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Stop waiting on Sundance

DVD Submission

There are plenty of filmmakers who rush to finish their film for Sundance, fill out the paperwork, send off the DVD, and then... stop. There's nothing wrong with waiting anxiously to hear from what is arguably the world's most famous film festival, but if you're not submitting to other festivals while you wait you could miss out on the entire Spring season. Break out your list of target festivals (see chapter one of Film Festival Secrets for more on this) and get cracking. Here's a handy (but by no means complete) list of festivals with upcoming deadlines. Check each festival's web site for their late deadlines, submission rules, etc.

Edit: I should point out that I picked these festivals for their relative prominence and for the fact that their deadlines come before the Sundance notification date (around Thanksgiving). If you're a festival director and would like to post your own upcoming deadline in the comments, please feel free.

  • Slamdance - October 30
  • Dallas International - October 30
  • Phoenix - October 30
  • Cleveland - November 30
  • Gen Art - October 31
  • South By Southwest - November 5
  • Florida Film Festival - November 20


Paula said...

Excellent advice, Chris!

The final final deadline for the Atlanta Film Festival is December 18th. The Atlanta Film Festival is an Oscar(r) qualifying festival for narrative shorts, animated shorts and student shorts. Visit for more info.

Julian Perrera said...

You're right.

It's easy for filmmakers to get seduced by the glamour and deals that have gone down at Sundance in the past, but one of the bigger sleeper hits of the past was premiered in Orange County ("Crash").

Getting into Sundance does write you a ticket to get into other fests for free (via invites) so it might still be a good idea to try... just have a plan b. I'd gamble on the sure thing, though: paying your way to get into the fests you want to play at.

tim said...

Another festival that has gotten great filmmaker feedback is Festivus Film Festival in Denver. The final deadline is Nov. 16.

TheTrailerFestival said...

Check out The Trailer Festival, a the premier event for the festival taking place in April of 2010. Deadline March 2010.