HDFEST® Milestones

We Were There at the Beginning

High-definition, HD, high-def, the terms are everywhere today. Back in 2000 when HDFEST® was founded, the world of high-definition was wildly different.

Screenings in high-definition were a rarity and virtually non-existent in theaters. Early adopter HD indie filmmakers discovered that HD screenings of their projects, for all practical purposes, didn’t exist. The shooting options for indie filmmakers looking to work in high-definition were limited, inexpensive HD camcorders were years away, and HD cameras on cell phones seemed the stuff of dreams.

Making First Impressions Around the World

Many people hadn’t heard of HD “back in the day,” and for most people, HDFEST® marked the very first time they had seen high-definition on a big screen in a theater setting. Early in our history, HDFEST® traveled the world introducing audiences to what was often their first experience with high-definition. Overwhelmingly, general audience, indie filmmakers and industry professionals alike were stunned by this “new kind of digital video” and we were proud and excited to be part of it all.

HDFEST® and Digital Indie Filmmaking

We always felt that high-definition was a true game changer. Since 2000, we’ve seen our initial assessment of the potential of high-definition unfold. Today, high-definition technology is allowing independent filmmakers to do more with less than ever before. We’ve loved watching it all unfold and are eager to continue to play a key role in the continued evolution of digital indie filmmaking.

Evolving Alongside High-Definition Since 2000

Over the years, HDFEST® continued to evolve alongside high-definition. As a result, the festival was responsible for many noted film festival first. Adopting new high-definition technologies and showcasing them to the public, indie filmmakers and entertainment and technology professionals has always been at the core of HDFEST’s mission.

Past HDFEST® Cities

Los Angeles
New York
Helsinki, Finland
Hameenlina, Finland

Past HDFEST® Venues

Part of our goal in showcasing movies was to focus on all aspects of presentation, ranging from projection and audio quality to our selection of venues. Since our inception, HDFEST® has been able to use some of the world’s finest screening facilities. These facilities were routinely early adopters and incorporated cutting-edge technology.

Here are just a few of the facilities where HDFEST® events have taken place since 2000:

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences-Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre-Los Angeles
Dolby Laboratories’ Larry Umlang Presentation Theatre II in Los Angeles
Fox Studios Australia
Sony Wonder Technology Lab in NYC
Tribeca Grand Screen Theater in NYC

HDFEST®-Trailblazing (Yes, Trailblazing) Events & Technology Demonstrations

Considered an industry trailblazer for its forward-thinking promotion of HD, few events, if any events, have done more to promote high-definition to the independent film community than HDFEST®. HDFEST® has been responsible for numerous historic digital cinema landmark events and technological firsts, check out our festival milestones page.

HDFEST®Technological Milestones

First High-Definition Film Festival
First DivX HD Film Festival
First 2K Film Festival

The HDFEST® Deffie-The Award for Recognizing Excellence in High-Definition

Back in 2004, HDFEST instituted the annual HDFEST® Deffie Awards, offering recognition of excellence in High-Def filmmaking and innovation. The Deffie award continues to recognize the very best achievements in high-definition.

The Future of HDFEST®

The future of HDFEST® is the future of digital entertainment, pure and simple. HDFEST® will do what it has done since it’s inception in 1999, and its first festival in 2000, evolve alongside digital entertainment. In the future, you can depend upon HDFEST® to continue to seek out the very best in high-definition independent cinema and incorporate new and exciting technologies into all that we do.

A Wide Array of Diverse of Industry and Filmmaker Support

HDFEST® has enjoyed great support from the filmmaking, technology and entertainment communities. Often this support has been unstated and unpublicized. Some of the world’s largest corporations have backed HDFEST® in a variety of important ways as our World Tours have spanned the globe promoting high-definition long before it’s ubiquitous adoption.

For all of those who have supported HDFEST® both publicly and privately over the years we offer a heartfelt thank you. We look forward to continuing to bring cutting-edge technology and entertainment to audiences in the future.

HDFEST®-The World’s First High-Definition Film Festival

HDFEST® has been very busy over the years promoting all thing high-definition.
Being the world’s only high-definition film festival, HDFEST® event innovations and the amazing array of HD films screened at the festival have been covered in a wide variety of publications including “Wired,” and “The Wall Street Journal,” as well as numerous newspapers such as the “The Miami Herald,” and “The New Times.”

Here are some of the festival highlights and milestones since 2000.

  • HDFEST® holds the world’s very first high – definition film festival.
  • 2000 HDFEST® holds the first high – definition expo, showcasing a range of cutting edge high
  • definition equipment
  • HDFEST® holds it’s first Los Angeles Event at The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre at The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences becoming LA’s very first HD film festival
  • The first HD screening in history of CBS’s #1 ranked program “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and accompanying panel of the TV show’s Director, Producer, Colorist and DP who discuss working in high – definition
  • HDFEST® holds the first Los Angeles’ first high – definition expo exhibiting a wide range of products and equipment for HD filmmaking
  • HDFEST® 2002-2003 World Tour begins
  • HDFEST® London marks the U.K.’s first high – definition film festival
  • HDFEST® Los Angeles 2003 becomes history’s largest high – definition event. Numerous articles are published covering historic nature of HDFEST® 2003
  • HDFEST® holds the first Australian HD Film Festival at Fox Studios Australia and Chauvel Cinema in Sydney
  • HDFEST® holds the first Scandinavian film festival in Finland
  • The first NYC high-definition film festival takes place in Manhattan
  • HDFEST® screens breakthrough presentations “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” and “Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation” at 2004 New York event.
  • 2004 becomes the first year for the “HDFEST® Deffie Awards” which recognize achievement in HD filmmaking. HDFEST’s 2004 Deffie Award ceremony gives out 12 Deffies to HD filmmakers and technical innovators.”
  • Intel signs on as top level sponsor for HDFEST® 2005
  • DALSA Digital Cinema/HDFEST® Deffie Award-State-of-the-art DALSA Origin Camera package and training session awarded
  • HDFEST® New York marks first DivX HD film festival. All playback for screenings uses DivX HD technology
  • HDFEST® holds “First 2K Film Festival” as all festival content is projected using new 2K High-Definition projection technology in Los Angeles
  • HDFEST® – Raindance Film Festival multiyear partnership formed
  • HDFEST® events include 16 HD panel discussions with over 80 panelists from across the globe.
  • HDFEST® launches
  • HDFEST® Seoul event takes place September 7-12, in Seoul, South Korea
  • content offerings and traffic soar
  • HDFEST® holds its first Seattle event
  • emerges as the second ranked film festival website in the world with millions of visitors
  • HDFEST® holds it’s first Portland event
  • Technology showcase at the Living Room Theater in Portland
  • Content development and consulting