Questions about the short film distribution process are a topic of special interest at Rossscammm Films & Marketing. A lot of filmmakers come to us seeking our help, because they don’t know exactly how to distribute their short film. Often they are overloaded with (often conflicting) information and are unsure about which steps they really must follow to get as many people as possible to see their short films.
That is why we are discussing this topic in today’s post, in collaboration with FilmFestFriend, a film distribution platform to which Cristina López belongs. She now shares with you her best tips for your short film to get into film festivals. So, keep reading, don’t miss them!
Have you just finished your short film and are wondering how and when to begin the distribution process of your short film?
If so, now is a good time to pause for a moment to congratulate yourself on creating your short film. Congratulations! Now, what’s next?
Having a good strategy is very important because it is going to decide the life of your short film and its possibilities of distribution. Knowing what calendar events to schedule can really help you out, due to the fact that most film festivals have film production deadlines as a submission requirement.
Important note: be aware that the year of production of your short film will start after your short film’s public premiere screening.
It is also very important for you to be objective and impartial enough to know what to expect from your short film and whether it may be eligible for certain national and international awards. Unsurprisingly, you may think that your short film may win an award because of the time and effort you have expended in making a film of good quality.
To have a more objective and wider perspective of your short film, the first thing we recommend you do is to have some private screenings of your short film with a reliable audience who can give you realistic and honest feedback.
To do this, you should create a questionnaire to help you define the target of your film, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of your work. This is the usual way to approach film distribution and something very important to take into account in the short film industry.
The next step would be to start with the distribution process and put together a distribution strategy. Bear in mind which film festivals you want your film to get into, according to its characteristics. To do this, you must take into account two basic aspects:
▪ If the film festivals you want to submit your short film to demand national, international, regional or no premiere at all.
▪ To choose film festivals according to the features of your short film, whether it is better set up to serve specialized or non-specialized short films.
A lot of professionals may say that thinking about which kind of film festivals you should submit to is an important matter. From FilmFestFriend we do think that it is an important issue to keep in mind because competing with similar works can be an advantage for your short film and it can also increase the chances of getting an award.
To sum up, we recommend you follow the next steps:
- Make an audience survey to see which opinions your short film generates and help you set a customized distribution strategy.
- Keep in mind that from your work premiere onwards, the time to submit to different film festivals starts counting down.
- Establishing the film festivals you want to submit to and get informed about their premiere requirements. After that, keep on submitting to the film fests your work best suits.
- Don’t miss the opportunity to submit to specialized film festivals if you have an animated short film or a work dealing with topics like social equality, recycling, etc. Although you may at first think they are minor film fests, your work may have more chances and acknowledgement in them.
Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of the tools you may have at your disposal to manage your film’s submission to film fests – especially if they offer free submission. A good example of these tools is FilmFestFriend’s browser which makes an exhaustive search, filtering more than 1,100 film fests from our database, so that you can choose the film festivals which best suit your short film, enabling significant submission cost reduction.