Type of site
Available inEnglish
Created byDavid Straus, Joe Neulight
URLArchived official website at the Wayback Machine (archive index)
LaunchedJanuary 2000
Current statusNot Active

Withoutabox was a website founded in January 2000 by David Straus, Joe Neulight and Charles Neulight which allowed independent filmmakers to self-distribute their films. The first product launched was the International Film Festival Submission system. Withoutabox worked with film festivals and filmmakers all over the world. In January 2008, Withoutabox was acquired by IMDb, a subsidiary of Amazon.[1][2]

The Withoutabox website offered filmmakers a platform to search over 3000 film festivals on five continents and to submit their films to over 850 film festivals worldwide, including festivals such as Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival.[3][4]

Festivals could request submissions via the web and manage incoming submissions electronically, instead of the traditional route of sending in screener DVDs via mail. This allowed festivals to market their event to over 400,000 active filmmakers already on the Withoutabox platform, accept submission fees from them electronically, and automatically notify filmmakers for acceptance into their event. Other services included: streaming on the Internet via IMDb, and selling DVDs and video-on-demand downloads on Amazon.com via CreateSpace.[5][6]

As of October 30, 2019, the website is no longer in service.[7][8]


Withoutabox has attracted criticism in the years following its takeover in 2008 by IMDB, owned in turn by Amazon. Some filmmakers and festivals alike have accused the company of excessive charges, uncompetitive practices, outdated technology and the usual claims of aggressive litigation leveled at Amazon.[9][2]

Partners (partial list)


  1. ^ "IMDB acquiring Without A Box". Puget Sound Business Journal. January 17, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Swanson. Jen (November 10, 2008). "With or Withoutabox?". Independent Magazine. Archived from the original on November 8, 2014. (note this 2008 article pre-dates substantial newer developments noted in other articles).
  3. ^ "PARK CITY '06 BIZ DAILY: New Self-Distribution Initiative Unveiled; Park City Filmmakers Sign On for". Indiewire.com. January 24, 2006.
  4. ^ "Sundance Submissions Go Paperless Via Without A Box, Inc.; Top Film Festival Among First to Use..." Allbusiness.com. Business Wire. September 5, 2001. Archived from the original on December 12, 2008.
  5. ^ Brooks, Brian (December 3, 2009). "Withoutabox Unveils "Secure" for "Safe" Online Festival Submissions". Indiewire.com.
  6. ^ "Withoutabox Acquires Film Finders; Embarks on Relationship with Rightsline". Indiewire.com. July 13, 2006.
  7. ^ "Withoutabox". www.withoutabox.com. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  8. ^ O'Falt, Chris (2018-10-22). "FilmFreeway Defeated Amazon's Withoutabox Monopoly, and Film Festival Submissions Will Never Be the Same". IndieWire. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  9. ^ Kaufman, Anthony, "Why Withoutabox Has 400,000 Indie Filmmakers, 1,000 Film Festivals -- and Frustrated Customers", May 3, 2012, Indiewire.com