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7 Reasons to Attend Film Festivals

Film festivals are an amazing opportunity to broaden exposure for your independent film and also for you as an artist.

In our FREE download, you’ll get a list of the best film festivals, even including free film festivals, for you to explore to find the appropriate festival for both your film and your budget. Our Film Festival Advice download also provides tips from filmmakers who have applied to and attended some of the top film festivals.

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Many filmmakers submit films to upcoming film festivals but often never attend the screenings in person. Here are 7 reasons you should consider attending one of the top film festivals you’re fortunate enough to get your film into.

1. Win Awards:

Who doesn’t want to hold a statue in their hands and give an acceptance speech? Winning a film festival award is gratifying and a symbol of your hard work. Every artist enjoys validation, and no one wants to miss accepting their long-awaited award just because they didn’t make the effort to attend the festival!

2. Participate in Q&A:

Whether you are sitting on a panel or participating in the post-film Q&A, getting in front of a crowd to share your experience and advice is a great opportunity to hone your public speaking skills and possibly get future speaking engagements.

3. Get a Distribution Deal:

The primary reason many filmmakers submit their films to a top film festival is to have a chance for acquisition executives to see their film and make them a distribution offer. Film buyers typically only attend the major and mid-level festivals. But if you do an impressive PR campaign for a smaller festival, they might find their way to your screening. The last thing you’d want is for them to be shuffling about the festival looking for you, only to find out you didn’t attend.

4. Networking:

There’s no better way to make lasting connections than to shake a person’s hand and look them in the eyes. Sure, social media offers an opportunity to bond from home, but being “in the room” is still the most successful path to growing your network. Yes, attending film festivals can get expensive, but even if you’re on a tight budget, student film festivals are a great way to network for a smaller price tag.

5. Get Your Film Reviewed:

It’s important to submit your film to the right type of festival, such as short film festivals, horror film festivals, documentary film festivals and other genre specific film festivals. When your film is playing at the right venue, you have a better chance of getting it accurately reviewed. A great review can get you press as well as a potential distribution deal.

6. Pay it Forward to Your Cast and Crew:

Filmmaking is a collaborative medium. What better way to thank those who helped bring your vision to life than to give the world an opportunity to experience their talents. Many an actor, cinematographer or editor has been discovered because their short films appeared in a film festival.

7. Enjoy the chance to experience an audience watching your movie:

You’ve worked hard to create your film. Now is the time to sit back and enjoy the show!

Get our FREE Download of Film Festival Advice from ScriptMag contributors whose films have appeared in festivals and won awards!