What You Need to Know About Film Festivals


A film festival appearance is one of the best ways to get some critical eyes on your film, so be prepared with a serious entry. There is a chance you may walk away with nothing but a screening of your film, but it’s more likely you’ll get valuable face time and strong opinions about your work. Anyone can enter a film festival, but you’re more likely to be considered if you follow some of these tips.

Paying for Admission

Festivals aren’t terribly expensive themselves, but travelling can be. Local festivals are great for aspiring filmmakers, but they don’t usually have the weight of something like Cannes or Sundance. Budget these travelling expenses into your marketing budget and set strict limits on who needs to be present for those screenings. That will help you control costs, while putting your film in the competitive spotlight.

Attention to Detail

Every festival has its own set of rules and regulations, including how to send your film. Tribeca asks its entrants to send two DVD copies that are formatted for multi-zone use. Failure to comply with these smaller details will get your entry tossed out the window.

Acceptance and Your Film

Acceptance is reason for celebration, but here are some grounding facts. You won’t get to choose when your film is shown, that’s up to the festival program director. You also may not win an award. Approaching the festival with these two facts firmly in mind will help you focus on getting the most out of your appearance, without disappointing yourself.