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A festival that keeps its word

It's nice to see that some festivals really make an effort of showing they care. We've been in festivals that never sent us any of the info they've said they were going to and been rejected from tons that all have rejection letters that looked like they were copied from each other. "Dear filmmaker, we have the difficult task of informing you, blah blah blah".

We understand that putting on a festival must be hard work but even Microcinema Int'l that has had hundred and hundreds of films screened sent us a nice package of programs and newspaper clipping from where our film had been screened and they only charge $5 for an entry! (so this is another good festival/showcase)

But we're giving good word to the Beared Child Underground Film Fest. Bad news is we got rejected BUT they did offer to send us back our fee (well ours was their famous alternate payment fee). And the best part was that the letter was personal and mentioned in detail the likes and dislikes of the movies. We've heard that some fests don't even watch all the entries and they charge $50 a film! But they took the time to watch them, think about them, write us about them AND offer to send back our stuff.

Sure, we were pissed to ad to our rejections but it felt good for once. Well, maybe not good but you get the point.

Alter Ego Cinema


hi there. i am a film maker from india and have just completed an english feature film here in india. what must i have to do in order to enter my film in your film festival??

please reply.
Hi Faisal,

We're not a film fest we're just filmmakers that entered this festival we thought was very nice and informative even though we got rejected.

You can check filmfestivals.com for a list of many festivals and I believe that most festivals in the US do not charge for international entires, so you could probably get away with a lot of free entires.

Just make sure you read the rules very clearly so that you pick the right festivals for your film and don't blow lots of money. Even free film fests cost lots of money between mailing, press kits, duplication costs, etc, etc.

Well, that's about it, anybody got other advice for Faisal?

Best of luck,
That's always a nice touch... I got a letter from a festival in California today... had no idea I'd entered, since the movie was made at film camp and obviously someone else involved in the project did the submitting...

Anyway. The letter read, more or less, "Your strong film wasn't accepted." And went on to invite me to the festival anyway...


It wouldn't bother me as much, if they had bothered to tell me the name of the film that was entered. I've made three films with this camp, and I have only my assumption on which one was entered. But I was appalled to see they didn't even think enough of our "strong" film to mention it by name...

It's nice that you've found a festival that not only watches the film, but gives you some feedback.
Yes, that was a rare find. We've got close to 200 rejections, some don't even ever tell you when you've been rejected, you find out when the festival comes and your film never played, and all the others are basically the same letter over and over.

The rare festivals have been "Bearded Child" which obviously watched every film we sent and thought really hard about it and offered to return our alternative payment
"Dahalengo Int'l Film Fest" (I know I spelt that wrong), but the festival director was very informative on keeping us up to date on whether or not our film was going to be playing (we needed to know because we were already going to be on that side of the country with another festival). We were rejected but he kept us up to date, was very nice and did all this even though he was very busy and wasn't even in charge of the subissions department.

Although we still do appreciate film fests, other wise, where in the hell could you show your short film to an audience that's actually interested? We can't even get most of the people we know to watch them cause a short film, even a feature-length independent film is "not a real movie" according to the rest of the world.
Therefore instead of getting a free viewing of our stuff they go and spend $10 a ticket on Fast and Furious 2, Barbershop 2, Agent Cody Banks 2, Bad Boys 2, Tomb Raider 2, Final Destination 2, Anacondas 2 and so on.