On Submission

After finishing my short film, Waiting, I set about submitting it to film festivals. At the start I kept a log of where I was submitting the film but I stopped keeping a record when I reached 37. As of today I’ve submitted to over 50 different festivals or other events.

Choosing where to submit your film isn’t that easy, especially since a large number of festivals charge entry fees. These range from £2 to several hundred pounds. Now, after forking out for a microphone, the budget for Waiting was about £300. It would be easy to double the budget in festival fees. Easy but not exactly sensible. So, in the main, I kept the entries to small festivals charging low fees.

Film festivals are big business and there are several online platforms which make it easy for festival organisers to reach film makers and film makers to submit films. Withoutabox is pretty much the biggest but it’s getting competition from a relatively new platform called Film Freeway. I use the latter because the festivals look more interesting.1

These platforms will generally charge the organiser (and sometimes the film maker2 ) to use the site but it streamlines the whole process. You fill in all the mandatory screens with info about your film and then scroll through a list of festivals and click “enter” to enter the ones you’re interested in.

I also use a European platform called Reelport because I wanted to enter my film into European festivals and a large number of them use that platform. I did this because I figured French, German, Dutch, Danish, Italian, Romanian, Greek, Spanish and Swedish festivals might dig the philosophical thrust of the film.3

This appears to have been an incorrect assumption. So far.

The Germans really don’t seem to like the film (twice). Nor do the Danish (even though I told them I can speak Danish.)The Italians said no too.

But the Welsh have come up trumps. Waiting will receive its festival debut at the Cardiff Minifilm Festival on 8th June, in the factual category of the festival.

I’m extremely pleased that they’ve chosen the film and I’m also pleased that they’ve decided it’s factual because I’ve had difficulty working out how to categorise the film.

So, thank you Cardiff. I shall be with you on 8th June.


1 Actually, it’s because it’s cheaper.

2 Film Freeway don’t.

3 …it’s because Reelport is cheap…

4 This is a lie. I speak Norwegian.

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