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How should independent filmmakers prepare for upcoming film festivals?

Congrats if you have already made a film. After all, finishing up this filmmaking process is no easy task. It is true that submitting your film at a film festival is time, money and effort consuming. The result of submitting is hugely positive, but in order to achieve that a filmmaker must be well prepped. Otherwise, you may feel overwhelmed and confused among all the talented personalities. To provide you good preparation for the upcoming film festival you should follow these steps:

Find your Goals
Its all a game of reverse engineering and proper game planning. You must know what do want to get out of a film festival — going in blindly will not help you in any way. You have to think about your goals and have to be very clear about them.

Your goal can be:

i. Get a distribution deal

ii. Connect with other filmmakers

iii. Get exposure from your movie

iv. Or simply travel to a new place

You have to sort out your ambitions and act accordingly. Once you have set goals, then you can sort out film festivals of our liking and submit your film there. We have already said, not every film festival is for everyone. You can check out our blog named types of film festivals.

Make your genre work for you
If you have a genre film, this is key aspect to you. You need to find your ‘genre festival’, for example, if you have made a horror or science fiction movie, you can go for scream-feat film festival or Horror Film Festival. Similarly, if you have made a short movie, you can go for Cannes Short film festival.

You can not expect your romantic film to work out well in a horror fest. The whole point of these genre film festivals is focus on a singular theme, so that the films in that particular genre receives their deserved space and acknowledgement.

Time is limited.
The whole film fraternity is bound by time. They don’t have 3–4 hours to watch one movie. Cut your movie short. The average attention span of a human being is only 10 seconds. Within theses 10 seconds you have to prove film to b worthy of watching. The screenplay should be crisp, the dialogues shorter and the story faster. However, keep this in mind, you mustn’t haste in your story telling. The time should be engaging yet short and crisp.

Lock in your funds before hand
Submission at top film festivals takes funds, so gather up your funds beforehand. You must keep a separate budget for film submission. Attempting to get funding while a film festival is in full swing may rapidly lead to tension and despair. So, whether it’s saving your own money, conducting a crowdfunding campaign, or finding funding in another manner, do it before you begin the submission process.

If you want to give yourself the best chance of having a worthwhile experience, plan ahead of time what you can spend and have those funds ready to go.

And finally, you have to search theses upcoming film festivals online. You can go for Filmfreeway or World Film Communities Network (WFCN) for film submission to your favorite festival.

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