Monday, December 26, 2011

So You Didn't Get Into Sundance - Merry Christmas!

Dances With Films is open for submissions!

My regular readers know that I don't blow the company horn here... much. This post is an exception. Of course, you still need to develop your own strategy for festivals, but DWF should certainly be on your world premiere check list.

 Festival in a major market (New York, Los Angeles or Chicago)

 Good press coverage – any festival that promises coverage in the trades is probably lying – unless that paper is a major sponsor. Every year The Hollywood Reporter and Variety say they don't cover festivals, and every year we get some films reviewed. Knock wood. That's not to mention coverage in:

Los Angeles Times • The New York Times • E! Online • Ain't It Cool News • CNN • Associated Press • Extra • Film & Video Magazine • Film Threat • Starz! • LA Times • Entertainment Today • USA Today • IndieWIRE • KABC • KCRW • US • Weekly • 60 Minutes • IndieWire • • Angeleno Magazine • Moviemaker Magazine

 Good track record. What can I say? DWF is heading into year 15.

 Good to filmmakers. Ask any of our alumni. Go ahead. Ask.

Hopefully, you still have your world premiere status. That's a huge help. Once you've premiered in the major markets, then you can build your pedigree in the destination festivals around the world.

We look forward to seeing your movies. Keep an eye out here beginning late January for my insight on what we're seeing in submissions. If your movie is good, you might recognize my comments. When I mention problems, it is always something we're seeing in more than one submission, so don't take it too hard.

Good luck.


Anonymous said...

As a filmmaker and festival organiser myself it has become more and more clear that storytelling is being lost and forgotten. Festivals like ours (, aim to look beyond the gloss and into the soul of a filmmakers work. It would be a great thing if festivals united under the common idea that it isn't a lens flare that drives narrative but a raw human response. They are few and far between, but when we get them we love it and always make the room..!

RSMellette said...

There was a time when I would have just pumped my fist and said, "Yeah!" but I've been around the block enough to know that - for the most part - everyone is trying to do their best.

The big festivals like Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, Cannes, etc. are an important part of the indie world. They offer something filmmakers can then turn around and offer their investors - the hope of a profitable venture.

Some pure storytellers don't like the mention of profit, but remember, money is an indication of the number of tickets or DVDs or downloads sold - and that is the size of your audience. I'm a big believer that a good story, told well, will eventually find its audience.

Of course, getting into the big fests doesn't guarantee you'll make money, or find your audience, but thanks to fests like yours and ours, not getting in doesn't mean you won't.

BragonDorn said...

I've made a few films before. nothing to great. hoping to hear some good pointers :)

RSMellette said...

Hey, submit away... you never know.