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How Do You Get Past the Gate-Keepers of Film Festivals and Distributors? Filmmaker Elena Rossini Has an Idea

By /bent | /Bent April 22, 2014 at 12:31PM

It's harder than ever to get a feature accepted by a prestigious festival, but here's how one filmmaker decided to go about it

By common consent, technology has made it easier to make a feature film than ever before. The downside of this? It's harder than ever to get one distributed. Distributors are generally only interested in low budget features if they've made a splash at a big festival, but with festivals more flooded with submissions than ever, that's an increasingly hard ask.

Elena Rossini is a filmmaker who has spent six years working on "The Illusionists" - a feature-length documentary that exposes the shocking impact of the modern day beauty industry on its global customer base. Having begun the arduous process of submitting to festivals, Rossini quickly realized that the difference between acceptance and oblivion may lie in just one person - no, not a festival programmer, but a famous name, as yet unidentified, who can join her project as narrator, executive producer or otherwise champion. You may think that a film ought to succeed or fail on its merits, not its celebrity cache. But in the current distribution climate, that's just not a reality.

Rossini has created an impressively savvy campaign (with an equally impressive website) to make her case. Have a look, and - if you want to see her project go the distance - get involved. The subject matter of "The Illusionists" could hardly be more pertinent, and deserves to be shared and discussed widely. The challenge is on.