For the Filmmakers: Making the Best of Your Fest Experience

With over 8,000 film festivals worldwide filmmakers need to be prepared and informed so they can maximize their limited time and resources. While all festivals offer filmmakers the chance to build their audiences, every festival offers unique opportunities. How do you create a festival strategy that’s right for your film? And how can you maximize your festival experience to advance your career?

This free panel brings together festival veterans and experts to discuss the current state of the festival circuit including issues such as:

  • Determining which festivals are right for your film
  • Common mistakes that can sink an application
  • Making your submission stand out
  • Screening fees
  • What you can and can’t expect from festivals
  • Communicating with festivals after your acceptance
  • The difference strategies for short, documentary and narrative features
  • Press materials
  • Marketing your film once you’re selected
  • Using social media to increase interest in your film
  • Leveraging festival acceptance into other acceptances
  • How the festival cycle affects your options
  • When to use a sales rep and/or publicist
  • Budgeting for festivals



  • Moderator: Andrew Peterson, E.D. - IFP MN
  • Christine Walker, Filmmaker
  • Jesse Bishop, Programming Mgr. - Film Society of MSP
  • Mark Steele, Producer - Werc Werk Works
  • David Nugent, Artistic Director - Hamptons International Film Festival