A couple of weeks ago I noticed a blog that mentioned my noentryfeefestivals site. In referencing my blog, I couldn’t help but hear a hint of… ? well, I am not sure. I was left with the odd message that filmmakers should support festivals that charge them to submit their work, unless, of course, they are broke.
Here is the quote from Bob’s blog at Binary Recording Studio: “No Entry Fee Film Festivals: I support film festivals charging to submit your film. Why? I have been involved in running a film festival and they cost money to put on, there is no way around it. But if you have spent all your money on making the film and you want to get it out there, here are some that can get you started.”
My response: I keep this blog, facebook and twitter because I am amazed by the festivals that do not charge a submission fee to artists. Putting on a festival does cost money, so I imagine that it takes much effort, resources and volunteers to put on a festival and not pass these costs on to the filmmakers. I am moved by the passion of these individuals, who put on the festivals and do not want the submission fee to be a barrier. In many cases these are venues that artists are not aware of. These venues may put them in touch with an audience that truly appreciates their work. I have seen the effects of this connection on myself and on my college students.
Do I support film festivals that charge a fee? Sometimes, maybe, depending on the film, depending on the festival and depending on the fee. I don’t have the time and the resources to determine if the fee for any particular festival is justified, and some seem quite high, as if all the costs fall on the shoulders of the submitting artists. So, while I am more than aware that festivals cost money to put together, I have heard from filmmakers that they only submit to them if they are fairly confident that their film will get in. That leaves others who may not be sure, and so, may not get their work out there.
I do support the festivals that do not charge a fee, or I would not spend countless hours on this blog. I struggle with the comment to submit to them if you have run out of money. I create this site to help artists, but also to help these festivals. In my interactions with festival directors who somehow put on festivals in this economy without charging fees to artists, I have found all of them warm, passionate and enthusiastic.
I welcome your comments.