From the inception of the mere idea of making a film or a short film to actually doing the hard work and completing everything, there’s one major thing every independent and first time filmmaker wants to do and that is to submit his/her completed project (in this case a film, a documentary or a short film) in a renowned film festival. A local film festival can do wonders for a first time filmmaker, but the real pleasure comes from an invitation and eventually submission to an international film festival or a short film festival. Yes, I’ve heard that ‘winning isn’t everything’ but it sure does makes sense to shine at the world stage.
With so many film festivals on the circuit, it is most of the times a hectic job for a filmmaker (especially a novice) to select the one or the ones to send or submit his film for submission. Of course, prizes do matter, but they aren’t everything and a beginner needs to know what festivals he/she should submit his/her film/short film to. Below is a list of the 30 best film and short film festivals an independent filmmaker should try. These festivals (international or national depending on where you are based at) do charge a small fee, but it’s all worth it in the end. The festivals could have a totally free entry or might ask you to pay a small fee ($10-$200-$2000 or sometimes even more). Also, you might want to register for an account with Withoutabox to submit your shorts or your features and documentaries to multiple festivals without any hassle, plus the withoutabox blog will automatically send you newsletters and information (daily or weekly) about upcoming film festivals and it’s a real treat.
Anyhow, here are 30 of the best international short film/film festivals you need to check (not in any particular order), these can be good for your documentaries too, but I’ll have a separate blog for docs:
For my Indian Friends
UPDATE: I’ll be updating this list with festivals most of us independent filmmakers haven’t heard about but would love to share, submit and present our work. With so many festivals all around the world, it is definitely going to be a challenge to submit one’s work everywhere, but it’ll be great to have options. So, if you organise a short film festival anywhere in the world, please drop a comment below. The list will now feature all the festivals for your features, documentaries and shorts.
49 WOW Film Festival (Women In Film & Television)
58 Birmingham SHOUT (LGBT Film Festival)
70 Forster Film festival (Shorts)
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