Entering your film in a film festival? Here are Some Tips from Festival Presenters
1. If the submission guideline says read carefully or please follow- do that.
2. If Genre Specific (i.e. Going Green, Christian) make sure that is what your film displays.
3. Don’t delay, know what festivals you plan to submit to and which ones you will attend etc. Then work out a budget to film, submit and travel.
4. Don’t harass the festival promoters
5. Don’t try to conform the festival to your way of thinking because you don’t like the rules.
6. Festivals HAVE THE RIGHT to REFUSE your film.
7. Most festivals have a submission process fee- THIS IS NON NEGOTIABLE /NON-REFUNDABLE!
8. DVD’s are generally not returned.
9. Your first film doesn’t have to be 3 hours! Starting out a short film will help you get acclimated with the filming process and get a feel for the festival circuit.
10. Don’t rush your project, this is a big reason for not being accepted.
11. Fill out submission forms neatly and legibly. Scribbling, line drawing etc. shows rushing and may send a message to the festival that it’s not that important to you.
12. It’s a Christian film festival- honoring the Lord, it’s family friendly- kids can watch without supervision, don’t send films with profanity, nudity, lewd behavior. You apparently didn’t realize this was a Christian festival, or you wanted to see if we would compromise.
13. When at all possible make your way to a festival, especially when you are a finalist. We don’t mind giving you the award if you earn/win it, but the audience wants to meet you, see you and the cast/crew, ask questions and get to know the ‘backstory’. This is your opportunity to do more than just say ‘you made a movie’. This is the time to build your following/fan base, create a real presence and show people the face of the film. These are usually the people that will then support your indiegogo/kickstarter/faithlaunching ventures.
14. Don’t be afraid to be proactive in marketing a film festival. Encourage your friends and family to attend the festival, even if you can’t make it, spread the word about a festival you are in, the more people ask about a festival or attend because of you said so, the more festivals take notice of you and your film and proactively work to promote you to other festivals and distributors…
15. Don’t just become a number on my FB page, and don’t splatter my page with your promos either, but good information about you and what you are working on is okay. Give feedback sometimes too. If we have a survey or a question, it means we want to know what you think!
16. Don’t jump into it unless you first pray through it.