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  • Writer's pictureMaxwell Benner

How to Get Your Short Film in Festivals

FilmFreeway is a tool that doesn't get utilized enough. It's a great, simple platform for getting your art (films, screenplays, or photography) out there.

Make an account on FilmFreeway


Uploading your project

First, click 'My Projects'. Then press the blue button underneath it, 'Add a Project'.

It'll bring you to a page to fill out your project information as needed.

After that, you'll get the chance to fix up your Project File. If you have the extra time, I highly recommend putting effort into a trailer, film stills, and a proper director's headshot; Although not required, it makes your end product look much more polished.

For example, here's my short film's project file. Rather than being entirely blank, the stills give a bit of insight into the content of the piece.


Finding Showcases / Festivals

Make sure you're on the home page. To the right is a big board of filters. This is the key to successfully finding the festivals/contests you need. If you're like me, a broke American film student with a short film, then I recommend selecting film festivals, student, inside the US, and an entry fee of $0. Contrary to popular belief, there's still a good amount of free submissions.

Some festivals on FilmFreeway are specific to different themes, cultures, or identities; Like G-African Film Festival (African filmmakers), Art without Limit International Film Festival (filmmakers with disabilities), and Fashion Film Festival Chicago (fashion-related themes). Keep your eyes open for any special opportunities for any groups you're a part of (or any identities that are discussed in your film) whether it's regionally, ethnically, sexuality, or gender-wise. On top of that, there's a large amount of festivals that aren't specific to anything.


Personal experience

Submitting my short to festivals through FilmFreeway has genuinely leveled up my life. Through this platform I've been able to get accepted to a couple events, made great connections, and gained general experience. It's been very fulfilling and motivational. It's helped me learn about my strengths and weaknesses and how to go about getting better. All of the events I've gone to, people have been excited to educate me and very welcoming.

My favorite festival I've been apart of was the SEPA Teen Filmmakers Showcase. The event is very generous in what it chooses to accept. I highly, highly recommend submitting any video you've made. It's a really good "starter event". It's helped me get used to being in screenings, awkward red carpet pictures, and socializing with people in the industry. Overall the environment is fun and inclusive.

I encourage every filmmaker to use this wonderful tool to put themselves out there. You never know what opportunities will come your way.

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