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Film Festivals Matter

EXPORT COMPLETE flashes across your laptop's screen.  Your latest video is done.  You want to show it to as many people as possible.  You want applause, feedback, and that satisfaction of an audience seeing your hard work.  But where do you show your content?  The world of content distribution has exploded over the last decade with streaming services, YouTube, and social media all demanding your content be on their platform.  There is one that should still always be a consideration; film festivals.  With so many outlets for your creative content why do film festivals still matter and how do you use them to advance your career?

5 Reasons to Submit Your Work to Film Festivals

  1. Your Work Gets Seen
    • One of the best ways to learn what works and doesn't work in your film is to show it to an audience.  You'll never get a more unbiased opinion.  Listen to the comments and learn from them.  As a high school filmmaker, this is a great way to start learning your craft.
  2. Connect with Other Industry Professionals
    • Producers, Directors, Actors, Writers, and all types of industry professionals attend film festivals.  Often, there are mixers open to everyone so you can connect.  This let's you netowrk and begin a relationship with new, future collaborators.
  3. Recognition
    • The old saying "You're only as good as your last project." is still very true in the film industry.  Film festivals are a great way to not only get eyes on your work, but potentially receive awards.  This can be in the form of cash, statue, or even the prestige of saying award winner.  Whatever the form, being recognized by your peers and an audience give you a lot of credibility when you go to make your next project or apply for a position.
  4. Experience Talking About Your Project
    • You will at some point be asked how you did something on your project in a Q & A or in a mixer.  Getting expereience talking up your project is a great way to build conidence and sharpen your networking skills.  Plus, early in your career you will be your own hype man or woman.  Learn how to promote yourself.
  5. It's So Easy to Enter Film Festivals Now
    • With sites like FilmFreeway finding the right film festival to enter is easier than ever.  There really is no reason not to try it at least once.

How you submit a film on FilmFreeway

  1. Go to FilmFreeway.com and create an account
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2. Add a Project with Details, Link, and any other relevant information.  Then start searching festivals

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3. You can filter out festivals to show only ones with a Student Category

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4. Find a festival and click on it. You'll see deadlines, categories, and prices.

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5. Select your category and you will go to this page.

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6. Follow the instructions and make your payment.  CONGRATS!  You have just submitted your film to the festival.  It will be accepted or declined by the festival committee. If accepted, you will get an email letting you know your film will play at the festival.

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Film Festivals are a great way to start building your career whether you are a high school student or a professional.  They keep your skills sharp, and helps you keep in touch with what clicks with an audience.  Even though there are many other avenues to show your work; film festivals should still be considered for the experience you can receive.

If you are a local Michigan teen filmmaker there is a great opportunity for you.  The Kent County Teen Film Festival is happening in Grand Rapids on February 29, 2020.  Click the link for details: https://www.kdl.org/teens/teen-film-festival

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