Film festivals are a primary way to get your work seen by other people, and they are also a way that your film could possibly land that distribution deal of a lifetime. Even more so, festivals are a great way to meet other like-minded filmmakers and see some great (and let’s face it, at times not-so-great) films. There are literally thousands of film festivals out there, large and small. There are some great websites already available that spend all their time providing exhaustive lists of all the festivals and the dates and submission information for each, so rather than recreate the wheel by re-listing them here, we’ll point you to some of our favorite sites and some resources for developing your festival strategies.
Browse through thousands of festivals around the world by name, deadlines, entry fees and more. If you are a filmmaker, you can use the site to submit your film for free (not including the festivals’ entry fees.)
Provides a browsable list of festivals and the means to submit to them, with lists of which festivals are new, hot, just announced, or currently open for submissions. It isn’t free to submit, but there are tools for promoting your film.
California Film Commission: A list of festivals and contests in the State of California.
FilmFestivals.com: A directory of 4000+ festivals, plus news and forums for the festival community.
PBS’s POV: A list of domestic and international film festivals that feature documentaries in their lineups, with the ones with the most clout highlighted.
Wikipedia: A list of major film festivals worldwide, sorted by continent.
Behind the Screens: Programmers Reveal How Film Festivals Really Work
By Jon Gann & Kelly J. Baker
The Complete Filmmaker’s Guide to Film Festivals
By Rona Edwards
Film Festival Secrets: A Handbook For Independent Filmmakers
By Christopher Holland