Great conversation, great info. Thanks so much for sharing all this with all the lurkers (like me) too.
Jumping in because I saw Jen’s post – I was contacted by Celeste Prize via vimeo too. It was better than some of the “spam” I get on the site. It sounds interesting, but it’s 60euro? a year, to be entered for their “prizes”? Seems like just another way of getting folks to pay an entry fee to get a look. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough — maybe there is more to it?
It seems like there’s a divide between “narrative” and “experimental” and then again with “art” or “avant-garde” film/video? Does anyone have experience / interest in submitting work to galleries? Any thoughts on that?
just fyi, I’m coming from an MFA background; I avoided the gallery system for ages, out of both fear and skepticism, but now that I’ve found a medium I love (video) I’m more interested. I got to go to Art Basel with my job, and it seemed like the most interesting video and also presentation of video was/were in the gallery booths, and not so much in the designated viewing areas. But definitely in the gallery booths there was a focus on presentation (holes cut in walls, a screen surrounded by sharks teeth, a sweet old projector) and so the videos felt like objects in a way.
Lara!!! Good to see you here, my friend! :) :) :)
Thanks for the awesome info, Laura! I love your tips regarding local press.
Has anyone tried ShortFilmDepot?
Anyone know anything about this festival: onedotzero
Ok, here it is, I found the discussion I was looking for! :)
Posting this link from Bad Lit about film festivals and submissions.
It’s a guide. YAY! :D
I’m starting to wonder whether or not releasing short films online directly is more beneficial than the festival circuit. This article here makes a pretty good case for online distribution: http://www.shortoftheweek.com/2011/03/23/how-we-launched-our-film-online-the-thomas-beale-cipher/
Here, I’ve made your article into an active link.
Omar, I’m wondering the same thing myself. My previous short only got a handful of festival play, and the one I’m sending out now is getting no bites. It’s frustrating and depressing, but it’s not the end of the world. The more you look at festivals, the more it makes sense — think of how many short films play the bigger festivals and then go on to play in other states. Then think of the other ones that have better contacts than you. It doesn’t leave a lot of open space in the programming, does it? Just something to keep in mind if you’re ever too down about the endless rejection letters.
Festivals are a great way to get the word out, but they’re not the end all be all anymore. The perfect situation would be festival play and online presence, but if you can only make the latter work, that works wonders. Put it up online and send to every blog, Facebook group, etc. you can find. I’m sure that’s what I’ll end up doing.
And I recommend everyone check out that link Omar posted, it’s a great read.
Yeah, I agree. The rejection letters are definitely frustrating. Reminds me of the college process all over again. Oh well, I think applying to festivals is as delicate an art as any. From what I’ve gathered so far, festivals have their own personal tastes. They enjoy certain types of films, and dislike others. The main key is to learn the preferences of the festivals you apply, by watching their past year’s official selection. If the official selection of the past year is anywhere near the style/feel of what you’re making now, it may be a smart thing to apply. Otherwise, applying to festivals that dislike the type of film you make, would probably be a bit useless. Anyway, I may be wrong but this is what I’ve gathered from the ones I’ve been rejected and/or accepted to.
Right, that’s part of the strategy. Submitting blindly is absolutely a no-no.
Again, though, no amount of preparation will net you an automatic in. This sounds obvious, but I’ve sent to festivals where my actress won awards and still got rejected. That was a real eye-opener.
I think that one kind of needs to assess one’s purpose for applying to festivals. It’s a plus to be considered, but then, it’s not the only game in town anymore in terms of getting your film seen.