Film Festivals and how they can rocket your film career.

When you complete your short film or indie feature film, its a great idea to enter
multiple film festivals with your film

There are some very compelling reasons to do so.

  1. Film Festival success helps your CV and your recognition as a film maker. 
  2. Gets you noticed by Sales Agents , Film Producers and Talent Scouts.
  3. Finds you an appreciative audience.

Many short film Makers make their short film and then forget to seek the audience. Outside of a cast and crew screening and a pat on the back from family and friends, many film makers stop at the conclusion of production and never get their film seen by anyone.

The reasons for this are as follows

  • Fatigue
  • Cost of entering film festivals
  • Fear of rejection.

Do not let the above get in the way of you finding your audience.  Film Project fatigue can be overcome by preparing your mental approach at the start of film production. When you start to make your low budget short film or low budget feature film, prepare for a one year festival circuit and promotion of your film.

Some film makers tell me that they feel they do not have a good enough film. Sometimes this is the case. However, many times this is just fear. To get around this obstacle, set a film festival budget for 30 film festival entries.  Set the budget aside and spend it till you have success.

The cost of entering film festivals is about $25 – $50 per festival for short films and about $50 – $100 for features. You are paying for the film festival to review your film and decide if it is worthy for their film festival.

Our strategy is always to enter 30 film festivals over a period of 18 months. If you succeed at one of the A list film festivals, then you will be invited to many other big film festivals.

Fear of Rejection is a tough one. Here is a rejection letter for the Sundance film Festival a friend of mine received.

On behalf of the Sundance Programming team, we would like to thank you for submitting your film to the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.  Unfortunately, we are not able to include it in our program this year.  With over 3,800 feature films submitted for consideration, narrowing the field down to 115 was more difficult than ever.  Please know that our staff carefully considered your film, and we viewed far more worthy films than we had room for in the program.  Do not be discouraged by this decision– we wish you the best of luck with your film, and look forward to having the opportunity to view your work in the future.

Film festivals are competitive. They are supposed to showcase the best innovative new work of fresh up and coming film makers. So yes, there is competition. If you are not in, you can not win. You have to take a “numbers game” approach. Work on a one in ten strategy. Enter 10 Film Festivals to get into one. I know many film makers who take this approach and succeed.

When entering film festivals, make sure you enter a film festival early and not right on their deadline when 80% of Film Makers enter. This gives your film a better chance.Make sure all your presentation materials are top class and that it is easy to watch your DVD.

Film festivals help the emerging and independent film maker get their work noticed by audiences and the film elite. Film Festivals are fun and inspiring events to attend. It is very exciting when your film screens at a top class film festival. It will give you the feeling of being a indie film maker. In future years after I have completed my feature film Absolute Freedom, I will attend many of the following A List Film Festivals listed at the end of the article. Many I have being to before but on my next visit, I want to give you the feel for each film festival and record numerous podcasts.

Colm O’Murchu

Here is the best resource for you film festival strategy and also the top 10 film festivals.

The Film Site that used to enter film festivals  is Without a Box.

Here is the A LIst Film Festivals in the world today .  If you get into any of these film festivals, it will benefit your film career dramatically.

Tribeca Film Festival

Toronto Film Festival

South by Southwest Film Festival

 Palm Springs International Film Festival

Telluride Film Festival

 Los Angles Film Festival

Cannes France




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