Old 10-07-2011, 11:28 AM
Best Student Film Festivals

Hey everyone, first time posting here. I was wondering if anyone here had experience in regards to submitting to film festivals and getting their work noticed.

I just graduated college last semester where I worked on two student shorts but now that the films are complete, I'm a little lost on what to do next as far as submitting to festivals is concerned. I know about the major film festivals like Sundance, Toronto, SXSW etc but I was wanted to know if there were smaller festivals or online exhibitions that are worth submitting to.

I came across an exhibition called The Free Style Life which claims selected films would be featured on their site and maybe get VOD distribution: http://exhibition.thefreestylelife.c...ibit-2011.html But do most exhibitions offer this or are there other avenues out there that are more ideal for amateur filmmakers.

If anyone has any insight on this it would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Last edited by PixelPete; 10-07-2011 at 01:33 PM..
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:06 PM
Actually just found a site called withoutabox which pools together all the festivals around the world. Anyone use this before?
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:01 PM
Withoutabox is great - but can chew up your money quite easily. It has a great system where you can check out festivals via genre and how far off they are - which is great - go through them, see which ones wet your tongue and then do some research into them. Really get to know where and what type of place you want your film to play - this will help with it's longevity.

Withoutabox is all about the money though - and they are great at getting you to spend it if not careful - so don't rush and make sure your really putting your stuff into the ones you want. There are other similar websites that won't charge like withoutabox (try shortfilmdepot for one). Submitting films can take a big part of a film's budget (if you have even made on for fesitval budget)...so do be careful...spending hundreds is not uncommon at all (probably average actually).

Be wary of putting films online (unless it's private) or on cable channels etc - many festivals count this as a public release and this will make your work void for screening at a festival.

Also the tricky thing with festivals is that alot of their shorts program is selected quite early - so I always try to submit for the early deadline - the earlier is better. Sometimes festivals will carry shorts from people they know or what they have seen from other places - so this reduces chances for a spot greatly, and this is all before the bulk of submissions have even arrived. Don't even bother with a late deadline - it's a complete waste of money, and i'd be very surprised if anyone ever got anywhere from one.

Make sure you know what they want, dvd, Betacam, Digibeta, film prints, digifile's - all this can cost quite a bit if your film school won't cover these resources....so make sure you can cover the cost of these screening formats if required. Most festivals will kindly pass on your film to another or back to you, so if you can only afford one copy it could work (though get very tight).

But yeah in a nutshell: best thing, do your research - see which ones work the best for your film and are respected, then get in early
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Old 11-03-2011, 03:29 PM
Thanks for the advice, never knew submitting for a late deadline was so risky/such a waste. As far as putting films online, say a site were to feature a trailer for your film for free but also offer the full length film through pay per view/video on demand...would that constitute as a public release, thus prohibiting the film from being screened in festivals or is that still private?
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