YOU MADE YOUR FILM, NOW WHAT?
It’s the most ardent task you ever embarked on, but it’s now accomplished. Your film is in the can, that is, IT’S COMPLETE! Congratulations! But now what? From all your research it seems that the next step is the film festivals circuit. And you’re on your game, you even budgeted for film festivals, right? Because the ones you want to get your film into start at $30 a pop.
But what if you haven’t budgeted for film festivals? Or if the money you had budgeted for film festivals ended up going towards post production, to finish your film?
Don’t fret, these two occurrences besiege filmmakers from the most seasoned to the bewildered novice.
Yes! Film festivals are great and for many reasons. Let’s highlight four of them:
1) EXPOSURE: The exposure of having your film being shown at a film festival is evidently a plus. As a filmmaker you want to grow your audience. And that’s exactly what you’re doing at film festivals by reaching new markets. Having your film showcased at a film festival will get people outside of your circle talking about your film. And that can generate a domino effect of exposure for your film.
2)RECOGNITION: The recognition can be quintessential in marketing yourself and/or your film. Take the recognition, e.g., Best Short Film, Most Promising Actor, etc., and plaster it everywhere it can be seen. Be proud of your accomplishment and recognize that it’s a stepping stone in what’s ahead for you as a filmmaker. Not to mention, if your film is picked up by a distributor, such recognition is a marketing gem. You can now have laurel leaves plastered on your film cover. Sounds great, right? It is!
3)NETWORKING: Networking at a film festival can be meeting other equally passionate filmmakers to meeting potential distributors for your current or future film. Talk to as many people there as you can. Don’t sit by a corner and hope they’ll come and ask you about your film. Go to them! Ask them about their interest in film and then tell them about your film.
And sure getting social media information is great, but get email addresses as well. It’ll be the most direct form of communication you’ll have to network with. Don’t trust the algorithms of social media when it comes to marketing your film, your desirable audience may not even see your posts.
Keep working and who knows, the person you connect with today may be the editor for your next film or a fundamental piece in you securing funding or distribution for it. Treat everyone with equal respect, as you always should, and you just don’t know.
4)FEEDBACK: Be keen on the festival viewers response. Are they reacting as you intended? If so, good. If not, is that okay? And once the audience have viewed your film don’t just look for flattering comments. Certainly ask them about what they liked and enjoyed about your film, but also ask them tough questions. What didn’t they enjoy? Did they find the plot coherent or did it have some incoherencies. What do they think about the title of your film? In other words, ask them questions that’ll make your film better and make you a better filmmaker. Don’t be offended by their responses. Don’t take any of it personal. Hear them out. In the end you’re the one who will make the final decisions. After all, it is your film.
No Film Festival Money
That’s okay. There are some awesome film festivals you can get your film into, totally free. You can find them on social media or via your favorite search engine. Some free film festivals will turn out to be recognizable film festivals down the road, but early on they’re looking to establish themselves therefore they don’t have submission costs. A don’t underestimate the competitiveness of free film festivals. Though they’re free, there’s still a selection process. And that selection process gets narrower with the more submissions they receive. Don’t expect your film to be selected for screening simply because you submitted to the festival. It should have merit.
Recognition at a free film festival carries weight. Laurel leaves on your film cover make you an award winning filmmaker, whether you paid for your film to be submitted or not.
Be careful what film festivals you submit to. There are thousands of them out there that are not even worth their weight in pesos. Some are just out there to generate as many paid submissions as possible so they generate as much money as possible, for their pockets. An In return they provide no follow up service and some never intended on accepting your film because they already have their festival films selected. Be careful, be careful, be careful!!!
Enjoy seeing your film on a screen bigger than your laptop or plasma television. Enjoy the sense of having your film being viewed by complete strangers. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!
View Some Films
Below is a button link to preview and/or view films on MarilynFilms.com, some of which are film festival runners and winners. If you’d be so kind to view the films, we’d love to hear your take on them. You can simply send us your comments via our CONTACT page. Also, you can subscribe to our newsletter below or on our CONTACT page as well. We’ll keep you updated with everything MarilynFilms.com and you’ll receive promo codes directly to your inbox. Cheers 🙌🏾.