“I don’t know about you, but this sounds like heaven to me. Whether you are a film aficionado or a filmmaker with a film entered, a film festival is an exciting experience and one you will want to repeat as often as possible.” These words are the experience of Chris Gore that he writes in the first 10 pages of his book “The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide”. In this book he talks about going to Film Festivals all over the world and enjoying each and every one of them.
There was a time when there were only few film festivals and people were not enthusiasts enough as the studios controlled every aspect of film making. However, with the rise of Indie films every state in the country had its own film festival. In California alone there is around twenty or more film festivals.
There was a time when films did not happen at all unless they were under the sponsorship of the some studios. There was no chance at all for a little guy getting his or her film out there. But now the whole thing has been changed. The little guy can show his films anywhere he want, this gave a call to the rise of independent film festivals all over the world.
The first few film festivals where people submitted their films were the Sundance, The Tribeca, and The Toronto Film Festivals. Later however there came lots of other film festivals where people could submit their films and show their talent. This is rather like a lottery; if you don’t play you can’t win. If you don’t enter your film you can’t get it shown. You must continue to present your motion picture as many times as you can until you finally get approval into a festival.
Always remember that film festival board may have 800 submissions and only 40 spots for a film to be shown. So in the beginning you might get few rejection letters until you get your first acceptance letters. Many a refusal letter has given the reason that they had far too many submissions to even view them all. My advice to you is that once you have your film done and you have the very first date they are opening for submissions then put forward your film. Don’t wait until the last minute.
Make sure that your film has entered the right festival. I am not sure about the category, but you can get your film into the general drift. Also do not forget to read your application cautiously. It may require your entry to be mailed, done online, or even in person.
While presenting an independent motion picture, be very careful about the timings. If it is too long then do some trimming work. Just to be on the safer side if the film is say about 10 minutes long, make it 9 minutes. Do not let them a chance to give you a rejection letter for any cause.
Rejections can be a bit funny at the same time tricky. The “Slamdance” film festival came about as an answer to the rejections from “Sundance”. The Sundance Festival shows its plays in Park City, Utah at the same time in Park City, Utah Slamdance also shows it plays. This is a purposeful attempt to show the films that have been over looked or rejected by Sundance.
Go ahead and do your own search of film festivals and check out their application processes. Do these research sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until the last minute.