Festival GeniusIf you are a frequent film fest-goer, you've probably used B-Side's "Festival Genius" to help create your schedules at one time or another. A number of large and small festivals have incorporated the application into their websites, such as Sundance 2010 and Austin's Fantastic Fest. Festival Genius not only works as a scheduler but lets participants rate films, so after a fest ended, B-Side and the fest organizers could see which films were popular and well-regarded that year.

B-Side closed up shop earlier this year when it ran out of funds. A lot of us starting wringing our hands and worrying how we'd get through the next festival or two. Fortunately, a deal has been struck and Festival Genius will still be around. Slated, a New York-based media and entertainment company, has bought all B-Side's intellectual property, including Festival Genius. B-Side founder Chris Hyams will become Slated's Chief Operating Officer.

Slated is licensing Festival Genius to Independent Filmmaker Project, aka IFP, which (among other things) publishes Filmmaker magazine and hosts the annual Gotham awards. Some B-Side employees who were laid off when the Austin company closed will become IFP staff devoted to Festival Genius. It sounds like IFP will start charging fests a "nominal" amount to use the application (which B-Side had offered at no cost), but that hasn't stopped a number of former B-Side festival partners from already committing to use Festival Genius at their next fest, including Sundance. This will add a significant new aspect to IFP, which is already planning ways to incorporate aspects of IFP membership with Festival Genius.

Welcome back, Festival Genius!