Film festivals offer a great way to show your movie on the big screen to a live audience. For most filmmakers, the experience is exciting and nerve-racking. And in addition to presenting your film, festivals also offer a great place to meet other filmmakers and indie film enthusiasts.
To get your film into festivals, you will first need to submit your work. You could apply to each festival individually, or you can use tools such as withoutbox and Film Freeway to help save you time.
To increase your odds of success, you should research various film festivals before applying. You’ll want to know if the festivals typically feature your type of film. Is the festival good for awards? Will you be able to meet distributors? Or is the objective to simply show up and get free beer?
Once at the festival, take time to meet the staff. Although the staff are meant to be impartial, they attend the same parties as the filmmakers. And you never know when you’ll meet a film festival judge. Make sure you are polite and nice to everyone. And be sure to “sell” your film to anyone who will listen!
The Minimalist Guide To Film Festivals
At one of our earliest film festivals, my film team and I won an award. It was a surreal and amazing experience that I remember to this day.
Getting into the festival, winning the award, and creating professional relationships was the result of careful planning. Not only did we have to make the movie itself, but we had to submit our movie to the appropriate film festival, and gain acceptance. Various judges had to watch and approve our film. In order to win at a film festival, the stars have to align just right. But with hard work and planning, it can certainly be done!
Looking For More Information?
The festival circuit can be difficult and confusing to navigate. If you would like more information into the specifics of film festivals, you should check out my buddy Chris Holland’s book: Film Festival Secrets: A Handbook for Independent Filmmakers.