Hi everyone, My name is Jeannine. I am new to this forum.

JeannineG

Member
I have made two documentary films and my experience with submitting them to film festivals has inspired me to start my own. I have found that it's very difficult to make progress in the festival circuit if you are not connected or don't have representation, so I want to provide a festival where filmmakers are accepted solely based on the work they are submitting.
 
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pedramyz

Member
welcome.
That is an ambitious goal, and I admire it. But I think you already know that anybody with funds can start their own festival or contest. The most important thing is what does your festival offer to those who win it? Do you have solid connections in the industry that can open some doors for aspiring filmmakers or not? Cause honestly if you don't, I don't think anybody is going to care that much.
 
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mlesemann

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
I ran a small film festival for a few years. It's a ton of work, but it can be very rewarding. Filmmakers - especially those just starting out - are eager to have the opportunity to screen their work, get feedback, and network.

Make sure that you find a good venue to hold it and make sure everyone knows in advance (e.g. when they submit) what formats are supported to avoid surprises.

Good luck!
 

JeannineG

Member
Anyone with a sincere passion for filmmaking will want to share his or her message with as many people as possible. Through this festival, I am offering a platform to do so. I've already received a dozen submissions from filmmakers around the world. They don't have a lot of resources, but most made beautiful short films with what they had. Those are the people we are interested in. Year after year, the festival will grow and so will our industry connections and budget to award filmmakers.

welcome.
That is an ambitious goal, and I admire it. But I think you already know that anybody with funds can start their own festival or contest. The most important thing is what does your festival offer to those who win it? Do you have solid connections in the industry that can open some doors for aspiring filmmakers or not? Cause honestly if you don't, I don't think anybody is going to care that much.
 

JeannineG

Member
I ran a small film festival for a few years. It's a ton of work, but it can be very rewarding. Filmmakers - especially those just starting out - are eager to have the opportunity to screen their work, get feedback, and network.

Make sure that you find a good venue to hold it and make sure everyone knows in advance (e.g. when they submit) what formats are supported to avoid surprises.

Good luck!
Thank you!
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
You are up in Rochester. You need to get something going with Kodak. For one, you are in their home town and that's always a plus for a partnership. But also there's something "legit" about their name when it comes to film. Plus, they are pushing a film renaissance with super-8 cameras even. I wonder if you could do something like a film festival with a special Kodak series with films made with actual film (imagine that?). Maybe even a super-8 class. But your main fest was any film, and media, on merit. Just some ideas to throw your way. Good luck!

PS. Saying you want to accept films on merit is not a new idea. All fests either say they do, or start there. What happens when you are running your "on merit" fest and a not-so-good film with an A-lister is sent your way? Do you reject it, or open the festival with it, so you get good press and attention for those merit films? Then, are you still a merit fest??? Food for thought.

Remember when Slamdance was the alternative to Sundance? Then it just became another of the same...
 

JeannineG

Member
I've attended the Rochester International Film Festival, which is also a short festival, for years.. and they are already partnered with the George Eastman House.. But something connected to the Kodak super-8 renaissance is a great idea. I will look into that. Thanks!
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
Festivals are a dime a dozen, and they will all claim they judge on merit, and believe it or not, a lot do. I've judged before. I'm afraid you will need something else to stand out. Unless you go full political and take on the non-merit fests, with a raised fist icon and Merit in your name and really push it!
 

JeannineG

Member
I appreciate your input. Thank you. I'll pursue your Super-8 suggestion and let you know if it pans out. I'm really impressed with the submissions I've already received. They're providing a great starting point.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
Oh I just read that! Didn't know you kicked it off. Best of luck!

You can post a call for entries in the Promotion section. :)
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
About 10-15, including series at Lincoln Center and MOMA. Why do you ask?
It has been my experience that few filmmakers attend film festivals. We want our
films to be seen but we don't go see films made by people we don't know starring
actors we've never heard of.

I'm like you, I attended between 8 and 10 a year.

Monday-Wednesday I attended (July 2019) I attended The AOF Megafest in Las
Vegas. A friend had a movie showing on Wednesday so I went in early to see three
full days of movies.

What I saw was, unfortunately, typical. For the short films blocks there were usually
10 to 20 people in the theater. Once their film showed the filmmakers left. By the
end of the block I was alone on two out of five screenings. The features were more
difficult to know. Cast and crew, of course, but couldn't tell how many people who
weren't connected to the movie were there. What I did see at all the feature screening
I attended is as soon as the accompanying shorts were over the filmmakers left – they
did not stay to see the feature.

I took four days off work and spent over $500 in travel and hotel to support a friend.
But I also supported other filmmakers by seeing their movies.

Just think... if every filmmaker who has a movie in a festival just saw three other movies
there. And if every filmmaker when to one local festival a year...
 

mlesemann

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
For the short films blocks there were usually
10 to 20 people in the theater. Once their film showed the filmmakers left. By the
end of the block I was alone on two out of five screenings.
This drives me absolutely nuts. Whether I'm at a festival with one of my movies, or to support a friend, I always stay to the end of the block and see as many movies overall as I can.

With the small fest that I ran, we really wanted people to have an audience for their hard work. So for our audience favorite award, you could only submit your ballot at the end of a block, otherwise it was disqualified.

We also used a preferential voting system, so people had to vote for their top 3 favorites. This helped to give the award to the movie that people really DID like best, rather than to the local filmmaker who could drag the largest number of family and friends to their screening.

I found that these things did help.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
However if a film is over 20 minutes long imo it should be slated individually, and if I want to see it, I will attend. I love short film blocks, but I like them when they are up to 10 minutes each. So then you ask, what to do with the 10-20? You slate them in a block too, arranged by genre. So you have your short attention span block, your drama or comedy block, and your individually slated.

Programming is key.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I prefer a more diverse short film block. Different genres and lengths.
I wouldn't go to a "drama" block because I don't really like dramas
and a block of comedy is often exhausting. I think a "short attention
span" block would appeal to the YouTube watchers but I wouldn't go
and I really wouldn't want my 5 minute movie showing with a couple
of dozen other 5 - 10 minute movies. Too easy to forget what you
have seen.

To me 90 to 100 minutes is just right per block. No more than 120.
 

pedramyz

Member
Just think... if every filmmaker who has a movie in a festival just saw three other movies
there. And if every filmmaker when to one local festival a year...
I can't understand your point here. Most filmmakers who enter festivals are fledgling filmmakers, meaning they are hoping ( like every other new filmmaker ) to break into the industry. The point of a festival is to discover new talent not just because we want our movies to be seen, if that were truly the case we all have hundreds of people in our circle including friends and families,etc and we can show our movies to them without paying any festival submission fee or we can upload it on social media. The value of our movie to be seen is contingent on what we can get out of said screening. what doors does it open for us? I don't understand how an aspiring filmmaker with no connections and funds (like myself) can support any other fledgling filmmaker by watching their movies in a festival. As far as I know, none of the festival tickets sales go to the filmmakers right? If it were a friend sure the emotional support means a lot. But people do not know each other in a festival block. you once told me that hollywood is all about money. When ticket sales are the only touchstone for making it there, what does it matter if we show our support or not? Besides as I mentioned before watching a fellow filmmakers movie in a festival ( as an aspiring filmmaker) is not supporting them ( unless it's a friend in that case it's considered emotional support sure). If I as a fledgling filmmaker can't help my fellow filmmakers by opening some doors or furthering their careers, how exactly am I helping them or supporting them? Sure it's effective for the festival reputation if more people attended it, but for filmmakers, other fledgling filmmakers support doesn't help them in any way. I wouldn't call that supporting.
 
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directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I can't understand your point here.
My point here is a movie needs an audience. A film festival is different
than uploading to a website. Both are ways to get your film seen. One
way is a solitary experience, the other is a group experience. It is so
wonderful to sit in a theater and listen to people react to the movie
you made.

You see a film festival as only one thing – opening the doors to a career.
I see a film festival as several things. Very few (less than 10) festivals are
a stepping stone to discovering new talent. The point of most film festivals
is the celebration of movies. And a place to showcase your work to an
audience.
If I as a fledgling filmmaker can't help my fellow filmmakers by opening some doors or furthering their careers, how exactly am I helping them or supporting them? Sure it's effective for the festival reputation if more people attended it, but for filmmakers, other fledgling filmmakers support doesn't help them in any way. I wouldn't call that supporting.
You and I are very different. That's why you can't understand my point here.
I love movies and I love seeing movies from unknown filmmakers. A film
festival is a great way to do that. I also love seeing movies in a theater with
other people. I call that supporting.

But in my experience you are in the majority. Most filmmakers do not think
it's supporting to go to a film festival so they don't go. If your film ever
shows in a festival near Los Angeles I promise I won't go see it.
 
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