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 Should I continue submitting my film to film festivals? 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 5:36 am
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Post Should I continue submitting my film to film festivals?
Well Ive just hit a brick wall. Ive submitted two short films of mine to a local film festival and it sounds like both of them were rejected. They will not be included in the screening. With one of them in particular, I have put so much work in to. I spent years accumulating the footage. And for anyone who lives in South Australia will know, it has been incredibly hot here lately. Despite the heat, I was hiking through hills in the midday sun seeking out locations for additional filming, and then staying on for several hours shooting time lapse. I was drenched in sweat by the time I got set up. That same routine was repeated day after day for one particular segment in the film. And then there was the countless hours spent editing - devoting so much time to that and neglecting other things in my life.

But I guess this shows a continuing trend. Despite having a major in film studies at University, I never do well at film / video competitions. Though I admit, I haven't entered very many. Then again, I haven't entered all that many still photography competitions but I always do well at those. Ive never come out of a photography competition empty handed. Additionally, one of my photographs won Second Prize in a 2008 art exhibition. And another of my photographs received a Highly Commended at a 2010 exhibition. But I guess I must be a crap filmmaker.

So the question is - should I continue submitting my film to film festivals? I am worried about the combined cost of entry fees. I would hate to spend a ton of money entering it into various festivals and have nothing to show for it - ie mass rejections. I know that some of you guys have done really well at film festivals. Out of curiosity, have you ever had any films that have been rejected by some film festivals but accepted by others?


Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:20 pm
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Post Re: Should I continue submitting my film to film festivals?
By the way, Ive had three private screenings of the film for family members. They seemed to like it. One of them asked to have it played again. And another asked if she could have a copy of it. But of course they're just family members. They're not established film critics or judges.


Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:31 pm
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:38 pm
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Location: Exmouth, Western Australia
Post Re: Should I continue submitting my film to film festivals?
You never can tell with judges. I was really annoyed last year that a piece of sculpture my wife and I worked very had to create, which lots of people said was an excellent piece, didn't get a prize in our local art competition here in Exmouth, WA. The piece of junk next to it made out of a coat-hanger, some tin lids and insulating tape did. Arrggghhhh!!!

Nobody cares how much effort your films take to create, it's the impact on the viewer in those first moments that counts. As Will Shakespeare was told in the film 'Shakespeare In Love': "Comedy and a bit with a dog. That's what they want."

Commiserations

Kit


Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:55 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:55 am
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Location: UK
Post Re: Should I continue submitting my film to film festivals?
Most years I judge a photographic competition for a company based in Indonesia, half way around the world from me, I only see the finished images, not the energy that may have been expended to capture them.
A mountain top view may have required several hours hike or a 1/2hr car ride on a road that is not included in the image, so that is not considered especially by me as part of the judging criteria.
As Kit says you have very little time to impress a judge, in my case with hundreds of images, only a few seconds for an initial review, a bit harsh from your point of view but reality.
Try and get feedback if you can, I am a member of the Royal Photographic Society, my first submission for the LRPS distinction was an absolute disaster, I could not, did not want to believe there was a problem with my pride and joys.
The feedback I got from that submission and a brutal reassessment of my work based on it helped make my second attempt a success.
Learn from what you have done, makes sure the entry satisfies all the requirements and keep trying. Also remember friends and family are by no means the best judges of your work after all they will not wish to offend you. Good luck for 2016.

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Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:27 am
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Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:45 am
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Location: Merritt Island, Florida, Estates Unitas
Post Re: Should I continue submitting my film to film festivals?
I heard that van Gough couldn't sell most of his paintings while he was alive, living in poverty. He'd probably be pissed if he knew how much others were able to make from his work.

Although I haven't tried the film festival thing yet, I've spent the past eight years doing night photography for the parks service. The first few years were great. They were planning to have police keep people off the beaches during turtle nesting season on the premise that people caused turtles to "false crawl" (return to sea without nesting). My photography showed that false crawls happen at all hours of the night, even after people had left the beach. There was no correlation between human presence and false crawls. This saved the county many thousands of dollars and allows people to continue enjoying the beaches. They still show my films at the educational theater at the visitor center.

As a special "thank you", fish and wildlife officials have decided that i am the only person who needs a permit to be on the beach at night. I was forbidden to photograph their organized turtle walks unless i got written permission from each of their guests, even though one of those guests filmed the entire walk with a camera identical to mine, without receiving permission of any kind.

I had high hopes of being "discovered" and being invited along on a National Geographic or BBC expedition while i was doing state of the art night timelapse. Some of it did wind up in a Nat Geo Wild television show, but only because a friend happened to run into their film team 60 miles up the beach from me. They were struggling to do the same kind of photography and failing. They had only allocated a few nights to it and were out of time. I asked for a new 5D mark 2 body as compensation but had to settle for a $1,500 check which didn't cover my costs for producing the video. Thats it. No invite to the next trip. Nada.

So I try to move on to do other things. Face it, we're just a couple of schmucks with cameras to everyone else. If you enjoyed the climbing, being up all night and the heat, then go for it. If there is something else you'd rather spend your time and money on, then do that instead. It really doesn't matter to anyone other than you. I don't know why you are asking others about it other than to give some of us a venue to air our frustrations. Like this.

I have found some places so remote that nobody goes there. I plan to spend next Summer there, where no fish and wildlife officers will ever find me. And yes, I plan to do a lot of photography, because I like doing it. I don't know why i like it. I hardly ever show anyone what i've shot. Most of it is never shown to anyone.

If you want to go out into the remote wilderness and shoot because you like it, then go for it. If its worth spending good money to enter a film festival, then do that. At least you can say you entered your work. If they reject it, thats their problem. If you feel bad about wasting the entry fee, thats your problem and maybe think twice before doing it again. If you want to suffer mosquitoes, sharks and alligators just for the adventure, you are welcome to come with me. I kind of like that sort of stuff.


Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:56 am
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Post Re: Should I continue submitting my film to film festivals?
Unfortunately, they refuse to give me feedback on my film. I guess there's one slight positive about being rejected by this festival. I wasn't 100% happy with the version I submitted. As such, I wouldnt be totally happy about that version being screened in public. I have since done some re-editing and refilming and hope to submit the improved version to other festivals. Though it wasn't like the original version was bad or anything like that. I put a lot of time and work into the editing and overall, I was pleased with it......but it did have some issues here and there. It certainly wasn't perfect.....it had some flaws, I admit.


Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:40 am
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Location: Merritt Island, Florida, Estates Unitas
Post Re: Should I continue submitting my film to film festivals?
Go man, GO!


Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:17 am
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 2:11 pm
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
Post Re: Should I continue submitting my film to film festivals?
With film festivals you have to submit a film. I know that seems weird but bear with me. If you look through most genre specific festivals like wildlife, drama, film, thriller etc the people submitting send in films with a plot, a storyline, maybe a twist, or three. With time-lapse film festivals all we see are like showreel submissions. If this is what they wanted then surely it would be a time-lapse showreel festival and not a film festival? I'm not attacking the OP but judges if they are just looking at compilation after compilation must get pretty naffed of with watching the same kinda thing over and over?

Time-lapse photography can also help tell pretty cool stories too. Look into it.

Cheers,
Mark.


Sun May 15, 2016 8:00 pm
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 5:36 am
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Post Re: Should I continue submitting my film to film festivals?
Well my film did get accepted into the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival so I'm happy with that. Ive also submitted it to some film festivals overseas but haven't heard back from them yet.


Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:46 pm
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