Types of people who attend film festivals like Raindance

You might cut deals at work, you might be quiet at events and loud at home. But what type of person are you during film festivals? See if you are the type of person to attend a film festival.

There ‘re so many benefits to attending film festivals:

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

In order to get the most out of your film festival experience, it’s important to decide what your goal is before you attend, as how you spend your time will differ depending on what you want to get out of it, be it to meet a load of new people or to find inspiration by watching as many films as you can fit it. Here are the 12 types of people you’ll meet at film festivals – which type are you?

12 Types of People Who Attend 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 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 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!

3. The Innovator

Goal = get inspired

If you watch TED Talks on a daily basis and your favourite book is about Steve Jobs, you might fall into the “innovator” category. These are the people who go to festivals 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, special guests and celebrities

You’ll find this person all over social media before you even arrive at the festival. 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 the hope that he or she will get a retweet or reply.

5. The Job Seeker

Attend film festivals
Goal = find work

Job seekers might have a few different reasons for coming to a festival, 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 and 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 well 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

Attend film festivals
Goal = establish a business partnership

Similar to the “networker”, the deal maker attends festivals 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.

7. The Blogger

Goal = write lots of content

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

8. The Teacher

Goal = report back

I don’t mean teacher in the traditional sense, but rather the person you send to a festival to 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 festival 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

Attend film festivals
Goal = Competitive Intelligence

This is the person who goes to festivals solely to check out the competition. This person might ask ‘what does the competition’s film look like? What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong?’ Then this information is compiled, analysed, and turned into a plan of action. Attending festivals 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

Attend film festivals
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 is sales agents, distributors and students too naive to ask money for their services. This interaction could happen during the festival, or sometime after when the prospect has thought the deal over.

12. The Partier

Attend Film Festivals
Goal = have fun

Finally we’ve reached the inevitable. You know, the person who raves 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 party whilst at festivals. In fact it could be a great way to break the ice! However, I’d suggest attending festivals with some of the first eleven goals in mind — you’ll be a lot more productive that way.

Which type of festival goer are you? Whichever you are, join us at Raindance Film Festival 2019 to fulfil your festival potential!



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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