How to Get Your Short Screened at Film Festivals

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You’ve finished your short film and it’s GREAT! But now what? Here is a run down of some basic tips and strategies for entering your film into film festivals designed to save you money and maximize your festival experience.

Full write up of this course available here:


PJ Mundy says:

I have had great feedback on my short What About My Happiness which is a drama, 6 minutes in length on my channel. I done everything he said and more, still no luck with festivals! It does seem like wishing upon a star. I think sharing my projects online with the hope of building an audience is my only option at the moment. You can't help but feel jaded with the ambiguity of how to get in to a festival, even the free ones!

Victor Hernandez-Urbina says:

great video, John! Thanks for posting!

Spark says:

Do you have to pay a submission fee if your film doesn't get selected?

Cripi says:

I call bollocks on 4 to 14 ratio. My best film was selected at 11 film festivals, 2 of them A list Festivals, 2 time winner, and i had a ratio of 11 from…perhaps 100 – 120 ( i lost count after 80). If you say 4 to 14 ratio you either have a more a romanticized version of truth or you were really a happy submitter. Also, if you have such a great ratio i doubt you give up after just 4 selections. First you enter A list and major festivals (the " premiere " festivals) than regional, FIAPF then small and, in the end, all free festival you can find. But that is just me.

Jason Boyer says:

Thanks so much for the advice, I submit my short film to 24 film festivals already. Around the Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, New York and one in Los Angeles. I hope I have better film festival experience than yours. I will market the hell out of my short film in the film festivals


Do you allow your videos to be translated into other languages and available to other people?

Hack My Control System says:

Great post. More (smaller) festivals should offer feedback if they require a submission fee.

Mychal Simmons says:


Chris Holloway says:

Fantastic and down-to-Earth advice. Would you have a video or resource available for where fully CG Animated Shorts and Feature-length Films are screened at Festivals, and where to start doing my research for how to market those and other tips? Or, are the same principles of live-action Films the same, except the medium is just CG? Thanks for any help!

Movies Over Matter Productions says:

Thank you for being so honest about the Film Fest experience. Great tip to volunteer – that's brilliant!
Another awesome video!! -Cheers

El Caballo says:

Please make a video on how to send short for already famous youtube channel. I feel thats a better option. And suggest some channels. Please.

El Caballo says:

Sad to hear your story

Richard Sangeleer says:

Congrats on yer babies!

Mychal Simmons says:

Your videos are Always, Always informative….. you save us so much money and embarrassment. Thank you Jon

Jeremy Bergen says:

I love your last piece of advice. I've never been to a film festival before (other than at my college), but I have been to a one-act theatre festival before, and I can attest that everyone is there just to have fun and enjoy the craft that they all love.

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