10 Essential Film Festival’s To Enter As An Indie Filmmaker

Last week I posted some uplifting quotes from successful filmmakers working in the industry in order to boost your motivation to get started on a film project. But what’s the point of making a film that nobody will see?

Film festivals are a great way to get your work out there not only for audience reaction, but for networking with other filmmakers who may want to work with you after seeing what you created. And sure, maybe your short film or feature debut isn’t quite ready for Cannes just yet…or maybe it is and to that I say enter away! But if you already have a finished film and are not sure where to submit it, or you want to set a final goal for a film you have in the works, here are 10 film festivals that are geared for those just starting out.


RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

Country: UK
Categories: full length, short films, fiction narrative, documentary, experimental

Self proclaimed home of independent cinema the Raindance Film Festival is all about celebrating up and coming filmmakers specialising in first-time directors. Based in London the festival accepts submissions from international filmmakers as well as local.

FRESHFLIX

Country: AUSTRALIA
Categories: Short films (all genres)

The Freshflix film festival began with a group of mates who wanted to show their work off to each other in a backyard and it now extends to the world. Freshflix Film Festival brings together local and international indie talent at unique locations around Sydney, Australia and beyond.

FIRST FRIDAY FILM FEST

Country: US
Categories: Short Films

First Friday Film Fest is a monthly celebration of short films from local and international filmmakers based in Kansas City. Free to the public, the festival is a night of curated short films with “any number of possible combinations totalling around 120 minutes of cutting edge local and international independent cinema.”

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Country: UK
Categories: Full length, short films, fiction narrative, documentary

Started in 1947 Edinburgh International Film Festival is the world’s longest continually-running film festival. With films curated from around the world it includes the best of the best in terms of new, exciting, and sometimes provocative storytelling.

EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Country: CANADA
Categories: Full length, short films, fiction narrative, documentary

Located just a couple of hours from the majestic Rocky Mountains, Edmonton is the heart of the Canadian Prairies. The festival program consists of more than 150 films from 50+ countries, ranging from short to feature-length, dramatic to documentary, comedy to gut-wrenching and studio to independent.

REEL GOOD FILM FESTIVAL

Country: AUSTRALIA
Categories: Short films

Held in Hawthorn Victoria, Reel Good film festival has been around for only 6 years but each year showcases up to 34 short films from emerging film makers some of which have appeared at other festivals such as Toronto, Palm Springs, and Cannes.

48 HOURS

Country: NZ
Categories: Short films

Less of a festival for finished films but a brilliant challenge for anyone who thinks they can complete a short film within 48hours. To view all the rules check out the website linked above.

TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

Country: US
Categories, feature length, short film, online including web series

Potentially considered one of the more prominent festivals on this list Tribeca film festival is known for its program of independent emerging film talent and discovery of new names, including work specific to online in their N.O.W program.

BFI FUTURE FILM FESTIVAL

Country: UK
Categories: Feature Film, Short Films, Documentary,

The BFI Future Film Festival is an event held in February for 16-25 year old filmmakers including masterclasses, workshops, and daily screenings of submitted short films designed to help new filmmakers find their voice. BFI also have their annual film festival in London, which includes a First Feature category for directorial debuts.

FLICKERFEST

Country: AUSTRALIA
Categories: Short Films

Flickerfest began as a small local festival at Balmain High School in 1991. Since then it has grown to become Australia’s leading Academy & BAFTA recognised Short Film Festival with 1000’s of entries coming from filmmakers across the globe. The festival tours nationally around Australia to 50+ venues bringing the films to large audiences.


OTHER RESOURCES:

https://www.bfi.org.uk/education-research/bfi-film-academy-scheme/film-festivals-young-filmmakers

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