Monday, 20 January 2014

Festival strategy...

Hello! (Miriam here)

So, as Tim explained on his last post, we have had to take some paid work in order to...well, in order to survive, really. Today, however, I’m working on the film! 

Once the film is finished, we would like to start getting it seen by taking it to film festivals. Even though the film is not ready yet, I believe that it is essential to have a planned festival strategy as much in advance as possible. The fact is that when you work by yourself and on your own terms, you have to be twice as disciplined and, for this, deadlines have to be set. Of course, there is also the issue of budgeting how much the film festival strategy will cost...

How did I start? Well, I started by researching and reading articles and top lists for Film Festivals around the world. Then, I compiled information, such as dates, deadlines, fees, formats and eligibility. 

Within these aspects, it is important to learn whether the festival requires a premiere or not, as this can affect your whole strategy and effect your chances to submit your film to certain festivals. 

Then, learn as much as you can about the nature of the festivals. What films made it to the final selection in past editions? What is the festival’s mission? How does your film fit within their program? 

Also, do they require a press kit? Most of them do, so gathering info, photos, etc, is another task that needs to be added to the to-do list. Before we started shooting, I took the time to find out what a press kit must contain so I know that we have the materials. 

Many festivals include “anecdotes” to the list of the contents for a press kit. This is something we have well-covered because when you are a two-person team, working on the pre-production, shooting and editing in your own flat, you are aware of everything.

Our plan is to submit the film to UK festivals that are scheduled to take place from September 2014. Then, from January 2015 onwards, we hope that we will also be screened by overseas festivals.

The good news is that there are plenty of interesting film festivals out there, which I will be writing about as we move along in the submission process. For now, I would like to mention how useful the British Council Film Festival directory and have been in order to search and gather information. Of course, it is important to contrast whatever you find out with the information given on the festival’s website. However, it has been a lot easier to use these sites to find out about festivals and their main information when devising the ideal festival path for the film. 

So, it seems that the main strategy is ready. Needless to say, I will keep my eyes open and attend some of the festivals available in London so that I can keep revising and improving our strategy... and, at the same time, have some fun too!