How to Get Your Project into Film Festivals

Hosted by Greg Sorvig


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Greg Sorvig

Webinar hosted by: Greg Sorvig

Artistic Director at Heartland Film / Senior Associate Programmer at Tribeca Festival

Greg leads the artistic vision and film programming department for Heartland Film and its Academy Award®-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival and Heartland International Film Festival events in Indianapolis where he serves as the organization’s liaison with major studios, industry, and filmmakers. In addition to his lead role at Heartland Film, Greg is also Senior Associate Programmer on the Tribeca Festival shorts team. Greg regularly serves as an international film festival juror, industry panelist, and mentor for top 20 film schools, including USC and DePaul University. Greg also recently served as a 2022 National Endowment for the Arts American Rescue Plan Media Arts Reader and 2021 International Documentary Association IDA+XRM Media Incubator Grant Reviewer. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

A New Exclusive Webinar!

Learn how to package and submit your film to festivals, taught by an Oscar-qualifying festivals programmer.

If you’re looking to produce and sell your own feature or short film project, film festivals will be crucial to your success. Countless filmmakers have launched successful films and careers using film festivals, such as Ryan Coogler, Quentin Tarantino, Catherine Hardwicke, Lulu Wang, Barry Jenkins, Robert Rodriguez, Wes Anderson, Chloé Zhao, and many more.

For you to have the same shot at success as these renowned filmmakers, you’ll need a strong strategy for your project. And in this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, we’ll show you how.

In this webinar, you’ll learn how to prepare, package, and submit your film to the gatekeepers of the film festival circuit. This process is just as vital as the final cut of your film, and it should be your priority to market yourself and your project correctly across the festival submission landscape.

By demystifying this process, you’ll be able to define your goals and be prepared for the best possible outcome when you go out to festivals.

Taking you behind the curtain of the festival circuit is Greg Sorvig, who leads the artistic vision and film programming department for Heartland Film and its Academy Award-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival and Heartland International Film Festival events. In his role, Greg serves as the organization’s liaison with major studios, producers, and filmmakers. He is also the Senior Associate Programmer for the Tribeca Festival Shorts team.

Greg regularly serves as an international film festival juror, industry panelist, and mentor for top 20 film schools, including USC and DePaul University. Greg’s many roles give him an insider perspective on what films get into festivals and why, as well as why certain films are more successful than others. And it is this insider knowledge that Greg is providing you with as you build your festival strategy.

Greg will show you where and how to submit, how to avoid scams, how to know your project is ready, how to package it, how to budget and understand festival timelines, and so much more.

Plus, for those who join Greg for the live stream of this webinar, you’ll be able to ask Greg any questions about festivals and your project.

Don’t miss out on your chance to learn from Greg, develop your film festival strategy, and take control of your project’s future.


“It came as a big, pleasant surprise that MTV Documentary Films acquired ‘76 Days’ during the Heartland International Film Festival. Even in our challenging time of COVID-19, film festivals are continuing to play a crucial role in supporting independent films and filmmakers,” said Hao Wu. “I’m extremely grateful to Artistic Director Greg Sorvig and the Heartland International Film Festival team for having made this acquisition possible.” -- Hao Wu, Director 76 Days (Emmy Winner, Oscar Shortlist)

“Greg and the team know how to not only run a slick and professional festival, but also be openly available to chat to and relax with as well. We cannot recommend this festival enough - it's got the charm, the know-how and the open arms of everything a filmmaker needs from a festival.” -- Katie McCullough, Founder of Festival Formula, Ltd.

What You'll Learn

The Overview

  • Your Instructor
  • Film Festivals 101
  • Programming 101

What I Do & What I Look For

  • Artistic Director / Programmer Roles
  • Film Types – Features & Shorts
  • Themes & Trends

You Have a Film – Now What?

  • Are You and/or the Film Ready?
  • Doing your Research & Assessing your Assets
  • Defining Your Goals, Strategy & Budget

Submitting Your Film

  • FilmFreeway & other Submission Channels
  • Beware of Scam Fests
  • Cold Submissions, Waivers, Fest Contacts
  • Crafting a cover and emails that will open doors

Festival Communication

  • Best Practices
  • Dealing with Rejection

You Got Selected! Now What?

  • Expectations & Questions
  • Should You Attend?
  • Budgeting for the festival & Understanding Timelines
  • You Control Your Destiny

Demystifying the Misconceptions

  • Is My Film Actually Getting Viewed?
  • The truth about Submitting at the Final Deadline
  • Do You Have to Know Someone to Get In?

Q&A with Greg

About Your Instructor

Greg leads the artistic vision and film programming department for Heartland Film and its Academy Award®-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival and Heartland International Film Festival events in Indianapolis where he serves as the organization’s liaison with major studios, industry, and filmmakers. In addition to his lead role at Heartland Film, Greg is also Senior Associate Programmer on the Tribeca Festival shorts team.

Greg regularly serves as an international film festival juror, industry panelist, and mentor for top 20 film schools, including USC and DePaul University. Greg also recently served as a 2022 National Endowment for the Arts American Rescue Plan Media Arts Reader and 2021 International Documentary Association IDA+XRM Media Incubator Grant Reviewer.


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