One of the best ways for a filmmaker to get their work seen is to enter film festivals. No doubt you’ve heard of the big film festivals like the Sundance or Cannes, but what if you’re just starting out and want something smaller, less competitive or more local?
Never fear, there are well over a thousand to choose from. Some are free to enter.
Finding them can be easy. There are several websites to help you locate festivals that are right for your project.
A website calling itself the Film Freeway offers users information on over 1,300 festivals around the world.
They give you all the information you need to know about each festival, the categories accepted, plus all the rules, prices and entry fees.
Film Freeway does not charge anything to use their site. You do not have to give up any of your rights of ownership to your film.
The site has features that allow you to upload and enter your film into some of the festivals.
The site also features a lot of winning films from various festivals. Watching these can not only inspire you, but also help you learn professional quality video production. There could be a lot more that you need to learn or change to your film before it can be considered for a prize, let alone having the chance to work on movies that are broadcasted on the big screen. Maybe even things that you didn’t expect to be important, like incorporating on screen movie ads before the start of your film could help you to go a long way in the industry as you want it to look as professional and as realistic as possible. As I always say, watching the work of others with a focus on the production values and techniques used help you hoe your own skills. Yes, that means I think watching TV commercials can be a productive activity. 🙂
Another site that lists lots of festivals is called Click for Festivals. Much like the Film Freeway, Click for Festivals is also a free tool and allows you to upload your video to the site.
FESTIVALS FOR SHORT AND NO BUDGET VIDEO PROJECTS
If your project is under 8 minutes in total length, you can submit it to a weekly festival sponsored by the public television station in New York, WNET. This festival is free and winners are determined by an online vote.
If no budget filmmaking is your cup of tea, another festival to check out is the No Budget Film Festival. According to their “about us” page, the festival was begun as “…an experiment in independent filmmaking in the purest sense.” This festival has grown into a fairly big event since its inception in 2010.
All in all, Film Festivals are an excellent resource for the filmmaker who wants to have their work seen. So go check it out these websites and see what festivals are right for your project.
Good luck with all your video making efforts. Sign up for my free course to begin your journey to becoming a professional quality video maker. You can sign up from any page on this blog.
Lorraine Grula, Internet Video Gal