Distribution : How important are film festivals for you? by Elaine Viets

Elaine Viets

How important are film festivals for you?

How important are film festivals -- especially the smaller ones, like the Sarasota and Fort Lauderdale International Film Festivals? My actor friends say they can be terrific showcases for their work, and the only chance they have to show their range. Most have roles in student flicks of varying quality. What about the rest of you -- craftys, special effects, location scouts? Do film festivals help you and if so, how? I have a radio interview with the head of the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival next week. What would you like me to ask him?

Kate Chesson

I think they are essential for giving film makers a 'step up' into the industry .. connecting with peers and making new contacts are both vital .. as are actually showing your film to an 'audience' and getting that feedback ... after all films are made to be watched

Simon © Simon

Ask them the most acceptable format for delivery (DCP oR BLueRay) and which films get chosen over others? All things being equal. Is it being able to have two 10 minute shorts or one 20 minute short? That makes a decision. Although paying to enter your own film is a lot like the ol band days of pay to play, at least the band could sell tickets to recoup the entry fee. Has the FF ever thought about doing something like that or do they already? IE GIve an entry 20 tickets to sell for 5-10 a piece or whatever the door is to recoup the entry fee. Considering the time, money and work put into the movie, while the festival makes money on concessions, entry, etc...

Kate Chesson

Our festival is free to enter if you are from Wales ... so supporting Welsh talent

Elaine Viets

thanks, These are helpful.

Philip Sedgwick

This is a relationship-oriented business. Meeting people and creating those relationships is one of the most productive things anyone in the biz can do. Personally, I love the fests!

Daniel Johnson

I think any place that has an audience is terrific.

Brad Pretkerg

That's for sure!

Jason Prugar

I would ask what their selection criteria is. It's varied and not always fair IMO. I used to run one with a friend and we have a committee of 8 people watch and grade each film. My buddy entered one where the festival director watched it and if he liked it, would pass it on to a committee. If he didn't, it got rejected.

Shane M Wheeler

Film Festivals are great as test audiences if nothing else, and winning awards let's you know that whatever you made, it was worthwhile to someone. Awards can make it a little easier to get notice, distribution, etc. On the downside, not every film can be an award winner, and some of my films have struggled just to be shown- it gets disheartening. When this happens, it can be a lot of money spent for little/no gain. All that said, the short Footprints that I wrote just won best short in the Unreal Film Festival, and I have to say, it feels really good to win! https://www.stage32.com/sites/default/modules/s32/utils/video.php?nid=&m...

Simon © Simon

Elaine, Thanks for the follow up and using one of my questions at the FF. I did look around to find the answer to the statement that was made. I will para phrase, for those who are interested. Elaine @ FF " Which films stand a better chance to get in, a 20 minute short or two 10's? FF " Two 10's" FF " I do not even watch a short movie, only shorts. if it is over 12 minutes long I do not bother" My Question: What is the difference between a Short and a short movie? I Googled around and could not find an answer on Wiki. Is "Short" some kind of slang word being thrown around like Noir is often mis used?

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