2022 is about to end and we are not done with celebrating films just yet. Hundreds of festivals were hosted this year and we were witness to all of them (love attending them). We witnessed as thousands of indie filmmaker gave their best shot (quite literally) and won awards, laurels and fame.
However, in the process of witnessing all of this, we also noticed some filmmakers being absolutely clueless and overwhelmed about which film festival they should go for. For your kind information, there are several types of film festivals around the globe. Not every top film festival is not for you or your film. If you want, you can also check out the Top 100 film festivals.
Here is detailed information:
Types of the film festivals:
1. The BIG Shot
Toronto, Sundance, South By Southwest, and Tribeca. To put it bluntly, these are the only festivals in North America that have the power to make or break a career for an independent director. While some festivals may brag about distribution deals, none of them attract the press and industry focus that all these four do. Because of this, everyone who has a film — including Oscar winners and complete amateurs — clamors to get in. You have almost no chance of being admitted because of the intense competition. Of course, you’ll try anyhow.
2. The Oscar Qualifiers
28 American festivals are currently recognized as “Oscar Qualifiers” as of this writing. This specifically means that your short film becomes eligible for an Academy Award consideration if it takes home a prize at any of them. That’s awesome, but that short can also be qualified if you simply pay to screen it in a Los Angeles cinema for a week. Regardless, only 15 shorts — five live-action, five animated, and five documentaries — get nominated for an Oscar each year. More importantly, the “Oscar-Qualifying” modifier elevates a festival’s status and makes it more difficult to get into. (Examples: Slamdance, Ann Arbor, Seattle, Atlanta.)
3. Mega city fest
There are numerous sizable film festivals across the nation, even if not all of them are contenders for the Oscars (e.g., Dallas, Denver, Philadelphia, Boston). In reality, you can probably find an “official” film festival in any city with a population of over 500,000. Your chances of being accepted might not be better than at Oscar Qualifiers because big metropolitan festivals sometimes fill their schedules with high-profile movies to fill seats. You might have a better chance if you’re a local.
4. Genre Fests.
This entire subculture exists. Usually focused on science fiction and/or horror, many people have started to appreciate fantasy, thrillers, dark comedies, and practically anything nerdy or outlandish. These are the least boring festivals around, from established ones like Sitges and Fantastic Fest to up-and-comers like FilmQuest, Screamfest, and Horror Film Festival. If your movie is eligible and you want to have fun, enter them.
5. Scam film festival
The great majority of festivals aren’t trying to take advantage of you. From the chilly submissions, they genuinely hope to program some wonderful movies. In any case, the funds they receive from submission fees pale in comparison to the costs of venue leasing, employee wages, advertising, etc. Nevertheless, there are instances in which a filmmaker may feel duped. We are not denying that there are some scam festivals that go around. However, for this reason, only, you have legitimate film submission websites like Filmfreeway or WFCN that can serve you only real film festivals from around the globe.