When Should a Filmmaker Go To a Festival?

by Sydney Levine
September 19, 2011 9:56 AM
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The Holding, Directed by Susan Jacobson.

Maybe this little interchange is of interest to other filmmakers...at any rate, it is free publicity for the filmmakers.

From: Alex Boden [mailto:ale AT pistachio.co.uk]
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 7:03 AM
To: Sydney J. Levine
Subject: Chicago IFF and AUSTIN FF

Dear Sydney,

I hope you've been really well since Cannes and are enjoying IFP. I was just reading your write-up.

Do you remember our film The Holding (U.S.: Lionsgate, ISA: AV Pictures) that we discussed earlier this year? We have festival selections at both Austin Fantastic Fest September 22 - 29, 2011 and Chicago IFF October 6 - 20, coming up - and I wanted to ask you whether you think either of these are worth attending as filmmakers? Susan Jacobson and I are very tempted....!

Many thanks,

Alex x

Alex Boden
m. +44 (0)7956 873 054
www.pistachio.co.uk

_______________
Edited answer)
Hi Alex.

I do no X is on the jury and she might be good to meet. There may be other "important" jury members.

But Chicago IFF is not attended by the trade. I don’t know if the other one is attended by trade. Possibly the Austin one is, since the festival is so specialized…can you ask for a guest list/ delegate/ industry, whatever they call it? Ask each festival because you need to know and they will know.

Why else is it worth going to the festival? Because they pay for you to go or seeing the public reaction is important (get everyone’s email so you can do some social networking promotion). Again, you might be able to get their emails from the festival. If not, then at the Q&A.

Ask Lionsgate if they’re doing special publicity around its release in those territories at the festivals or if you can help them with some free publicity while you’re there!

If the festival pays your airfare and hotel and you can afford the time and want to see the towns – good to go.

Or meet other filmmakers thru' IFP in Chicago (present your film or do a pre-festival presentation) or go to the film schools to speak to a class or meet other film producers perhaps…I can think of lots of ways to justify the trip…fun included…but try to set some career building goals…

Hope this helps!
S


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