You’ve finished your short, feature or documentry – congratulations – it’s festival submission time! Submit early! This is when you cross your fingers and toes and hope you get selected.
Here at Raindance Film Festival we’ve had a quarter of a century dealing with submissions from filmmakers, and nearly as long submitting our own work to festivals around the world. We also know how manic the filmmaking process is and how filmmakers rush to meet submission dedlines for the biggies like Berlin, Cannes, Raindance, Rotterdam, Sundance, SWSX and Toronto.
Here’s 7 Reasons You Submit Early To Film Festival
1. The Festival Programmers Will Be Fresh
One would think this is a no-brainer. But no, most filmmakers seem to wait until the last minute before they ship off their submissions. This means the festival programmers are faced with a huge number of submissions at the last minute. Remember that programmers have to finish their selections well in advance of the festival opening in order to allow for time for websites to be built, reviews written, films scheduled and hospitality arrangements made.
Raindance starts programming for each year’s festival a month after the previous one ends!
Benefit from the freshness of the programmer’s eyes.
2. Save Money
Have you ever had to pay for surge pricing on Uber? Most festivals, including Raindance have scaleable fees that rise dramatically as the deadline approachs. Early submissions are always the cheapest.
3. Festivals have time to ask you questions
I can speak from years and years of experience that the more time we have to work with you following selection, the more time we have to discuss your film and release strategy with you. In poll after poll of filmmakers who’ve attended Raindance the one regret they all have is: “I wish I had more time to plan my festival screening.”
4. It gives you time to research the festival’s programming strategy
Each film festival has a programming strategy. Early submission allows you to research a particular programming style before submitting. You won’t need to ask the boring questions that festivals like Raindance get asked all the time.
5. It allows you time to market your project
Getting the marketing vibe right is one of the trickiest things any filmmaker can do. Giving yourself the right amount of time allows you to test your marketing approach, to do AB testing and other promotional and marketing activity.
Remember: one of the best ways to get selected is to submit early, and then mount a marketing campaign. Festival programmers will notice your online activities.
6. You can meet other filmmakers
Get your social media up to scratch and start asking your ‘crowd’ about what you are trying to do and use their experience. Or collaborate. Or share accommodation!
7. You can plan your festival strategy
Successful filmmakers have learned that the backbone to their success is a strong and well thought out social media marketing and promotion strategy. Submitting early to festivals means you have the time and energy to create a viable social media strategy, not only for your film, but for you as a filmmaker.
The Acid Test
Are you ready to submit your films to a film festival?
Have you looked at their past editions to see if you can just their previous programming?
What about Raindance? Have you looked at the Raindance Film Festival website?
Ask a question about how to submit to the Raindance Film Festival