DC Shorts Film Festival

25 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee

Apring 2008, MovieMaker Magazine

magazine cover“Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, Trail Dance? All festivals are not created equal, even in the eyes of the average cineaste… and as an astute reader of MM, you are certainly not an average cineaste. You are probably a moviemaker yourself, and you know that entering multiple film festivals can be an expensive proposition. With the average festival entry fee edging ever closer to $50, you need to be smart about the festivals to which you’re submitting. Most importantly, you need to know what the potential payoff could be.

“Sure, fame and fortune are great, but they’re not the only factors to think about when choosing where to send that submission check. To save you some time (and money), MM has scoured North America to find the 25 festival gems listed below. They may not be as well known as the Sundances of the world (at least not yet), and this list doesn’t pretend to represent the entirety of festivals we like and believe in, but we do guarantee that the ones below are worth every penny they charge for their fee.

DC Shorts Film Festival

“Ever send your film or screenplay to a competition—accompanied by your submission fee, of course—only to get a form letter telling you you didn’t make the cut? Ever want to kidnap the festival director to find out why? “DC Shorts lets you know,” promises festival founder and director, Jon Gann. “Before you apply, we provide not only the rules of competition, which explain the judging process, but offer a comprehensive article with information and tips about films that have made it or been rejected in the past.” Even after the judging has taken place, “DC Shorts provides direct feedback from the judges to the filmmaker through our online review system, in which your scores and comments can be viewed.” Heck, that’s even a rejection worth the entry fee.”

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