story and transforming it into a film that can be shared with the world.  To ensure that each film was given fair and careful consideration, each work was watched and evaluated at least twice.  However, judging film, at any level, is a very complicated process and one that is, by nature, extremely subjective. Also, as with every festival, we are limited by the number of films we can fit into a program each year.


Do not let this discourage you.  Your talent and the measure of your film’s success in the marketplace are not subject to the outcome of a single competition.  We encourage and challenge you to continue working to get your film recognized.  Competitions are a great start, but don’t stop there.  This is an industry that demands persistence.  If filmmaking is your passion, pursue it relentlessly.


The Austin Film Festival and the programming team wish you all the best in your future endeavors and we hope that we can continue to be a resource for you in the future. Our door is always open for someone with a new story to tell.






Stephen Belyeu                                                 Stephen Jannise

Film Competition Programmer                          Film Program Director

Austin Film Festival                                           Austin Film Festival