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Tips for Film Festival Submissions

By Mehmet Guney-Filmmaker

The film-festivals are a different world that loaded with films of all types, genres, and lengths, where midnight screenings, double features, shorts programs, and local showcases are all commonplace.

Every film festival ha sown rules, features and juries.

In this material I wanted share some tips for you.

1.Submit your project early

Don't be late. Early Submission has two benefits. One is budget that early submissions usually affordable and most film festivals offers discounts and Waiver codes to reach projects. Secondly , juries will have time to watch and evaluate your film long before deadlines. Late submissions usually tight times for Juries which may not be watches twice if project is not strong enough.

2.No Rough Cut

Festival times everyone is busy, especially Juries. After hundreds of movies, juries may not find time to understand your rough cut. Your story might impressive, your actors might be great performers however if there is no story line in your film, then highly possibility that your film might be unselected or maybe disqualified.

3. Consider Audience

We are living in an ERA that social platform provides more projects, more movies However only few get chance to reach audience. Even million dollar productions fails. Your story might touch the audience. Of course every film is unique and different even though stories might be similar . As director your focus must be to give a piece of experience or feeling that your audience experienced in their lives. When you writing your story or play, you must consider what audience will find in your story and how will it effect their lives.

4. Move smart

Critic your own movie. Is it good enough? You spend days or weeks of hard work and if you still think something missing, then you should ask professional critic. Your actors might be good but story is weak. Your story is good but editing is bad. Create an outline and think like a Jury. What bothers you about your movie? Can it be fixed by editing or do you need re-shoot again?

5.Light and Sound

If there is no good sound or light, your project probably will not be selected. Sound and light are key element of good movie. If you shoot outside, use boom or sound filters to get clean sound. If you shoot in dark areas, make sure to use extra lights.

6. Social Issues

Its a true fact that lately festivals focus on significant stories as social problems like Poverty or homeless issues. If you are first time Filmmaker and having difficulty to finding good story, then you can focus on community or social problems and turn them into personal stories.

7. Be patient

There are thousand of film festivals out there. Just because your project wasn't selected that doesn't mean you should give up. Learn your mistakes and reach film festival to get Juries comments about your project, so next time you will know what to do. Be patient and try again.

8. Use technology

You dont need latest gears or most expensive lenses. Use your cell phone, use your laptop. As long as you bring the story together and explain it clearly then you are a good filmmaker. Festivals accepts all type of films and no matter which camera you used.

And some words to remember: “Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director.” – James Cameron

Good Luck and Don't give up.

Mehmet Guney - Filmmaker

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