Jason Guerrasio, writing for Indiewire:
Since 2008, a string of film/screenwriting competition events, or events that call themselves film festivals but do not screen films to the public, have popped up on Withoutabox that are misleading filmmakers into thinking that they are submitting to regional festivals set in beautiful locales when in fact they are sending their work to mere online competitions that may or may not have an event to celebrate the award winners.
What is impressive about this article is not so much the number of scam festivals outed here, but the fact that it still just scratches the surface of the questionable events that take money from credulous filmmakers. Scam fests are a relative rarity in terms of their percentage of the festival populace, but many filmmakers adopt a shotgun submission strategy. The result is many a wasted submission fee – sometimes on scams, sometimes on festivals that just aren't appropriate for your film.