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Hey Filmmakers: Here Are 5 Film Festival Deadlines You Should Definitely Pay Attention To

By /bent | /Bent September 18, 2014 at 1:02PM

The most pivotal time of year for submitting shorts and features -- especially for American filmmakers -- is underway.
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Sundance

With the big guns of the fall festival circuit -- Toronto, Venice and Telluride -- all over, filmmakers with recently completed -- or close to completed -- shorts or features should be thinking about deadlines for the next circuit.

READ MORE:  5 Tough Love Tips For Getting Your Film Into Film Festivals

Starting in January with Sundance, this circuit is absolutely the most important for independent filmmakers, with programming typically showcasing the majority of the best films from new or up-and-coming filmmakers you'll see in a given year (festivals like Cannes, Venice, Toronto and Telluride certainly offer some too, but it's not the same kind of focus). Just in the past couple years, they have collectively given us "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Fruitvale Station," "Short Term 12," "Pariah," "Middle of Nowhere," "Weekend," "The Spectacular Now," "Martha Marcy May Marlene"… All from filmmakers we'd yet to really discover before their films hit those festivals.

So if you have high hopes for your current project, here's the submission dates for 5 festivals that have had varying degrees of breakout films in the recent past. It's certainly not as easy as submitting (these are obviously extremely competitive festivals so you best have the cinematic goods to back up your dreams -- not to mention you should follow these 5 tips), but this is where you start, in chronological order:

1. Sundance Film Festival

When are the deadlines? 

Every deadline has past except for the late deadline for feature films: September 29th. So if you're not almost ready to submit, this might be a lost cause.

How much does it cost to enter? 

$105 is the late deadline fee for features.

Where do I submit?

When is the actual festival?
January 22-February 1, 2015


Slamdance

2. Slamdance Film Festival

When are the deadlines? 

Only late deadlines are left: October 9th and October 16th.

How much does it cost to enter? 

$70 for shorts, $$110 for features.

Where do I submit?

When is the actual festival?
January 23-29, 2015

Berlin

3. Berlin Film Festival

When are the deadlines? 

October 31st for features; November 17th for shorts.

How much does it cost to enter? 

150 Euros for a feature, 60 Euros for a short.

Where do I submit?

When is the actual festival?

February 5-15, 2015

SXSW

4. SXSW

When are the deadlines? 

Early deadline is October 2nd for all films, with the official deadline on October 30th and the late deadline November 13th.

How much does it cost to enter? 

$25-50 for shorts; $40-100 for features.

Where do I submit?

When is the actual festival?

March 13-21, 2015

Tribeca

5. Tribeca Film Festival

When are the deadlines? 

Early deadline is October 17th for all films, with the official deadline on November 26th and the late deadline December 24th.

How much does it cost to enter? Depending on when you submit, $30-$45 for shorts; $45-$100 for features.

Where do I submit?

When is the actual festival?