All about festivals

Just got back from Baltimore Next Media Web Fest where my web series Girl Aspiring won Best Documentary Web Series and I got a cool glowing trophy. I’m feeling inspired, and motivated, and generally pumped about filmmaking. So today we’re going to talk about film festivals.

First- attend a film festival and see what’s out there

  • Go to smaller one where you can actually talk to the creators

So now you have some idea of what goes on at a festival. Now how do you submit yours…

  • LOTS of festivals, and you don’t want to waste money submitting to ones that just don’t match your project
  • Unfortunately search feature on film freeway isn’t awesome, so this will initially take some time
  • Organize favorites w/ heart icon
  • Read description; look at categories; double check rules (time limits)
  • Email organizers if you still have questions
  • Other things to check: is it online or is there an actual event? Is it Oscar qualifying?
    •  Can you attend? I prefer events I can attend, because that’s the real benefit

Benefits of attending film fests

  • Meet other creators (can lead to future opportunities)
  • Build community & credibility 
  • Build following
  • LEARN!
  • Be inspired
  • Forward momentum (get out of the vacuum)


  • Bring swag, or at least some marketing materials- definitely have a business card
  • Go to lots of screenings!
  • Go to parties, mixers, GET TO KNOW PEOPLE
  • Connect & follow up

Warning: You will be rejected by many festivals. Lots of films/ limited spots.

  • You can always reapply as long as you’re not a douchebag
  • Organizing festivals is a lot of work…be nice to organizers

YOU DO NOT NEED EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT TO HAVE GOOD PRODUCTION QUALITY! All you need to do is learn camera basics, lighting basics, and sound basics. Check out this video to see what I mean:

Your financial support is greatly appreciated!

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