A How-To-Film-Festival Guide for Young Filmmakers

If you are a young filmmaker or new to filmmaking, breaking into the film industry may seem impossible. Making films requires a lot of time, people, and resources. Getting an audience for your film can be an even more allusive challenge.

Don’t sweat it though! Before packing your bags and moving to Hollywood, consider taking advantage of what is already available to you as a filmmaker. More importantly, don’t overlook film festivals and how they can launch your career.

Film festivals are an excellent venue for getting your latest film an audience and even possible awards and recognition. Even more critical, film festivals are an awesome networking opportunity. As a filmmaker, they allow you to meet other directors, writers, and even actors you may want to work with in the future. There are countless film festivals every year, each offering a unique experience and set of opportunities for filmmakers. The key is, finding the festivals that fit you and your film. This doesn’t mean limit the number of festivals to which you apply. It means doing some festival research.

If you haven’t already, making a FilmFreeway profile should be next on your list. FilmFreeway is a free site that lets you research, discover, and explore over 5,000 film festivals around the world. Upload as many of your films as you wish and give them a customized web presence by creating project profile pages for them. Before submitting to a specific festival, make sure watch selection of the films that were screened at the festival in previous years. This will give you a good idea if the festival is the place for your film. Lastly, submit to festivals of your choice and wait to hear back!

Independent filmmaker and actor Mark Duplass gave an insightful lecture at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival on emerging trends in the film industry. Young, independent filmmakers won’t want to miss his 8 pieces of advice on starting a career in the film industry.
We hope you find this how-to guide helpful. For more film related articles, follow us on Facebook and let us know your thoughts!