The film festivals that take place worldwide make up a large part of the cinema marketplace, which increases each year. The market for independent film has become a genuine competitor to the Hollywood film industry. Since breaking into Hollywood is more difficult, most new filmmakers choose to show their films at independent film festivals. Film festivals gather hundreds of thousands of industry professionals, which gives the newcomer a chance to network and show off his or her talents.
For the filmmaker submitting his or her work to a film festival for the first time, it can be overwhelming. Understanding how and what a film festival takes are important. If time is wasted on submitting a film to a festival that does not accept the genre or style, then less time can be given to festivals that will accept the work.
Competitive film festivals do not accept most applications, but do offer a section for first-time submissions. The reason behind the tough submission guidelines is to keep the focus on professionalism. Since most submissions come from seasoned filmmakers, it can be difficult for a new filmmaker. Even if the festival rejects the first submissions, working toward getting accepted is the main goal.
Smaller film festivals targeting new filmmakers are a perfect place to start. By creating awareness of your work, you can build a network of budding filmmakers. Smaller film festivals have a competitive segment, but mostly focus on showcasing new films. Submissions to these festivals are easier to receive acceptance letters. If a film wins in the competitive segment at the smaller film festivals, the eyes and ears of industry professionals are aware of its success. By creating a brand name to your films, you can create a name that will be remembered when it is time to make a submission into a larger, competitive film festival.