Part 10 - Film Festivals

One way to get your film seen by the public is to exhibit in a film festival. You usually need to fill out an application for your film to be seen at a film festival. Once you go to the festival website and download the application there will be listed the dates of submission. The best way to avoid rejection is to make sure that your film is submitted the first day into accepting films. Get your film and application in as soon as possible.

Film Festivals usually have a entrance fee but they are usually pretty reasonable such as $50. You are going to have to invest some money into your film and a film festival entrance fee is the best way to do so.

Make sure that your finished film is appropriate for the film festival in which it is being exhibited. Although you may be familiar with the Sundance Film Festival that is held in Utah each year, there are literally thousands of film festivals that cater to independent film makers.

The Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) have become very commercialized and no longer is for the low budget film. You will probably be better off to try a smaller film festival for your first project.

Before you enter your film into a film festival, you need to get together a press packet. This should include promotional items about your movie including press releases that you hope will be picked up by trade magazines such as Variety. You should try to enter as many film festivals as possible to give your movie the most exposure.

Do not get dejected if your film gets rejected. The reason for film festivals is to showcase rejected films. The interesting phenomena is that some films that have been rejected by major motion picture studios have gone on to do well at festivals such as Sundance and have even ended up earning Academy Awards.

In addition to Sundance, you can also consider the Slam Dance Film Festival which is held each year in New York City. This is a festival of films that were rejected by the Sundance Film Festival.

The Slamdance Film Festival is now seen as the new "Sundance" because it picks up some of the more interesting independent films that the now commercial Sundance rejects. Halle Berry won the Academy award as best actress for her role in "Monster's Ball," a film that was rejected by Sundance but accepted by Slamdance. The film went on to commercial success.

If your film ends up getting noticed by the critics, chances are that it will be picked up by a major motion picture company for release. You will then have to decide on which type of rights you wish to sell for the picture. They will also want the option to put the film on DVD.

One way to find the best film festivals is to do a search online for film festivals and start entering your film. The more notice you get for your film, the more of a chance that you will have of being noticed in the industry. Here are the top 2 places to submit for festivals:

I've used both, and they're both reliable sites.

Once you have one film under your belt, it will be easier for you to make more movies. One book that you may want to pick up is the book by Chris Gore called "The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide."

This has information on how to enter film festivals as well as what you need to do if your film is accepted into a film festival.

The largest film festival in the country is the Seattle International Film Festival.

This takes place each year between May and June. They exhibit over 300 movies each year at their festival. In addition to viewing movies at the Seattle Film Festival, you can also learn a thing or two about making movies. There are discussion forums that can help you find success with your films. Although marketing is important and can get your film noticed, it does not replace sheer story telling talent.

Something that you might want to look into at the Seattle International Film Festival is Fly Filmmaking. This is a special competition that takes place prior to the film festival and in which the three winning films are then displayed at the festival. At the end of the film festival, the judges choose which film is the winner of the entire festival. Film festivals are more than just a chance to display your film; they are an opportunity to compete with other film makers for the prize of winning a film festival. Once your film has won a film festival award, it has a better chance of being noticed and so do you as a film maker.

You can also enter a competition to make a film. Guerilla Filmmaking offers competitions in which budding film makers are given five days to shoot a 10 minute film. There is a very limited budget and this can be a good way to learn some film making skills for those who have never made a film. Both Fly Film Making and Guerilla Film Making a film for either of these competitions has to be done on the spot, on a very limited budget and has to be a short film. This can be a good project for anyone who wants to learn what it takes to make a film quickly.

Years ago, movie houses showed matinees and people went to the movies a lot more often than they do today. Today we have other forms of entertainment, including television. Today is very much like the 1940s when it comes to film making, however, because there is a demand for low budget films that are produced rather quickly.

In the 1940s, matinees were usually very short films that were made on low budget. Most of the big movie companies had smaller corporations that were the production companies for their low budget films. One of these was RKO. These films were produced very quickly, often within a couple of weeks, and on a very limited budget. Some of these films, such as those made by producer Val Lewton, have become classics to those who observe film.

If you are serious about making a movie and having it distributed to as many people as possible, then you should also start attending film festivals now, before you have made your film, so that you can see what goes on at the festivals.

If you are fortunate enough to attend one of the famous colleges that have noted film making credentials such as UCLA or Columbia, you will know where to go to participate and learn from film makers. Although an education in the film industry is desired if you are to succeed, you should not let a lack of formal education prevent you from achieving your dream of making your own movie and releasing it to the public.