Film festivals – why bother?
You’re not gonna get into Cannes or Sundance. At least not on the first try (if you do, my hat off to you, let me know on Twitter @photosbydepuhl), so why try? OK, so what’s a film festival anyway? It’s a competition -sometimes with a cash prize, sometimes not- where film makers submit their work to a jury of their peers, who screen all the films making a selection of which films get screened.
What do film festivals do for your brand? They give you the opportunity to show that your work has been found worthy of being in a line up for a festival, if you win that’s even better, but the mere fact of getting accepted is an accomplishment worthy of sharing.
You also get to show your work to brand new audience. People you haven’t reached before, the press is at festivals it’s a marketers dream. I was interviewed at the festival, that I had submitted “On Wings of Hope“. Here’s the video:
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How this worked
There are a million film festivals out there. Local, national and international ones – well known ones and some you’ve (and everyone else) has never heard about. There are a bunch of websites and apps, listing many festivals. I used one called without a box. Pick some festivals that fit the genre you feel like they would fit the work you’ve created. Many festivals charge a submission fee, there’s a lot of supporting documents you’ll need to submit, some festivals require a BlueRay copy, if you are selected and you’ll submit your film to a dozen festivals and maybe, just maybe get accepted to one.
This Marketing Hack is valuable, because …
Film festival show your audience, that your peers recognize your work as important enough to screen at a film festival. Anytime you have a reason to talk about your work is a welcome opportunity to share your marketing message. In my case my world premiere screening for “On Wings of Hope” was a full year before I screened it at a festival.
Other people talking about your work is always a good thing. A new audience is always a good thing. Another opportunity to bring up your work is valuable, but most of all peers reviewing your work and giving it the status of being screened at a festival is another opportunity to burn your brand into their brains.