12 Types of People Who Go To Film Festivals - Raindance

To film festival attendees every where – why are you attending a film festival?

One of my favourite bloggers is Brittany Leaning who writes for Hubspot, one of my favourite websites. I’ve adapted her article for film festivals

There are so many benefits to attending Raindance Film Festival:

  • see great movies
  • listen and learn at panels and special events
  • meet filmmakers from all over the world
  • networking events galore

With so much going on at Raindance, in fact, with over 200 special events including Britain’s only Web Fest and our inaugural Virtual Reality Arcade it can be really hard to figure out what your goals are. in fact, if you aren’t careful, the entire Raindance experience can overwhelm you leaving you feeling like you haven’t accomplished anything.

Maybe you want and sit and watch movie after movie until your eyeballs drop out.
Or perhaps you want to sit in our events and panel discussions and take copious notes on everything you will learn.
Or perhaps you want to explore digital content and everything web related.

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To help you decide what goals or targets you have in mind, have a look at the

12 Types Of People Who Go To Film Festivals

1)  The Networker


Goal = Meet smart people

The networker aims to meet and make lasting connections with other professionals in the film industry. Chances are, they have a lot of connections on social media and have connected to attendees through the Raindance hashtag (#RDFF) ahead of time. You’ll probably see this person chatting up multiple groups of people during our gala nights and handing out business cards.

2. The Sponge


Goal = Learning

This is the person who’s just at the festival to soak up as much information as possible. You’ll probably see this person juggling a laptop, smartphone, and notebook with a pen, and diligently taking notes (or live-tweeting) from each. The biggest struggle this person faces is deciding on which sessions to attend (they’re all so great!!).

3) The Innovator


Goal = Get inspired

If you watch TED Talks on a daily basis and your favorite book is Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, you might fall into the “innovator” category. These are the people who go to Raindance to get inspiration and spark some creativity. Entrepreneurs, thinkers, and problem solvers would fall under this bucket.

4) The Superfan


Goal = Meet the keynote speakers and celebrities

You’ll find this person all over social media before you even arrive at Raindance. One superfan festival habit includes excessively tweeting to the hashtag that you’re “so excited to meet @celebrity.” Superfans never forget to include a Twitter handle in hopes that he or she will retweet or reply.

5) The Job Seeker


Goal = Get a job

Job seekers might have a few different goals for coming to Raindance depending on which stage of the job hunt they’re in. If this person is in the awareness stage, he or she might simply listen, or get their script fixed, or learn about film companies, jobs, and people they’d like to work with. If this person is beyond that awareness stage, he or she may have already made connections with ahead of time via LinkedIn or Twitter, and wants to give them an elevator pitch in person, along with a resume or portfolio.

6) The Deal Maker


Goal = Establish a business partnership

Similar to the “networker,” the deal maker attends Raindance with the goal of creating business partnerships. This could be for a co-production, to set up a sponsorship deal or sign up a filmmaker to another project. This person might even take a tip from the networker, making lasting relationships first and doing business sometime after the film festival, but don’t count on it. They are usually moving too fast for anything like a relationship to stick.

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7) The Blogger


Goal = Write high quality content

This is the person who attends a Raindance specifically for blog (or other content) fodder. You’ll see this person listening to panels, speakers and filmmaker Q & A’s while writing down an outline or quotes on a laptop. When meeting bloggers in-person at a film festival, watch out because they might be wired! Just kidding … but they might try to write down some quotes from your conversation (after asking for permission, of course).

8) The Teacher


Goal = Relay knowledge to teammates

I don’t mean teacher in the traditional sense, but rather the person you send to Raindance who will come back with awesome takeaways. The teacher should take excellent notes and relay them back to his or her team. This person might even write up a wiki page or create a presentation to show your team when they return.

9) The Thought Leader


Goal = Stay successful

These are generally the Raindance speakers. These folks talk specifically about a subject matter they know almost everything about. They’ve probably written books, made Oscar nominated films and countless blog articles on the same topic and have loads of followers on social media. It might seem like they have a buzz on, but really they’re just riding the adrenaline from taking the stage.

10) The Spy


Goal = Competitive intelligence

This is the person who goes to Raindance solely to check out the competition. This person might ask: What does the competition’s film look like at Raindance? What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong? Then, this information is compiled, analyzed, and turned into a plan of action. Attending Raindance as a spy is actually a popular tactic. Beware however, that it can turn you into a jealous person incapable of doing anything.

11) The Salesperson


Goal = Make a sale

Similar to the deal maker, a salesperson aims to close on a deal. The difference here is that salespeople are usually only interested in selling their film or services. Fair game are sales agents, distributors and students to naive to ask money for their services. This interaction could happen during the festival, or sometime after Raindance when the prospect has thought the deal over.

12) The Partier

Film Festivals

Goal = Have fun

Finally, we’ve reached the inevitable. You know, the person who rages at all the parties, dances with everyone at the concert, and seriously takes advantage of the free drinks. It’s okay to have a little partier in you during Raindance. In fact, it could be a great way to break the ice! However, I’d suggest attending Raindance with some of the first eleven goals in mind — you’ll be a lot more productive that way. 😉

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Photo Credit David Martinez / BIFA 2018

Few people know more filmmakers and screenwriters than Elliot Grove. Elliot is the founder of Raindance Film Festival (1993) and the British Independent Film Awards (1998). He has produced over 700 hundred short films and five feature films: the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead (2006), Deadly Virtues (2013), AMBER (2017), Love is Thicker Than Water (2018) and the SWSX Grand Jury Prize winner Alice (2019). He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Raindance BREXiT trailer 2019

Elliot has written three books which have become industry standards: Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition, Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking and Beginning Filmmaking: 100 Easy Steps from Script to Screen (Professional Media Practice).

In 2009 he was awarded a PhD for services to film education.

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