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View Full Version : canne indie film festival...outragous



HerzogisGod
09-08-2009, 01:46 PM
Canne film fest has an Indie film division.

Unless I am reading it wrong, they want $125!!! for the early submission. Are they kidding me! $125 BUCKS!

The poor, and I do mean POOR! indie filmmaker is basically donating their much needed funds to these festivals when they submit blindly. It's just a donation. And in this case, an extremely generous one.


The world is absurd. Completely off its rocker.

Huy Vu
09-08-2009, 02:46 PM
If you can't afford $125 to submit then you really have no business going to Cannes anyway (it should have been budgeted as part of the marketing cost of your film). How are you going to afford the plane ticket if your film is accepted? Hotel cost? Meal?

Considering how many submission Cannes get every year, IMO this is a good way for them to pare down all the zero budget (and I mean zero budget) pieces that'll never get a shot anyway.

Barry_Green
09-08-2009, 03:00 PM
You want a reality check? Here's your reality check -- I was talking to the festival programming director for one of the top 5 festivals in the world, and I asked him in-depth about the submissions process.

Here's what it amounts to: they get 4,000 submissions every year. They will pick maybe 3 to 5 films from that pool. All the rest of their program is scouted, is referrals from other festivals, or is from things they've been tracking in the Hollywood Reporter or Variety films-in-production listings. They only go to the submissions to round out the program, if there are any available slots left after they've gone and scouted out and picked the films they want.

So your odds of getting into a major festival, through open submissions, are (mathematically) 1 in 1000. And actually they're probably much lower than that unless your film is just astonishingly unique.

HerzogisGod
09-08-2009, 03:01 PM
Like I said...our submission dollars amount to a "donation".


At least with the other festivals; Sundance, Slamdance etc. you don't feel like you're getting laughed at

MichaelP
09-08-2009, 08:47 PM
Sundance can get up to 7000 submissions all in (shorts, docs, features, etc.).

Michael

HerzogisGod
09-08-2009, 09:03 PM
this is a harsh dose of reality....info I always suspected. But what are we to do? stop making movies? I don't think so.

I did my best, Im not in any real debt, and now I want to get my movie seen. It will happen. one way or another

There are hundreds of festivals to choose from. I'll take it on the road myself. Hell, I have a finished product. That's a lot to brag about

I'll play the game and submit my film. Im already submitted to Sundance, Slamdance, Gen Art and SXSW.

can't stop....won't stop now

Zak Forsman
09-08-2009, 09:25 PM
Sundance can get up to 7000 submissions all in (shorts, docs, features, etc.).

Michael

yeah, actually they published last year's numbers (in the high 9,000s) because they nearly crested 10,000 submissions (that's everything -- shorts, features, etc.)

and Barry is right, most of the major fests are programmed via recommendations, word of mouth, etc. but the good news is that its a relatively small network of people. if you want to get into a major festival, you've got to get to know them. they are the people who make the programming decisions. you've got to get on their radar because they have influence. and i don't mean shake hands with them once and hope they remember you next year. I mean be genuine and sincere about befriending people. in the last year since making my DVXFest short "IFHY" (which opened a lot of doors) I have made some really great friendships out there on the festival circuit with people who are genuinely interested in what I'm doing and helping me where they can. And it's because I don't set out to "network". It's not a business tactic for me. I'm a terrible salesman and could never stomach asking for charity, "please look at my film". but I like meeting cool people and hearing about their projects and supporting them where i can. And the favor is often returned. and back to Barry's point, a friend of mine submitted to one festival (NF/ND) and every other festival he played after that (SXSW, LA Film Fest, etc) was by invitation. the odds of submitting blind are terrible.

and this is where social networks come into play. I can't believe some of the people who follow me on twitter. the person who founded one of the top five fests in north america follows my updates on HEART OF NOW. do you see how valuable that is? to have my name and the title of my film floating around in his head?

So target the festivals that support films like yours, find out who runs them, go to their festivals and start meeting people. make some friends who will talk you up where it counts. THEN submit your film and make it known you are submitting your film to the people you've befriended. this is what people mean when they say the marketing of your film begins before you've shot it. not after. failing to do so is why even good films see a lot of rejections. having third party validation behind you is practically a requirement of consideration for a major fest.

Barry_Green
09-08-2009, 09:36 PM
having third party validation behind you is practically a requirement of consideration for a major fest.
Having third-party validation behind you is also practically a requirement of every single aspect of the motion picture business. A studio won't see you unless an agent brings you in. An agent won't see you unless you're recommended by someone else that agent reps, or a major festival gives you accolades. And a major fest probably isn't going to pick your film out of the 4,000 to 9,000 open submissions they get, but if you have excellent third party recommendations you'll stand a chance.

HerzogisGod
09-09-2009, 04:53 AM
Thanks, Barry


And thanks, Zak
Aggressive sales tactics are not my strong point, either. It's good to know a bit of old fashioned warmth and sincerity can get you somewhere in the film business -or any business, for that matter-

Zak Forsman
09-09-2009, 05:29 AM
I see a lot of guys on the circuit with their dvds, jamming their business card into the hands of anyone they talk to. but you know who doesn't do that? the people who get their film screened at sundance, sxsw, slamdance, etc. they're having drinks at the bar talking to everyone from the founder of imdb to the asst of the head of acquisitions at magnolia. there is a big difference between asking for time/effort from someone who doesn't know you or your film and asking the same of someone who you are genuinely friends with. make friends, not contacts. leave the dvds and press kits at home (you can mail it if someone asks for it) and buy someone a drink. go to dinner. have a blast. the rewards will come.

greymog
09-09-2009, 06:11 AM
this is a harsh dose of reality....info I always suspected. But what are we to do? stop making movies? I don't think so.

I did my best, Im not in any real debt, and now I want to get my movie seen. It will happen. one way or another

There are hundreds of festivals to choose from. I'll take it on the road myself. Hell, I have a finished product. That's a lot to brag about

I'll play the game and submit my film. Im already submitted to Sundance, Slamdance, Gen Art and SXSW.

can't stop....won't stop now

good on you mate. nicest reply i've seen.

the guys advising you are correct though. if you're following through, you should account for all possibilities budget wise as marketing.

but still, the reason you make that movie should primarily be 'just because you wanted to'.

cheers all.

Zak Forsman
09-09-2009, 06:18 AM
btw, Chris i'd really like to see this film of yours.

HerzogisGod
09-09-2009, 07:43 AM
This whole idea soft sell vs. hard sell, reminds me of "Salesmen", that greatest of great Maysles documentary.

Or Al Pacino in Glengarry Glen Ross

I work as a professional magician/mindreader. Having only myself to rely on for work, I had to learn the hard way that selling myself to potential clients usually means "getting to know them and their needs" first. It also means not being agressive or anxious. I know many performers who attack head on and like you mentioned Zak, always have their cards thrusting in people's faces. Needless to say, these performers do not do well.

It's hard work for me, being social. Getting out there, networking, rubbing elbows and so on....yuck...

Zak,
I like where you're coming from. And I always enjoy your posts/advise to others etc. We seem to be coming from the same place "sensibility-wise". Although you seem to have an easier time keeping your cool, whereas I tend to get a bit nuty. I'm working on it, though.

Cooler heads, they say....

Here a link to my IMDB page:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1496402/

Still tweaking the trailer. Any advise would be great

filmman
09-09-2009, 11:15 AM
I saw the trailer; it's good, Chris. I liked it. Email some of the directors of festivals that you like and ask them to invite your movie. If they don't, forget it; don't send them any money.

Instead, go to theater owners and offer to show your film in their theaters. Whatever they offer you accept it; it's not the money you're after, it's exposure with your first film. Why offer your film to festivals by paying them, even if they show it; they're not paying you. So if it's exposure you want, put the whole movie online, let the whole world see it.

Because if the object of your first film being represented or picked up is to give you credibility, at least be the one who gets the credit for serving it up freely.

You have a viable movie; I can tell. I bet you have a great movie; but they won't give you credit and they won't pay you. They'll grab everything for themselves and make it look like they did you a favor. Who are they? The agents, the distributors -- all the middle men that want to help you get to the next stage. They're hangers-on.

Like you said, you have something to brag about; you've made a movie. I really like the look of it. If I was going to the market, I'd take it and give you 93% of the revenues.

Vic

HerzogisGod
09-09-2009, 01:33 PM
Thanks,

I haven't seen you around much, Filmman. How's everything?


Will a festival director let you bypass the submission process? I never even heard of that as a possibility....

Zak Forsman
09-09-2009, 01:55 PM
Yeah a lot of filmmakers, rather than submitting checks and applications, send emails to programming directors inviting them to screen their film. It's definitely worked for some.

HerzogisGod
09-09-2009, 02:47 PM
is there a downside to this?

is this option more for established filmmakers?

filmman
09-09-2009, 03:25 PM
Thank you, Chris, I'm well. I've been very busy getting my movies and books on Amazon -- via CreateSpace.com

Instead of submitting my movies to festivals and waiting months for them to reject them and losing thousands of dollars which I don't have, I decided to do a little critical thinking. I asked myself, what are my priorities as a filmmaker?

Do I need a few hundred people in some remote area of the world desperate for relevance or some excitement to watch my movie? And even that at the risk of losing time and money on my part? I said, no thank you.

Do I need an agent or a small distributor who sees some potential in my movie and decides to spend his time and a little money to market the movie and take his expenses off the top and give me 35% (after everybody gets their cut -- like the sub-distributors and exhibitors and DVD manufacturers, etc)? And on top of it I lose all future rights to my movie? No, thank you.

So the decision I made is: fill out the online application at http://www.createspace.com and send them my DVDs. For exactly $0.00 fees, CreateSpace made my movie into DVDs and pushed them to Amazon.com

Now I'm a published author and all my movies are in distribution and some more are going to be in distribution soon. I can sell as many DVDs as I want, because the deal with CreateSpace and Amazon (the parent company that also owns IMDB and Withoutabox) is NON-EXCLUSIVE. So I get to retain all rights to my movies and sell as much as I want from my websites and in the future I can even go theatrical with them.

Is the money small? So what? At least I get some money every month. It takes even a successful distribution deal with a distributor for the filmmaker to get some money, usually 18 months from the signing of the contract. And that's the best case scenario.

Ask everyone; who on this site has posted how much money the distributors or agents gave them? There is only one: Nate. He got $20,000 from Maverick. If others have made money, why aren't they saying how much? Why? I'd like to know.

MichaelP
09-10-2009, 07:14 AM
I was picked up by a Sales Rep and have currently sold into 4 foreign markets so far for a total of $US60K. Other markets pending. I kept Internet and mobile rights and am working on something there that I will mention once done. One market picked up the theatrical remake rights to it and in addition to that money, we will also be getting 60% of house tickets.

Michael

deathwinger
09-10-2009, 07:24 AM
this is a harsh dose of reality....info I always suspected. But what are we to do? stop making movies? I don't think so.

I did my best, Im not in any real debt, and now I want to get my movie seen. It will happen. one way or another

There are hundreds of festivals to choose from. I'll take it on the road myself. Hell, I have a finished product. That's a lot to brag about

I'll play the game and submit my film. Im already submitted to Sundance, Slamdance, Gen Art and SXSW.

can't stop....won't stop now

Why don't you try to get your film in a smaller or even local festival and then have that as 'rank' for when submitting it to a larger festival like Canne? I know a few people who have done this and their films have gotten bigger for each festival....and this is coming from the Caribbean.

You think inde america has it bad....you can't expect to imagine how a region not known for filmmaking has it.

small steps by friend. Complete the obstacles you can. It works.

MichaelP
09-10-2009, 08:54 AM
Why don't you try to get your film in a smaller or even local festival and then have that as 'rank' for when submitting it to a larger festival like Canne? I know a few people who have done this and their films have gotten bigger for each festival....and this is coming from the Caribbean.

You think inde america has it bad....you can't expect to imagine how a region not known for filmmaking has it.

small steps by friend. Complete the obstacles you can. It works.

Good advice. Really study the festival you are submitting to and make sure they cater to the genre, style, budget, etc that best matches yours. Your chances will improve and the attendees, reviewers, etc . know what to expect.

As far as being from a region not known for having a filmmaking community - turn it to your advantage marketing wise. Remember the Jamaican Bobsled team.


Michael

Michael

tbroadwater
09-29-2009, 02:40 PM
great thread...I've had a great deal of questions about festivals in general so this helps greatly...

My main question which some of you may have a good idea- is when do you give up on the submission when faced with repeated rejections?

I had done a pass of submitting to 10 or so horror specific festivals without being accepted to any.

I have since made steps to improve the edit and sound/music that sort of thing, but without feedback as to what people did not like about the film itself, I am torn as to whether or not to continue or to move onto another project...

I have a great deal of contacts from other industries I have worked for (game, toy and comic) but lack any film specific ones. And I thought it was hard to break into the others LOL...

filmman
09-29-2009, 07:59 PM
MichaelP, that is very good. Congratulations. It's great when you have found an honest agent or distributor. Keep up the good work and continue to prosper.

Chamber005
09-29-2009, 09:03 PM
The odds and percentages everyone was talking about at the start of this thread really aren't very bad at all. Go ask any book or comic book publisher how many submissions THEY get. lol And I don't want to even think about the "odds" for an unrpresented screenplay finding a producer.

Even if 10,000 is the number for some of these fests, that's still really, really good odds when you're talking about getting something you created a chance to get noticed.

That's the one great thing about filmmaking; unlike comics and books, there is a very palpable investment (monetary and otherwise) that the filmmaker has to imbue the project with for it to be considered for distribution. Darwinism for the arts! :D

Also, though, I agree -- hit up the smaller fests. Win some awards. Gain some credibility -- and then submit with a trailer on the front end naming all of those reviews and awards.

HerzogisGod
09-30-2009, 03:03 AM
what about all those "world premier" guidelines the big festivals require? wouldn't screening in smaller festivals conflict with this and screw your chances with the big boys....

I just submitted to the Tribeca FF. On the submission form they ask if the screening will be a "world premier"....well, how am I supposed to know? Sundance, Slamdance and others announce months before Tribeca...

I answered "yes," but that's not 100% true

Zak Forsman
09-30-2009, 03:05 AM
You are expected to answer truthfully what your status is when you are submitting. If they like your film, they will ask for an update on your premiere status before making a final decision.

HerzogisGod
09-30-2009, 06:43 AM
Thanks, Zak

That one issue always confused me

Carlos Corral
09-30-2009, 11:05 PM
I see a lot of guys on the circuit with their dvds, jamming their business card into the hands of anyone they talk to.

Hahah that was totally me at SXSW last year while in post-production of movie Hands of God. I was handing out the trailer with business cards. :D

HerzogisGod
10-01-2009, 02:13 AM
Like anything else in life...you gotta approach "from the side". You ever know a guy who was exceptionally lucky with women? Well, he didn't get that way by panting and jumping around at their feet.

this racket's no different. they'll wanna get to know us and what we got to offer the second we drop the desperation.


Confidence....and walk away power.