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What the Sundance Film Festival Filmmakers Wants You to Know

Where a film festival like the Sundance Film Festival is concerned, there are several things one might tell those who want to attend, one of which is to arrange for a transport before you come with reliable services like Dulles Airport Limo. But what about those that want to participate? If you are a filmmaker and you want your movie to feature in the Sundance Film Festival then there are a few things we want you to keep in mind. Here they are.

Chances are Slim

At Sundance, they get over 2,000 submissions annually out of which they only select 150 films to preview indoors and some that are shorter outdoors.

In the year 2016 alone they received a total of 13,000 film submissions that included both short as well as fiction films.  Out of those 13,000, 8,000 were short films. The rest of them were feature films, out of which about 2,000 were simply only documentaries. Of all of these, only 41 feature films were shown.

Don’t Rush the Process

There are several people who rush the filmmaking process and even leave out a step or two. There have been several occurrences in the past where people have sent in the rough cuts of their movies. It is even acceptable but the reason why you are asked to wait until your film is ready is because the overview of the entire film changes in the final steps. What you should do is send in the best version of your movie!

It can be missing a few technical details but you should never compromise or rush the story that you are telling. It is important in a film to not rush anything or the end result looks a bit cluttered and rushed. Whatever you rush, shows on the big screens, trust us on this one!

Don’t Bribe the Programmers

We know you are a bit shocked to hear of this. Which is why we would like to tell you that in the past, several of the programmers have been bribed with things like food and even drugs in order to get the film featured. While things like food and sweets are much appreciated, they are not going to move your movie up the ladder, it will only make its way if it is good enough. So do not waste your effort, fellas!

Your Film will be Watched

The big rumor that has been flying around for many years now is that big filmmakers don’t really care about your film or your skills, they just want you to enter the competition, pay the entry fee and never actually watch your film let alone feature it in the festival. This is highly untrue. Your film is watched by two major filmmakers before it is passed on the programmers.

There are a total of eight programmers that are allotted to feature films. And then there is a whole different set of programmers as well as 35 different screeners that are the first people to watch your film all the way through before deciding on it. These people are the best in the business and they are paid to rate the films that you send in.

Make Sure to Add Your Name

Filmmakers want you to know that it is important to put your DVD in a clear cover so that they can find it more easily. You should also put your name, movie title and number on it.

Is the Film Faulty?

Most talented filmmakers out there are more focused on getting their films out there then they are in making sure whether or not their DVDs even play all the way through. The last thing you want is to catch a critic’s eye and have the movie stop halfway through.

You Can Resubmit Your Film

Although this is not the case with most film festivals, but some festivals that also include Sundance allow you to resubmit a film you have made the following year.

The Right Festival for YOUR Film

You need to find out what it is you are after with your film and then target the right film festival for it. You won’t find one festival that can give you fame, recognition and money altogether. Which is why you need to be realistic and have a proper goal?

Research is Important

There are several premiere status rules of a film that you need to know before applying which is why it is important that you abide by them with the help of some research.

Don’t Push the Programmers

It has been known for many filmmakers to reach out to programmers before applying in order to see if they are on the right path. It is even encouraged. But you need to draw a line between seeking opinion and harassing for it. There are several steps that make a movie great, you can’t email a programmer after every step to see how you are doing, that will just anger them and not at all work in your favor.

Know When to Follow-up

Most of the decisions regarding the films that are being sent are made around Thanksgiving which means that you should not follow-up during September, October or even in early November before Thanksgiving. During that time, you will not hear back because no decisions have yet been made.

Don’t Let Rejection Get You Down

There are several great films that are rejected for a lot of different reasons. Just because your movie gets rejected doesn’t mean that you should give up on it. You can even reapply with the same movie the next year and see how it does.  If you have made a movie about football and 2 football movies have already been selected, then there is no chance that yours will make it in this year. It might however make it next year.

What you should do every year is wear your best suit and go to the Sundance Film Festival in a Dulles Airport Limo and appreciate your fellow artists because you know how hard it is to get your film selected.

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