IMDb New Title Submission Top Frequently Asked Questions
This page includes answers to the most common feedback, complaints and frequently asked questions about how to add a new title to the Internet Movie Database. Please read these notes carefully before contacting us: due to the volume of help requests we receive we can't respond to questions or complaints that are already addressed here.
Help desk requests about one of these issues will be deleted with no reply, sorry.
How do I add a new title to the site?
To submit a new title for inclusion in the database you need to use our New Title Submission Form.
What kind of titles do you accept? And what makes them eligible for inclusion into IMDb?
A detailed list of types of titles we accept and the corresponding eligibility criteria/evidence are available here.
My title is still in production/development. Can it be added?
It depends. For the most part we only list titles that have been completed and (properly) released, but there are exceptions. For more details, see here. Once again, please be aware that these films are a tiny fraction of the titles featured in the database: The burden of proof for accepting them is substantially higher and you need to provide a lot of convincing and verifiable evidence that the film is eligible.
I tried to add my project but you have rejected it. Why?
When you submit a new title, you have to provide evidence that it fulfills our eligibility criteria. That usually means that our editors need to be able to easily and quickly determine that the title has been completed/(properly) released or that it's acceptable to be added as a title in production. If the information is not included, a title may be rejected even if it is eligible. If a title has been rejected, you should have received an email explaining what the reason was and suggesting an appropriate course of action (e.g. "wait until the film has been screened/released" or "submit additional information" etc.). If that mail includes a section headed "Note from the IMDb editors," pay especially close attention to that part of the message. It may contain a question you have to answer with your next submission of data for the title, give a specific reason why the title was rejected or mention some problem that needs to be fixed.
But my project exists! Why don't you believe me?
Existence is not the same thing as eligibility! Once again, we are not trying to only verify that the project is being (or has been) shot: we want evidence that it fulfills our requirements to be listed (e.g.: it is of general public interest; for details see here).
I promise my title is eligible and will be released! You must add it!
Nothing personal, but we can't rely on your word. The number of projects that are cancelled, even in production, or that are completed but never get a release or simply are not of general public interest as we define it is enormous. If you provide verifiable evidence that the title fulfills our acceptance criteria in some way, we'll be glad to list it. Once again, however, the burden of proof rests on your shoulders. And we have no time to run after it. It is your job to provide the evidence so we can access and process it efficiently. This is not because we are mean or lazy, but because the number of titles we have to process each day is simply too large to allow for any other approach.
This is unfair, you are stacking the deck against independent filmmakers -- I'm sure that big studio films don't have to go through this process.
Every title in the database has to be approved by our editors. We don't care if the budget is $1,000 or $100,000,000: as long as the title is submitted with the proper information and meets our eligibility criteria we will list it. Clearly, the eligibility of high profile studio projects is easier to verify but even those titles get cancelled/removed/rejected if our staff fails to verify their eligibility.
The budget for my film is confidential. Do I need to include it?
Knowing the budget for a title is useful and may help us approve your title. It will be published if you include it, but it is not mandatory to submit it. If you don't want to reveal the budget, don't submit a fantasy budget -- just omit it. Budgets that are obviously wrong damage your credibility and the chances of the title to be accepted.
Why did you reject my title and yet you list [insert title here]?
Each title is examined on a case-by-case basis. Do not assume that the existence of a certain title in the database is a guarantee that a similar title will be accepted. Additionally, certain titles (particularly films in production) may have been accepted because they were determined to be eligible at the time they were submitted but may no longer be suitable to be included. There may also be titles in the database that were added many years ago when our criteria were somewhat different. They might no longer be eligible according to current rules. Finally some titles might have got in by mistake. Such titles are removed as they are identified.
We remove ineligible titles all the time. If you are aware of titles that you believe are not eligible to be listed, feel free to bring them to our attention and our editors will be glad to reassess their status.
What kind of verification do you need?
For films that have been completed/released, we need links to online evidence of theatrical release (not one screening but an engagement for at least several shows), TV showings or screenings at qualifying festivals.
For films that have not yet been released, we usually need contact info for the production, links to announcements in the media/trades, published interviews with key cast/crew members confirming the status of the project, casting notices, evidence of development deals, etc.
For made-for-TV titles, we need evidence of past or future airing on a major market broadcast station or national network.
For direct-to-video projects, we need evidence of sales from a sufficiently non-local retailer other than the filmmakers or a distribution agreement with an established distributor.
These are the most common situations; see also here for more details.
What do you mean by "qualifying festival"?
Not all film festivals are created equal. Our criteria specify that a film must have been screened at a selective festival, i.e. a festival that doesn't accept everything regardless of its quality. "Selective" means that the ratio of submitted films to accepted films is at least 3:1. The festival must also be of sufficient stature and non-local relevance. For example, some ad hoc showcase in a little town to celebrate local talent is not a selective festival of the kind that gets you into IMDb. For more info, please refer to this guide.
What does "online evidence" mean? How do I provide this verification to you?
It means that as part of your submission you should include links to third-party sites that feature the required information. By "third-party" we mean sites that are not connected to the production: the official website for the production company or the director and other cast and crew is not a third-party site. The lack of these links is one of the most common reasons why new titles are rejected: you need to provide direct links (not just the home page of a site), and not vague descriptions like "The project was announced in the latest issue of [insert trade publication name here]". (Note that if the title is produced by an established production company - this means one that has produced several titles that have been distributed nationally - or is set up at an established studio or network, the site can be part of that company's site, like a press release or schedule page.) See also here.
But we're just starting production - we don't have an official web site yet!
That's OK - we're not looking for a full-fledged web site, or even necessarily something that we would normally accept for an external link. A newspaper article, press release (if there are established companies involved), or for released/older titles, a sales link, festival schedule link, or link to a library's online catalog entry will do. Remember that we need a link to a specific page, not the home page of a site. If there was once a link but it's gone now you can use the Internet Archive to try to get it back. But remember, existence of the film and eligibility are not the same. The link must prove eligibility.
I don't have any links to online sources, but I have other verification (for example a letter of acceptance from a reputable film festival, or the printed catalogue with my film in it). Would that work?
We strongly prefer online sources because it's much more efficient and faster for staff to process them. However as a last resort we might be able to accept printed materials.
The best way to do this is to scan them, save them as images (e.g. jpeg files), put them on the web somewhere and send us the link to them.
If you are unable to scan documents and put them online, as a last resort please contact us and ask for details on how to submit this data. Please be aware that processing your submission may take substantially longer due to the increased amount of manual labor involved.
There has been "online evidence" in the past, but the links have been removed since then! What can I do?
If there was once a link but it's gone now you can use the Internet Archive to try to get it back.
You sent me an e-mail with a specific question but the sender was 'firstname.lastname@example.org' (or: you sent me an unsolicited help desk message with a specific question) so I'm confused about how to answer your question!
Go back to your update history, find your original title submission, click on it and edit it to include the answer we are looking for. If you really can't figure out how to resend the title with the additional info, you may contact our help desk but please keep in mind that resubmitting the data is always substantially faster than any other route, because your submission will go directly to the editors in charge of making the final decision.
Ok, I think I've got it. How do I properly resubmit my title then?
Go back to your update history, find your original title submission, click on it and edit it to include the additional data and resend it through our web form. The more information you send us, the faster/easier it is for us to process the title. But do not resubmit the same information several times. That serves no purpose and does not help you to get into IMDb more quickly. Neither does submitting the same film with several spelling variations hoping one gets through. That will likely only delay acceptance of your title.
I've followed your instructions, resubmitted my title several times and you keep rejecting it. I demand an explanation!
There are three possible reasons: The title is not eligible to be included; the title is not yet completed/released and is not eligible to be included as an in-production film; you have still not included the information we need to verify that the title is eligible (remember: existence is not the same as eligibility).
In the first case there's nothing we can do: Remember that we don't just list every "film/program...". Ineligible titles will not be included. For details see here.
In the second case, you have probably received a notice saying that you need to wait until the film has been screened/released. If this is the case, that's what you have to do. Sorry: Like we said, only a tiny fraction of in-production titles can be listed before release. If our editors have decided that the film you submitted doesn't make the cut, you'll just have to wait until it is actually (properly) released before resubmitting it.
In the last case, you need to persevere and provide more information: evidence of release, festival acceptance etc. The more data you provide, the better.
My title was listed and now it's gone! Why?
All titles in production/development are accepted on a provisional basis and are periodically reviewed. If we are unable to verify that they're still eligible to be listed, we will remove them. If you want to avoid this, make sure that the information about the title is current and factual, and remember that we reserve the right to withdraw and modify information at any time at our discretion. If you feel that the title should be reinstated, you need to resubmit it and our editors will re-examine it as a new submission.