Updated: May 21
Let us guess:
South by Southwest
Ok, that was easy. So, let's ask a more important question:
Which Film Festivals Should You Try to Get Into?
All film festivals don't share the same purpose though, on the surface, it may seem like they do. Some film festivals are designed to showcase Hollywood talent while providing an elegant portrayal of the Hollywood mystique. Other film festivals are designed to highlight and promote the art of a specific targeted community. Some film festivals are designed to build the filmmaking community in their local areas by giving filmmakers a chance to be seen and heard. Other film festivals are designed to speak truth to power through socially-inspired content.
The film festivals that are right for you are not necessarily the ones that appear to be the most prestigious, as their awards are often set aside for those with the most prestige. The film festivals that are right for you are the ones that curate your target audience for you. These are the ones that allow you to speak directly to the people who can most closely identify with your content while providing you with an opportunity to build a following.
Consider your target audience for a second. Are you able to describe it in a way that would allow someone to point your target person out in a crowd? This level of specificity is what you need as you're looking to select a film festival to showcase your work.
Consider the demographics (age, race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, income, education, and employment), geographics (physical location, community), and interests (film genre, socio-political, religious, likes/dislikes) of your audience. When choosing a festival, you'll want to be where these people are because those people are looking for you. They are the ones who will watch your work and, if it's good, tell others in their community about it and about you.
Don't worry if these festivals aren't the most well-known. Film festival success isn't about getting into the most prestigious festivals (those selection laurels mean little these days); it's about proving that your film is fit for its market. This is what distributors and sales agents are looking for. They want to know that your film can sell to a specific market where they have either had success or to a market they are looking to penetrate for future success.
So, we get that you want to get into the most prestigious film festivals and maybe, one day, with the right level of prestige of your own, those festivals will be right for you. But, for now, we encourage you to look to the festivals that are fit for you, fit for your market, and fit for your future success.
Be Better. Be Creative. Be Engaged.
If you're looking for someone to help you on your creative journey, feel free to reach out to us. We'd love to work with you!