Since I’m scripting a film I plan to shoot and eventually submit to festivals, my eye was caught by a recent article for Filmmaker Magazine in which Meredith Alloway talks about visiting the 2017 Sundance festival, and discusses a few of the difficulties of completing, submitting, and getting accepted into a festival with your short films. It’s not that easy to beak into the festival world, and while she points out it’s not the only way to gain an audience for indie films in the digital age, it’s still a huge and profitable deal for budding filmmakers.
Meredith goes on to interview several past Sundance filmmakers, Makoto Nagahisa, Bernardo Britto, Anu Valia, Francisca Alegria, Renata Gasiorowska, Calvin Reeder, Sol Friedman, and Garrett Bradley. She asks them about their creative process, getting connected to festivals, finding funding for productions, struggles they’ve gone through, and important advice they have picked up through their experience.
Their answers include a little bit of everything. As far as subject goes, Britto suggests animated shorts as a good break-in, as it tends to be a less competative field. On length, Reeder counsels the creation of shorter short films for festival time slots and distribution. In what I found a surprising set of answers, Algeria and Britto are both proponents of submitting to festivals even when there may be a good deal of sound design and color correction, or other smaller technical things to change before it’s truly done. And, in overall experienced-festival-filmmaker tips to young filmmakers, Friedman and Reeder highly advice thought in pre-production about camera framing and editing. The article has a wealth of similar information and good advice, handed out in easy to consume snippets–definitely a worthwhile read.