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Film Festival Submission

Film Festivals are a great way to get exposure for your film, build buzz, potentially find a buyer for your film and it's a fantastic networking opportunity to meet other filmmakers and people in the biz. We feel Festivals have suffered under the reign of too-few submission outlets for long enough, locked into exclusive long term agreements, left alone without technical support for long periods without notice and charged exorbitant fees for ‘marketing’. IFS not just another submission service, it is an environment. We are building a place where you go if you are a festival organizer, buyer, VOD service, whatever and you are looking for films – and the place you go if you want to have your film discovered, screened and sold.

Filmmakers are busy people, often too busy to get your films submitted to all the festivals you’d like. IFS can help you create a film festival submission plan, submit your films for consideration in festivals and deliver the final films to festivals when they get accepted.

Choosing the right Festival for your film is an art in itself. There are more than 6,000 festivals across six continents in online and offline form, some of which can change the fate of the film. But there are a number of criteria that has to be considered before submitting a film. You need to choose festivals according to your film’s category and genre. You also need to understand which festivals attract more sales agents across the world. In India, there are hardly any professional houses that offer “Film Festival Submission” service to those film makers who make good films but lack the knowledge of international exposure of their films.

Submitting to film festivals is one way to get your work seen by a diverse and engaged audience, as well as gain recognition and possible distribution. This needs a vast technical and depth of knowledge. One wrong move can spoil your entire dream what you have build for your film. And one good move can give excellent opportunities to get your work seen!

Each film festival has its own set of rules. Generally, filmmakers are given a deadline by which they need to submit their film(s). Some festivals accept films that have already been screened elsewhere; others require that films have not been broadcast anywhere prior to the festival. Movies entered may range from shorts that are just a few minutes in length to full-length features that run 1.5 hours or more.

Not every film is right for every festival. Submitting a film to the wrong festival is likely to end in rejection. Before submitting a film for consideration, filmmakers need to research which festivals are most appropriate for their subject. New filmmakers have a better chance of getting into a smaller festival and then working their way up to the big-name festivals once they have achieved a few successes.

If a movie is accepted, the festival organizers notify the filmmaker. At the festival, the movie is screened for the jury as well as for the audience. The jury is usually made up of film critics, professors and/or filmmakers who will judge each film for its artistic merit, production value, creativity and overall impression. Judging differs from festival to festival; but usually, each member of the jury votes by secret ballot and the film that receives the majority of votes wins.

Most film festivals also give the audience an opportunity to judge. Its choice is reflected in a special audience award.

Film Festivals are not free. Plain and simple. If you plan to apply to festivals, you need to make sure this is part of the outreach budget for your film. Beyond the submission fees (which can often run about $50 per festival), there are many other financial costs associated with festivals: Mailing costs (while some festivals now accept online submissions, quite a few still require that a DVD / Blue Ray be mailed). While it never hurts to ask a festival for a waiver, don’t expect it. So how much should you budget for festivals? It really depends on how many you expect to apply to, how many you expect to attend, and what you want to get out of a festival.

Festivals can also be a key part of a much larger outreach/engagement campaign (and it is not unusual for the outreach costs for a film to exceed the production costs). Filmmakers need to retain a sense of reality not only in terms of festivals themselves but in terms of the cost of festivals.

IDS is the only company in India who has come up with the idea to support the interest of those film makers who deserves international exposure and wants to justify his / her film through Film Festivals.

Tips for submitting to film festivals

  • • Question yourself “is the film a fit?”
  • • Niche festivals
  • • Budget appropriately
  • • Submit your film early
  • • Screen with test audiences
  • • Don’t neglect sound design
  • • DVD best practices
  • • Don’t watermark your film
  • • Send a finished product
  • • Follow the rules


Few don’ts before film festival submission

  • • You need to master the short before the three-hour opus.
  • • You need to cut some more.
  • • Don’t discount small festivals or small projects.
  • • Don’t forget why you’re doing this.
  • • Don’t let missing parts hold you back.


Few things every film festival wants filmmakers to know

  • • Programmers love filmmakers.
  • • Don’t tell every festival you are waiting to hear from Sundance.
  • • There is no conspiracy against you.
  • • Festival programming is a balancing act.
  • • Don’t harass festival programmers.
  • • Don’t ask for a screening fee.
  • • Don’t take your screening time personally.
  • • Behave yourself
  • • Show some appreciation.
  • • Festivals cherish filmmakers.


So you need to question and answer yourself….

  • How will I filter just 40-50 films festivals among more than 6,000 film festival across six continents?
  • Which festival will have more chances of nomination of my film?
  • How I will differentiate between a good and a bad film festival?
  • How there will be more chances to attract distributors and agents of my film through film festivals?
  • ...........many more questions you need to answer yourself.


So when you are taking the service of IFS for Film Festival Submission you are assured to get the best possible justification and recognition of your film as well as your crew members with a very nominal service charges what we look for.

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