A Filmmakers Guide to Film Festival Submission


Film festivals provide an essential platform for filmmakers to showcase their work, gain recognition, and connect with film industry professionals and fellow enthusiasts. However, navigating the process of submitting your film to film festivals can be daunting, especially for first-time filmmakers.

In this guide, we’ll provide a step-by-step overview to help you successfully submit your film to film festivals.

  1. Find your Suitable Film Festivals:

Before you submit your film to film festivals, first start by taking the time to research and identify film festivalsthat align with your film‘s genre, style, and target film audience.

Consider factors such as the film festival‘s submission deadlines, submission fees, and eligibility criteria.

Websites like FilmFreeway and WFCN are valuable resources for discovering and researching film festivalsworldwide.

  1. Review Your Submission Guidelines:

Once you’ve identified potential film festivals, carefully review their film festival submission guidelines to ensure your film meets all requirements. You should also pay attention to specifications regarding film formats, running time, language, premiere status, and any additional materials required for film submission, such as synopses, film trailers, and filmmaker bios.

  1. Prepare the Submission Materials:

Next, you should gather all necessary materials for your film festival submission, including high-quality digital copies of your film, your film’s trailers, film posters, and film press kits. Make sure your submission materials are properly formatted and labeled according to the film festival‘s specifications.

  1. Budgeting for Submission Fees:

Many film festivals charge submission fees, which can vary widely depending on the film festival‘s prestige and submission deadlines. Factor these fees into your film budget when planning your film festival submissions. Consider prioritizing film festivals based on their relevance to your film and your available budget for submission fees.

  1. Submit Your Film:

Once you’ve prepared your submission materials and budgeted for submission fees, it’s time to submit your film to selected film festivals. Use online film submission platforms like FilmFreeway or WFCN to streamline the submission process and track the status of your submissions. Follow the submission instructions carefully, ensuring that all required materials is uploaded correctly and that payment is processed successfully.

  1. Manage the Film Festival Submissions:

After submitting your film, keep track of your film festival submissions and monitor communication from film festival organizers. Stay organized by maintaining a spreadsheet or calendar to track submission deadlines, fees, and notification dates for each film festival. Be prepared to respond promptly to any requests for additional information or materials from film festival programmers.

  1. Navigate Acceptance and Rejection:

Receiving acceptance notifications can be exciting, but it’s important to manage your expectations and be prepared for the possibility of rejection. If your film is accepted to a film festival, celebrate your achievement and follow the film festival‘s instructions for participating in film screenings, promotional activities, and film networking events.

If your film is not selected, don’t be discouraged. Use rejection as an opportunity to learn and improve your craft, and continue submitting your film to other film festivals.

  1. Maximize Festival Participation:

Participating in film festivals offers more than just film screening opportunities. Take advantage of film networking events, panel discussions, and filmmaker Q&A sessions to connect with film industry professionals, fellow filmmakers, and potential film collaborators. Leverage your film festival experience to build relationships, promote your film, and advance your career in the film industry.

Submitting your film to film festivals requires careful planning, research, and attention to detail. By following this guide and approaching the process strategically, you can increase your chances of success and maximize the impact of your film on the film festival circuit. Remember to stay persistent, flexible, and open to feedback as you navigate the exciting world of film festival submission.