The Film Festival Doctor (Yes, she’s a real doctor!) Dr. Rebekah Louisa Smith, shares with you today how the film festival premiere policy is working within the age of CV19 and how to position your films festival premieres around it.
A lot of filmmakers worry about festival premieres and assume that every festival will want the world premiere of their film (which is the first public screening of your film). The truth is that very few festivals require world premieres for both short films and feature films.
The big boy film festivals including the Cannes and Venice film festivals request world premiere policies for both short and feature films. Berlinale are more flexible with regards to short films and have a minimum requirement of a European Premiere. Other festivals of a high calibre tend to be more flexible for both shorts and features, for example; SXSW (South by Southwest) have world, international and North American premiere preferences for feature films whereas their premiere policy for short films is an Austin Premiere. Tribeca is the same as above except for shorts their premiere policy is New York premiere. The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is also the same however for shorts they require North American premiere.
A lot of the top tier short film festivals such as Encounters, Clermont Ferrand and the London Short Film Festival do not have any type of premiere policy. Higher end regional festivals are more flexible, for example; the Dallas International Film Festival have a Dallas Premiere policy for both shorts and features.
As previously discussed in my blogs, the effects of CV19 have forced a lot of festivals to either run on-line or re-schedule for later during the year. This presented the big question of should I launch my film (and/or have the world premiere) on-line or wait?
Film Festivals are being a lot more flexible with regards to premieres in the age of CV19, especially for short films. The big boy film festivals premiere policies, as discussed above, remain intact – regardless of CV19. The golden rule is to always check the festivals rules and regulations and you’ll find their premiere policies within these guidelines. Make a note of each festival’s premiere requirements on your festival strategy. Online film festivals tend to be private events which require you to log on and buy tickets. Therefore rest assured, your film will not available to the public.
Ultimately – CV19 or no CV19 – it’s up to you and circles back round to your goals and what you want. If you are dreaming of a big bells and whistles film festival premiere with a sold-out audience filled to the brim of people that will not happen during 2020 as social distancing will be in effect for a while. If however you are happy to have a decent sized amount of people watching it and smaller networking events to attend yet still have a quality engagement with yourself and your film that is what to expect during CV19 this is the main reason why you should have the world premiere of your film at a live film festival and not on-line.
As always, I love helping filmmakers create their film festival strategies and this is something that I’d love to help you with. As a bonus to today’s blog, download your free guide ‘The 4 Main Reasons Why Your Film Is Not Getting Accepted Into Film Festivals And How To Fix it’
Coming Next Week: I chat with Sara Elizabeth Timmins about her production company ‘Life Out Loud’ Films and how she is changing the landscape to empower female creatives.