Tips For Your Film Festival Strategy

Tips For Your Film Festival Strategy

Several tips for your film festival strategy include researching films at previous festivals, writing an effective director’s statement, and choosing the best festival. Avoid relying on submissions platforms listings to choose the best film festivals for your film. Once you’ve honed your strategy, it’s time to apply to festivals. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid and what you should do instead.

Researching successful films’ festival strategies

It can take years of experience to create a compelling film festival circuit strategy. However, there are ways to develop your film’s chances of success much sooner. Researching successful films’ festival strategies is an excellent alternative to trial and error. Successful films have established networks, proven festival strategies, and identified strengths.

films' festival strategies

To start, choose a reputable film festival. The number of festivals that accept films from different countries is vast. Selecting the right film festival is crucial to increase its chances of success. The most prominent festival has a reputation for screening films from different countries. The festival selection committee must evaluate this carefully. For example, an IFA film is chosen for a top festival and will be screened at several smaller festivals worldwide.

Writing an effective director’s statement

Among other things, your film’s Director’s Statement explains your vision and passion for the project. You can use it in any press materials or grant application. You may also want to include it in your business plan, which will help you make a film. Although it is not the main reason for choosing a film festival, it is an important part of your marketing strategy.

Film festivals build relationships with filmmakers, distributors, and studios. If your film is chosen at a festival, it may not be as successful as it could be. For example, if it is a “discovery” film, it might outsell an “elite” film several times. But if the festival’s decision is based on the Director’s Statement, the film may never be seen again.

Choosing the right festival

Choosing the right film festival can be a tricky process. You want to ensure that the film festival will show your film, but also be sure that you are getting the best exposure. That is why you should look at a festival’s website and ensure that it includes a list of all the films it screens. You should also look for information on its sponsors, which are usually public groups and grantors.

Whether your film is a short, documentary, or episodic web series, you must prioritize your selection. Some festivals are genre-specific, while others will only accept films that haven’t been screened elsewhere. To make the most of the time, you have to spend some time researching the film festival list, analyzing the submission requirements, and making a list of festivals along with its mission statement.

Refraining from relying on submissions platform listings

Don’t rely on submissions platforms listings to determine your film festival strategy. These lists are subjective and don’t reflect the true value of a festival. Many major film festivals use their own internal submission systems. By taking your time and considering what your film offers, you’ll be more likely to land a screening and a film festival slot.


Instead, research the festival profile and incorporate its rules into your submission. Film festival programmers can only see the film if they see it and are familiar with the filmmaker’s work. If a film has received an award at a festival without having a strong social media following, it won’t make it to the finals. You need to get your film seen and heard and make connections with movie distributors and studios.

Having a “World Premiere”

A film’s world premiere is often a big deal to filmmakers, as it allows them to enter it in numerous venues. While some filmmakers might be interested in the attention that a “World Premiere” brings, others may be unsure how to use the designation. There are a few different types of premieres, and understanding them can help filmmakers choose the suitable event for their films.

World Premiere

The criteria for a “World Premiere” at renowned film festivals differ greatly. Some festivals only accept films that have not been screened in North America. On the other hand, the rules for the Toronto film festival, for example, stipulate that no film should have been screened in the United States. Similarly, smaller film festivals often arrange city premieres. These events can help a film’s international distribution and increase its legs.

Patrick Kerley