How To Submit Your Film To Festivals

October 24, 2022

How To Submit Your Film To Festivals

Alright. So you have made a brilliant film. It's time to get it out there into the world. One of the best ways to do this is through a film festival. However, this is very much on the business side of things. Therefore, many filmmakers are unsure of how to submit their films to film festivals. Luckily for you, we will tell you everything that you need to know.

Don't Upload It Online

Once you have made your film, don't upload it online. We know that it can be tempting, but many film festivals want to be the first place where your film can be seen. If you upload the film online, then you will be excluding yourself from the vast majority of film festivals.

Understand Your Film

a laptop with a film being edit on screen

You need to have a solid understanding of your film. This includes:

  • Length
  • The genre of the movie.

You should also be honest with yourself. Do you genuinely believe that your film is good enough to be submitted to a festival? Not every film you make is going to be great, and often only the best movies can get into festivals.

Do Your Research

Now it is time to do your research. Look for film festivals that match the genre of your film. You should also check the requirements for the film festival. The vast majority of them will have very strict requirements with regard to the films that can be submitted. If your film doesn't meet the requirements, don't waste your time. It won't get in.

A quick Google search will introduce you to a wealth of different film festivals. If you have some favorite films, have a look t the sorts of film festivals that they have appeared at. This may guide you towards where you should be submitting your film.

Make a note of any deadlines for these film festivals, and draw up a calendar of when they are running. You don't want there to be conflicts on your schedule, just in case you need to do press and other interviews.

Contact Film Festivals Directly

screenshot from a film festival page asking to be contacted

Once you have a list of festivals that you believe your film would be a good fit for, you can start to submit them.

You don't want to submit to every film festival under the sun. That's a waste of time. You should only ever focus on the film festivals where your film has a good chance of being shown. So, don't waste your time submitting to Sundance or something. Stick to the smaller festivals.

Remember, most film festivals will have a pretty intense application process. This is to ensure that only the best films get through to their festival. Make sure that you follow all of the guidelines or there is a risk that your submission will get rejected at the first hurdle.

Use a Service Like FilmFreeway.com

While contacting film festivals directly is likely to be your best bet, it can take a lot of time. There are a lot of festivals out there, after all. This is why we suggest that you use a service like FilmFreeway.com.

FilmFreeway.com has links with some of the largest film festivals in the world. Through their platform, you will be able to submit your film to multiple festivals at once. The process is incredibly quick, and FilmFreeway.com will ensure that you submit all of the right information.

FilmFreeway.com actually partners with a few streaming services too, which means the platform could be a tremendous way to get your work out there in more ways than just one.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to submit your film to festivals isn't too difficult. Festivals want submissions, and they make the process easy. You can even use submission platforms like FilmFreeway.com to ensure that your film gets noticed. However, do bear in mind that every festival has pretty strict requirements when it comes to which films they want to be shown there. Therefore, don't just blindly submit your film to multiple festivals. Take care to ensure that the only festivals that get to see your film are those that stand a good chance of accepting you. It will make your submissions much more successful.

Rishi Kapoor

Founder & CEO of Paus