5 Film Festivals to Submit Your Short Film To
The film festival circuit has been drastically changed by the events of 2020. Once upon a time, film festivals required you to send an actual DVD to their offices, and after a whole fleet of judges and critics would go through your project, and countless sleepless nights on your behalf, there finally would come a day at which all the nominees and winners would come together to watch their work, celebrate their successes and network. That's no longer the case, at least for the time being.
There are two sides to this coin. On one hand, it has never been easier to submit your work to festivals all over the world and have it judged by seasoned professionals. Once all festivals were forced to go fully online, the age-old rules for getting into one have all been thrown out the window. On the other hand, because the barrier to entry has expanded immensely in recent years, the chances of having your work make the cut have gone down to some extent. Don’t be discouraged though, there’s never been a better time to shoot an independent project, and never a better time to impress audiences worldwide. Let’s go through some of the festivals you should consider applying to.
Sundance Film Festival
As the most sought after film festival in the country, the Sundance Film Festival is on everyone’s list. Last year alone, the festival received over 9,800 international short film submissions - imagine the amount of time it takes to go through each submission. Regardless of that, it’s still the foremost film festival in the industry, so a submission, even with those odds, is necessary.
Tribeca Film Festival
Originally founded by Robert De Niro, Martin Scorcese, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2002, the Tribeca Film Festival has established itself firmly among the nations most prestigious and sought after film festivals. Organized as a response to the 9/11 attacks in New York City, the festival quickly grew into a darling of the New York City film scene.
Apply here: https://tribecafilm.com/festival/submissions
Slamdance Film Festival
The Slamdance Film Festival has been around since the mid-90s, and remains the favorite among up and coming creators. As the festival which showcases raw, innovative and often groundbreaking talent, it is suitable for rebels and visionaries, looking to break free from the constraints of the industry. All those who had the chance to showcase their talent at the festival are now amongst the most influential filmmakers in the industry.
Apply here: https://slamdance.com/festival/
International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
As one of the oldest short film festivals in history, a simple appearance among the selected nominees guarantees a certain level of international prestige and recognition. Open to all international applicants, the esteemed festival attracts a wide variety of talent from around the world, and schedules its programme thematically.
Apply here: https://www.kurzfilmtage.de/en/
Berlin International Film Festival
Another old German film festival, the Berlin International Film Festival is the largest film festival in the world, with over 500,000 admissions and over 400 film screenings each year. As the creme-de-la-creme of the independent film industry, iit attracts the most sophisticated and biggest projects that the industry buzzes about months or even years prior. The festival itself, even if it is completely remote, is something every aspiring creator has to experience.
Film festivals have always been the gateway into the entertainment industry for most aspiring creators. It is hard to find a notable director, screenwriter or auteur who had bypassed the festival circuit at the beginning of their career. So don’t ignore them. Your talent, your ideas and vision must be seen and heard, and there hasn’t been a better time to submit your entries to these festivals.
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