Ask Andy: I’m a first timer to film fests!

NW Documentary’s Artist in Residence, Andy Blubaugh, is here to answer your non-fiction storytelling questions.

I just finished my 10-week DIY Documentary film, and I was so proud when I showed it at Homegrown. Now I’m thinking about submitting it to a festival, what do I need to know before submitting it? -Mark

Dear Mark:
Congratulations on making your first film! Festivals are a great way to reach a larger audience, and it’s not as difficult a world to navigate as you might think. The best method is to look at the previous catalogs of festivals that you’re interested in. You’re likely to have better luck if you submit to fests that show work similar to yours.

Don’t forget to look at international festivals and film markets. Outside of the U.S., cultural events enjoy more robust governmental support, so submission fees tend to be lower, and many will cover your accommodation and portions of your travel expense.

Finally, don’t forget that whether you’re accepted into the festival or not, you’re beginning a relationship. Most programmers work for more than one organization, and many will continue to champion a film when sitting on other selection committees. Do not write an angry letter or email if you’re rejected, either.  Programmers will remember that just as well.

Good luck!
-Andy

Have a question for Andy? Email it to info@nwdocumentary.org with the subject line “Ask Andy”

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