One of the best places to get your video, film, animation or multimedia work exhibited and known by distributors and the public is at a film or media festival. There are hundreds such events around the world each year that welcome, most often for an entry fee, new work by young media professionals. Your first efforts may not qualify for a Sundance or Cannes event. But there are many others such as the Chicago Underground Film Festival which might just be the ticket. Also check out local cafes, coffeehouses, and independent movie houses. They sometimes host monthly screenings. There is also the Internet where independent film and media producers are increasingly exhibiting their work.

Some people take their films on the road such as the award-winning "toxic comedy" Blue Vinyl recently shown at Churchill High School in Eugene. Check out Blue Vinyl (http://www.bluevinyl.org/ ) and see how the producers of this film are marketing their work known by hitting the road and showing it in festivals, conferences and events.

This week's discussion provides information about festival events, how to participate and what to expect as a result of your having a film or media project exhibited. First, some online articles that explore the strategies and issues of festival life.

Film Festival Strategies: So you've finished your short and want to show the world. What to do? A film maker's perspective about entering film festivals. Provides tips and links to important festival information sites.

Submitting Your Film to Festivals "Film festivals are a touchy subject. Many filmmakers make a film thinking all they have to do is submit their work to a major festival and soon they will be rich and famous. Well it just doesn't work that way. If you think you can make a low-budget film with no connections and no stars, submit it to Sundance and be accepted, you're wrong. Plain and simple, Sundance is an insiders game, and if you're not an insider you won't be invited to the party."

Is It Time For Festivals to Pay?" Independent filmmakers traveling on the festival circuit gain much from the experience. Aside from often receiving free travel, filmmakers make useful contacts, they learn important lessons about marketing and publicity and they get their film seen by paying audiences receiving vital feedback about their work. But the ultimate goal for a filmmaker taking their movie on the festival circuit is to close the all-important distribution deal. The disappointing truth is that most films playing at festivals become Òcine-orphans,Ó films left without distribution. For most, the festival tour ends with a wealth of valuable experiences, and an empty bank account." However, there may be a silver lining in the hopeless pursuit of distribution as the article explains..

Once you've decided that the festival route is for you, the question of how to locate a festival event appropriate for your particular production is asked.. There are many online resources to help you find an event appropriate for your work. Here is a brief list of festival directories and databases:

Additional Resources of Value:

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Documentary Educational Resources will offer their support as a non-profit, fiscal sponsor for independent documentary filmmakers seeking grants. Interested filmmakers should send a letter of inquiry with a brief description and one page budget of their project to: Cynthia Close, Executive Director Documentary Educational Resources 101 Morse Street Watertown, MA 02472 FAX: 617-926-9519 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Article Festival and Market Listings. Author: Patricia Saperstein, Variety August 28, 2000. This millennium edition represents the largest and most up-to-date directory of festivals available in print or online, with more than 600 gatherings for festival goers of every stripe.

Information about film festivals and how to enter them. Good place to go if you are considering entering into a film festival. There are thousands to choose from in your country, city or state. Subscribe to our Newsletter

Studio 22 Festival and Distribution Listings A comprehensive guide with general information about individual festivals plus links to festival web pages.