Entering your film into festivals can be a long and emotionally draining journey. As filmmakers, we pour our heart and soul into our films, and by submitting them into festivals we find ourselves in a very vulnerable place.
Getting the Congratulations! email from a festival is an amazing feeling that can make your entire day if not your week. However, getting the Thanks for submitting but we had a lot of really good submissions this year email from a festival can be just as devastating.
“Festivals are looking to include films that make the programmers wonder, question, laugh, cry, or inspire.”
Find all 4 Ways to Get Your Film Accepted into Film Festivals here.
A few more quick tips
- Avoid Clichés. Does your film start with an alarm clock going off? Was someone dead the entire time? Is it the apocalypse? In the book How Not to Make a Short Film: Secrets from a Sundance Programmer, Roberta Marie Munroe gives a long list of clichés that festival programmers are tired of seeing.
- Get good sound. People are more willing to forgive a film that is ugly over one they can’t understand.
- Don’t give your actors material they can’t handle. Find the weaknesses and strengths of your actors before filming, and give them material that will seem natural for them.
- Use FilmFreeway. This is by far the easiest and best site to use when submitting films to festivals.