Congratulations filmmaker, your film has been accepted to its first festival! But now what? Well, as an indie filmmaker you will now have to wear a couple of different hats that will help you get the most out of film festival attendance. There are things you must do to promote yourself and the film you created that is being featured at the festival.
First, welcome to the world of Public Relations (or PR for short). PR is a key component to not only promoting your film but also yourself. You accomplish this task by developing your press kit and marketing materials. This is what you will need to have ready for your film festival run:
- A synopsis of your film,
- A Director’s Statement,
- A Director’s Biography,
- Your film’s poster in various sizes and formats,
- Stills from the film,
- Key Cast & Crew List with past credits,
- Links to the official website & social media accounts for the film,
- A trailer for the film, and
- A draft Press Release.
The synopsis of your film should have multiple versions as it explains what happens in your film. These versions consist of a one page synopsis, a one paragraph synopsis, and a one sentence synopsis.
The Director's Bio is what gives someone the details of the Director, like where they’re from, how they became a Filmmaker, and where they are headed. The Director's Statement is an opportunity to address why you made the film and why it's meaningful to you. These three questions can help guide you in writing your Director's Statement:
- Why did you make this film?
- What inspired you about the topic?
- For what reason is your perspective important on this topic?
The Key Cast & Crew list includes:
- Principal Cast,
- The Director of Photography, and
- The Editor
Make sure to list their past credits, particularly highlighting ones that are recognizable to the audience or the festival.
While in production make sure you take stills, or, if necessary, grab stills during the post production process. This will aid in not only having stills available for your Marketing Package, but this will also be quite valuable for creating your film's poster.
Here is what your film's poster should have:
- An eye catching visual that helps your film stand out.
- Your title is in a large, easy to read font.
- Cast, Crew & Production information.
You may need to have multiple versions of the poster, including one without cast, crew, and production information depending on the potential uses the festival has for the poster.
Now that you have the blueprint, you can create your marketing materials and be ready for any film festival that accepts you. These materials will be used by the festival to help promote your screening, but they can also be used by you or the festival when reaching out to local press for coverage.
In addition to having all of this prepared, it's a good idea to reach out to the festival and ask them what else you can do to help promote your screening. Whenever possible it is best for you to plan to attend in person so you can not only participate in your own screening, but meet other filmmakers and industry people attending the festival. Connections are made at film festivals all the time. If you show up prepared, you'll be better able to leverage whatever connections you make.
For more information, tips and tricks visit www.mnn.org/learn for free workshops, professional courses, media bootcamps, and more resources to make your productions successful.