Question about where to start when submitting to festivals

I just received this message from George: “Hi, I’m an Independent Producer/Director film maker….. I want to apply to enter my Short Films into as many International Film Festivals…. I think your website and concept of noentryfeefestivals is fantastic.
What do you think is the best way for me to start entering?”

Hi George- and everyone else… :)
Thanks for the kind words about the noentryfeefestivals blog. My advice is first to get yourself organized. Most festivals ask for some combination of the same things.These tend to be: the film- a .mov and .mp4 1920×1080 version, Director biography, Director filmography, 3 stills, Director photo, synopsis, running time. (occasionally artist statement)

My advice is this:
1. Make a Vimeo account. Upload to Vimeo w/password. (youtube would probably work) Vimeo has recommendations on file sizes and formats. I typically upload an mp4. Do this ahead of time. Murphy’s law.
2. Make a dropbox account. Upload a Quicktime 1920×1080 (H264 compression) HD to Dropbox. Many festivals follow up by asking for this after they have selected your file from dropbox. (other services such as google drive could work)
3. When you submit to the first festival and type in the following, bio, filmography, synopsis, copy and paste these into a word document or email document to yourself. Likewise, as you gather the images, stills, photo of you and versions of the film, put them in a folder together with the word document. This way you can copy and paste into the submission form.
4. Start on noentryfeefestivals with the current month’s deadlines or the ongoing. Find a way to keep track of the ones you apply for through a word doc, sticky notes, excel.
5. Use a submission platform such as filmfreeway, festhome, WAB, etc. Once you load your project, most sites let you determine the fee (you can start with no fee or 0, depending on the platform) From there, you can add to the cart and check out. Fest home charges at minimum a couple euros to submit to free festivals, but they have an annual pass option, filmfreeway does not charge anything to submit to free festivals. But once you have created a project file and uploaded your films, stills, and filled out the info on the submission platform you don’t have to re-upload or fill out any more forms, you can pretty much just log in, search, add to cart and checkout.

Hope this helps. If anyone has anything to add- I would love to hear it.

-Tracy

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6 thoughts on “Question about where to start when submitting to festivals

  1. To what Tracy said I would only add that you need to realize that there are thousands of festivals, so before you commit to fill in the submission form of any festival, have a really good look at their website, check their facebook page, would you like to have your film there? Do you think your film will resonate with what they are about?

    When you consider that after one year you will have submitted your film to dozens or even hundreds of festivals, you want to make sure you’re helping your film having that extra bit of chance to be chosen. Unless of course you have minions to help you submit your film to all festivals on earth.

    Good luck! …unless you are applying to the same festivals as I am. =)

  2. Hi Tracy I appreciate you because your information is very important for us.Thank youBest regardsMohammad Reza Hanafi

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