Short Film Festival Strategy

How to develop a festival strategy for your short

By Neil Fallon & Michael Barmish

Every year, more than 8,000 short films are produced and submitted to more than 3,000 film festivals worldwide. How can your short film stand out amongst such a vast number of submissions? Will a great movie lead to a successful career in festivals? That depends.

Beyond the intrinsic quality of a film, much of its success depends on how you develop your strategy to target the right film festivals at the right time, be it international film festivals or regional film festivals. Success is the combination of many elements to create a virtuous circle. There are many factors to take into account before submitting your short film to festivals.

In this guide, we will explain all the traps to avoid basic errors of strategy which could result in the reduction of the potential success of your film in festivals. We will also outline all the elements needed to build the best film festival strategy for your film.

Turn your great short into a festival success and be listed among the Award Winning Movies!

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By the end of this guide you will be able to:

  • Discover the benefits of entering your short film in festivals
  • Learn how festivals are structured and how it affects your submission
  • Create a strategy to optimize having your film selected into a festival
  • Consider how using a distributor may help your film be accepted into a festival


  • Why submit your short to festivals?
  • How films are selected in festivals?
  • How to enter festivals?
  • How to develop a festival strategy?
  • Marketing to festivals
  • Marketing budget
  • Working or not with a distributor
  • An alternative solution to distributors
  • Selling your film


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