Independent filmmakers dream of screening their films at top film festivals across the globe. Though acceptance at top fests may not lead to instant success, it sure will point you in the right direction.
Unfortunately, for the filmmaker on a budget (name one that isn’t), festival submission fees add up fast, ranging from $35 to $200! As a result, one cannot take a scattershot approach. So with nearly 4000 festivals in North America alone, how does one decide which to submit to?
I definitely don’t have the answer, and now that I’m submitting Girlfriend 19 to festivals, I wish I had one. Of course, if your film is pretty good, then you owe it to yourself, your cast and your crew to go for the big ones. But then what? There are a ton of other great festivals around the world that are worth submitting to, but, again, one must be budget conscious. $50 here, $50 there adds up fast.
Navigating the festival world has been nothing less than labyrinthine. There are books, seminars, and word-of-mouth, but, in the end, it’s like dating: you have no idea who will be a good match and it takes a lot of expensive dates to find out…