6th Annual

Backyard Film and Music Festival

October 12, 2013 to October 12, 2013

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3807 Manila Ave.
Oakland CA 94609
Phone: 217-415-9719

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Short Film


Backyard Film and Music Fest seeks to create a welcoming space for the community; champions the immediacy of live music and of experiencing film in a communal setting; favors the independent artist; provides an outlet for new and original talent, as well as preserving unique voices of the past; believes the festival experience need not be predictable; and celebrates the ideal spirit of backyards everywhere.


The 2013 festival will take place in Chicago in October. Screenings will be viewed by a distinguished panel of judges, who will determine an overall festival winner.

Final submission deadline is June 30, 2013. Check www.byfmf.com for the latest details.

For more on the history of the festival, read on:

2008: True to its name, Backyard Film and Music Fest began in a yard. Having created two short films and wanting to play them for his friends, organizer Fred Koschmann built a screen with a bed sheet and set up a projector. A crowd of 30 to 40 came, sitting on lawn chairs and blankets, and enjoyed a clear-skied summer night.

2009: The fest was held in the same backyard but with a few changes: other filmmakers were invited to submit their work, a variety of couches were brought in, and two DJs played between film sets. Close to 20 short films were projected by mostly local filmmakers, building to a crowd-participating finale with fireworks. The audience exceeded 100, and the fest appeared to have maxed out its potential in the yard.

2010: BYFMF moved to Pullman — a 12-acre indoor-outdoor space on the Southside, the former site of luxury train car construction. Starting at noon, bands played on one of two stages (one indoor, one outdoor), playing everything from folk to hip-hop, and a set of short films from local and international artists was played at sunset. Food and drinks were served from vendors, and the crowd grew to around 300. Despite a record-breaking downpour the night before, the skies cleared for most of the day. Light rain could be heard hitting the skylights as headlining artist Dosh improvised a track based on its rhythm.

Artists included Dosh, Light Pollution, Panda Riot, Judson Claiborne, Phillip Morris, Coltrane Motion, Nathan Blake Lynn, Rugged Russian Bear, Chris Haskett, Pete Sander, Big Splashes and DJ Self-Help.

2011: This year's festival featured an eclectic set of short films at the Wicker Park Art Center. Chicago folk outfit Judson Claiborne also played an original set to a silent 1942 documentary about an expedition in Alaska, calling it, "I Never Missed a Meal but Was Sometimes a Few Days Behind." Film panelists included Karim Ahmad (ITVS), A.A.Dowd (TimeOut Chicago), and Bill Siegel ("The Weather Underground." Jamie Gates and Michael Schuff hosted.

The Viaduct Theater set the scene for the music-after-party, featuring San Francisco acoustic troubadour Bhi Bhiman, Pittsburgh's electric trio Wise Blood, and the rising hip-hop team BBU from Chicago. Film awards went to "Police Tape," by Josh Wolf (Oakland, CA), "Baden Krunk," by Patrick Holland and Anthony Wood (Chicago/Madison), and "Legacy," by Einar Thorsteinsson (Iceland).


Fred Koschmann


Films must be shorter than 30 minutes. Preference is given to films under 20 minutes.

Preference is given to films that have NOT screened at a festival and are NOT available online.

If it is claimed that the film is not available online and that proves to be false, the festival withholds the right to pull the film from the program and will not refund the submission fee.

All genres of film are accepted.

Additionally, live accompaniment at the venue is a possibility. If a filmmaker is open to working with the organizers on this, also email byfmf1@gmail.com.


Backyard Film and Music Fest is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Backyard Film and Music Fest from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.