Jump to content


To Submit or Not to Submit to Film Festivals


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 gregorscheer

gregorscheer
  • Guests

Posted 20 December 2005 - 02:29 AM

So you have your first film, in my case it is the pilot for a series of educational documetaries for kids, harmless, pretty, instuctional, fun... and after all that struggle you are proud and releaved. Aditionally just about everyone who sees it loves it and means well. Only problem the right people, those you give you the money to make the next one and use it in their television programming just seem to be so hard to convince to even consider it. So slowly you understand that the reall hard time comes when you have to distribute your little masterpiece.

Question: How usefull are film festivals to get in touch with the right people?

and do you want to pay for submitting ?
Many european festivals do not charge a fee for submitting so I sent it to a few and got selected allright. Problem was you need to make a translated version with subtitles or voice over and convert to Pal formats so that costs a bit of money and time too, and then when you research what the local press said about your film you find only two articles about the festival. One that anounces th beginning and one the end with ceremony and prices. No journalist seems to go even see the films. So recently I got contacted by a New York International Independent Film And Video Festival! they would be glad to show my film only I would have to pay 300 bucks to show it in New York or 600 if I wanted to show my 30 minute film also in LA. Sounds like rip of to me...

Anyone experience with this festival or festivals in general?
  • 0

#2 gregorscheer

gregorscheer
  • Guests

Posted 20 December 2005 - 01:12 PM

Or is this not the right forum to talk about production and distribution issues
  • 0

#3 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5070 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 20 December 2005 - 02:15 PM

You have to plan the festivals that are worthwhile for your project. There are festivals that are interested in different types of productions and you need to pick the ones that are best suited to show casing your production.

However, it does cost money, so you need to budget this out. Some European festivals do require subtitles, but a lot don't. You just supply a script and they'll either have a translator or sub titles using a separate projector.

It's also worth visiting festivals, you make a contacts. A number of the European festivals also have markets attached.

$300 to enter a festival. No way if your film is a short!
  • 0

#4 Justin Hayward

Justin Hayward
  • Sustaining Members
  • 928 posts
  • Director
  • Chicago, IL.

Posted 20 December 2005 - 04:36 PM

So recently I got contacted by a New York International Independent Film And Video Festival! they would be glad to show my film only I would have to pay 300 bucks to show it in New York or 600 if I wanted to show my 30 minute film also in LA. Sounds like rip of to me...


I've heard this is a scam, but I don't know the details. Regardless, three hundred dollars is a huge amount of money to submit for a film festival. There are plenty of decent festivals that cost 1/10 that price of submission.

Justin
  • 0

#5 Dan Salzmann

Dan Salzmann
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1143 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Paris, France

Posted 20 December 2005 - 05:36 PM

I agree $300 to submit a film to a festival sounds like a scam. Fact is that anyone can start a film festival including a bunch of frat boys. Do your research and be as selective as they are.
Reputable festivals are a good way to get an independent film seen. After all a film gets made to be shared with others.
  • 0

#6 Sean Azze

Sean Azze
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 145 posts
  • P.A.

Posted 21 December 2005 - 07:53 PM

You should register your film on a site called "Withoutabox" (withoutabox.com). They give you access to a GARGANTUAN database of film fests. You can keep an electronic presskit on their site which they send out to every film fest you enter (saving you tons of dough you would have otherwise spent on publicity photos and such) and they give you a $5-$10 discount on every film fest you enter so after a few the thing basically pays for itself.

Oh yeah, and $300 for a film fest is unheard of. Film fests on average charge between $10 to around 50 or at the most $60 if you're submitting your film way past the regular deadline.
  • 0

#7 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11944 posts
  • Other

Posted 21 December 2005 - 09:00 PM

Hi,

> Reputable festivals are a good way to get an independent film seen.

Apart from the fact that reputable festivals are of course inundated with entries because they are reputable festivals, and are therefore horribly selective.

Sad truism of film festivals: if it's worth showing your film at a given festival, it won't be possible to do so.

Phil
  • 0

#8 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 26 December 2005 - 07:39 AM

Festivals are a tough angle to go. If you shoot in non-film you have to compete with thousands of others for acceptance. Film productions have a better chance of acceptance, but you're still up against more than you ever really want to be.

The single determining factor is how good or entertaining your product is. We all intend to make good product, but with all that goes into a production, sometimes your stuff isn't as good as you hoped. DAMN!

Festivals are a racket. They make money on submissions... lots of money! They take advantage of our need to be seen. They profit from our egos. Even if you do get into one, you may have had to submit to twenty or a hundred to bag that one. So, you've plunged $1,000.00 to $5,000.00 to get into one festival. You show up at your own expense and find out that you've managed to put 25 butts in the seats. So what? Big deal.

I hate to sound so grumpy about festivals. But, they are a scam and they really piss me off!
  • 0

#9 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5070 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 26 December 2005 - 08:13 AM

Festivals are a tough angle to go. If you shoot in non-film you have to compete with thousands of others for acceptance. Film productions have a better chance of acceptance, but you're still up against more than you ever really want to be.

The single determining factor is how good or entertaining your product is. We all intend to make good product, but with all that goes into a production, sometimes your stuff isn't as good as you hoped. DAMN!

Festivals are a racket. They make money on submissions... lots of money! They take advantage of our need to be seen. They profit from our egos. Even if you do get into one, you may have had to submit to twenty or a hundred to bag that one. So, you've plunged $1,000.00 to $5,000.00 to get into one festival. You show up at your own expense and find out that you've managed to put 25 butts in the seats. So what? Big deal.

I hate to sound so grumpy about festivals. But, they are a scam and they really piss me off!


There are good festivals and bad festivals. Many of the European festivals don't charge entry fees, but a film should have a promotion budget that can be used to sell the film. If you enter early in the US festivals you can get cheaper entry fees. You need to target festivals that are interested in the genre or style of film you've made.

Often you get invited to festivals and they'll cover your accommodation, others will also cover your travel expenses. With the two shorts I've directed I was invited to festivals in the US, Rio and various European festivals. However, it is extremely competitive, so your film must stand out from the crowd and you must think how to market it effectively.
  • 0

#10 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 26 December 2005 - 12:43 PM

If you are submitting to European festivals on DVD then you can send out NTSC dvd's and we will be able to play them here, then you only have to get the transfer done if you are selected. Sadly this doesn't work the other way round, so pal has to be converted to NTSC and theres all those fees on top!

So consider yourself lucky! ;)

[NTSC, Region 0].

love

Freya

Edited by Freya, 26 December 2005 - 12:45 PM.

  • 0


Wooden Camera

Visual Products

CineTape

Opal

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

CineLab