You shouldn't read too much into one script contest, I think even the greatest creativity only appeals to a small percentage of the population. Look at Akira for example, it's considered a masterwork by entire countries, but it's not particularly well respected here. I've heard plenty of people say that The Matrix wasn't anything special, or confuse Star Wars with Star Trek. I'm pointing out that it's quite possible that you'd be getting bad reviews or disinterest from a random sampling of people even if you had an idea or style that was genuinely great.
My point is that right now you haven't been able to make a lot of films, and when you did, you haven't been able to cast a wide net. It takes money to do all that stuff, and banks don't issue SBLs to artists. Nobody is blaming you for that, I think most indie filmmakers are in the same boat, I certainly am.
Look at this from a math perspective for a second, let's say
1. You create a cool short film that 1 in every 1000 people would like enough to subscribe to you on patreon for a while. That would be enough to change your whole life, and reverse your perception of the value of the previous 10 years of filmmaking. lets say 10k a month income from 1000 monthly subscribers at the default 10/month I see on all those sites.
2. So you would need to have 1,000,000 people see your video to get that conversion at that volume. (realistically it's typically worse than this, but this is just for the sake of argument)
3. Compare what's happened to this very basic scenario. So you made a film, and 1000 people or thereabouts saw it. So if the conversion number was indeed 1 in 1000, your expected result would look terrible at that scale. All that work, all those people, and 1 person seemed to really like it, what a let down.
4. But lets scale it up a bit. Still only 1 in a 1000 are fans, but this time you really push the facebook feeds, drop 500 on advertising and use the google first time credit offer to double it, and manage to get 340,000 views. That's about what I got from 1100 in advertising on the last movie I did. So this time you got 340 patreon subscribers, 20-30k likes, and you have some level of income to help make your next short. You make the next one on the cheap, and sell it with a crazy script or enthusiastic line delivery, and you re invest that patreon income into widening your subscriber base.
5. Use the subscription base you built up with ads as leverage in negotiation for sponsorships. EG - look Doritos, I have 10k subscribers, do you want to send me 200 a month and some chips to eat conspicuously in the "Lighting the scenes: Christmas Hellfire"
So in that scenario, a response curve that looked overwhelmingly negative at 1000 viewers, became a success story at 340k viewers.
I think it's possible, and people are doing it daily. Sometimes you say the algorithm has judged you as uninteresting, but I don't think that's how it actually works, and maybe you're interpreting it in an unnecessarily negative light. A guy from google who programmed it did a video about it, and said that views are "Pulled" not "pushed", meaning that it does not actually introduce new videos into the stream actively. You have to have people that are aware of it from other sources, or run ads. It's basically only showing people content from channels they've already watched, and the rest is searches.
Or try reimagining the whole thing, and just approach film in a new way that you've never done before. 40 is not that old for a filmmaker, and 10 years is not that long to learn a field this complex. I don't think you're doing that bad.