The annual film festival, there are 3,000 of them, can play a vital role it getting attention for your film. “You will get reviewed, press, awards, and buzz going around your movie”, says producer Mary Aloe. There are 50 top festivals in the world today, that are ‘must tries’. But that can be a costly and time consuming enterprise. Mary Aloe had a dialogue with her team at Aloe Entertainment and they came up with some ground rules on choosing a festival to enter.
- Location, location, location
- Awards offered
- Prestige of the festival
- Rules and restrictions of the festival
- Distribution possibilities
- Press possibilities
- How much do I have to spend (entry fees, travel, lodging, meals, parties)
“And once you choose one or more festivals to enter, says Mary Aloe, “decisions like hiring a press agent, building a website, and getting all the marketing materials (brochures, pamphlets, posters, sizzle reels, etc.) together become crucial, possibly expensive, and time-consuming.” One of the Aloe Entertainment team added, “Then there’s all the networking, which parties to attend decisions, meetings and screening invites to coordinate. Not to mention the post festival work of thank you notes, gathering and distributing all the latest news, press clippings and pictures - someone has to take pictures - in social media, etc.; and any post festival screenings you might need to attract attention from distributors, etc.”
Making lists and budgets are essential. Most festivals are in March, April, June, September, October, and November and cost an average of $40 to enter. You can find a nice list of festivals at FilmFestivals.com. Most use WithoutABox.com for entry, but Mary suggests you go to the website of the individual festival to be sure. Submit early with a finished product. Be sure to check the rules, as each festival has unique requirements.