Helping talented filmmakers build audiences around the world since 2001 Learn More

< News Archives

How Many Film Festivals Is Enough?

"How many film festivals should I submit to?"  A very important question.  Here's my answer.

To get the recognition you and your film deserve, you need to self-promote and exploit the great opportunity that your well-made short film presents.

Often, we are asked, "How many film festivals should I submit to?"  A very important question.  Here's my answer.

From what we've learned, the more festivals to which you submit, the more Official Selections you will get. "That's obvious" you might say, and you'd be right, but it's important to state anyways.

My personal filmmaking experience may be one data point to consider.  I edit sound and often help with promotion of the film after its completion. This year I did the sound for a short called "Maintenant, même les plantes". The Director submitted the film to 12 festivals and it was selected by 4.   We spent about $400 on the submissions.

This is what I consider a very successful festival run. Submitting to many festivals is a smart way to promote your film.

Naturally, you want to select the festivals where your film has the best chance of being an Official Selection. The YoungCuts Submission Service helps you find these high potential festivals, and usually offers the submission fee at a substantial discount to the retail price, helping you make your promotional budget go further.

If you are a student or teenager, it is a good idea to concentrate on submitting to the festivals that YoungCuts identifies as having student categories or teen categories.  Overall, our film festival customers find it difficult to source strong films from younger filmmakers.  If you qualify, submitting your film in these young filmmaker categories responds to film festival needs and increases your odds of succeeding.

Whatever your age, the official laurels that you receive are incredibly important to your CV.  Since we all compete for places at good schools and in industry (film or otherwise), awards permit you to stand out and differentiate yourself, giving you the edge when you apply to these positions.

But, there is money to consider.  Every filmmaker has a different promotional budget, and we all need to live within our means. If a filmmaker can afford it, we recommend that the filmmaker invest in themself by submitting to 10 of the $15 festivals that we offer.

Over the course of a couple of months, this costs $150 (plus applicable taxes), and gives a short film wide exposure across many film festival juries and judges.   This amount is a fraction of the time and money spent on making a short film.

Obviously, there is never a guarantee that your film will be chosen by the film festivals.  However, by submitting to 10 film festivals or more,with a budget-conscious plan, you will have given yourself and your film the best chance to succeed.

After all, a large part of success is as simple as "showing up"! 

Max Bianchi
Festival Director