Applying to film festivals successfully without going broke.

1) Screen your film.

The most important tip is to make sure that you are applying for the right film festival. Although film categories are very clear, there are many films that incorporate more than one genre into them. For example, a drama piece could have hints of comedy, and an action film could have hints of suspense. Screen your film for others and you will be able to determine if your film fits in one genre or another.

2) Ask for feedback.

Ask other fellow filmmakers to be brutally honest and do revisions. You should always take the feedback into consideration when doing an edit, whether it is on the film itself or on the description of it. Remember that people will give you feedback because you asked for it, and if something is not working, or you don’t agree with what they say don’t take it personally.

3) Don’t watermark your film.

Please don’t assume that film festival jury will pirate it, it will make you look pretentious and it is also very distracting. Send a finished product. Even though some film festivals accept “work in progress,” it is very likely that they won’t pick it because it probably isn’t great yet. You will do better by sending a finished product, which hopefully won’t have any flaws, and will have a complete story.

If you want to learn more about good practices when applying to film festivals, offers more tips in how to successfully do it here.

While submitting to all those festival something to keep in mind is: Don’t go broke.

According to ( Here are a few tips to avoid that:

1) Identify the film you have and be selective in film festivals.

What audience does it appeal to? Identifying what type of film you have will make it easier to know where to promote or sell it. Choose a festival that would be a great fit for your film. Don’t apply to Florida’s comedy blast festival if your film is Sad Susan’s Sunday. Don’t waste your budget trying to get in any festival because you want to be in one. Rather spend it on the festivals that you think identifies with it.

2) Contact past film festival goers.

Try and find out what films were shown at those festivals and try and see if you can contacts those filmmakers. Ask them how did they find the festival. What did they find lacking and apply this to the process of choosing the festival.

3) Offer your premier.

If its not the first time ever. Narrow it down. First time in the United States. No? First time in Florida? First time in Orlando.. First time in this square feet. Make it seem new and unseen!


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