Festivals and Contests
Film Festivals are an essential component for filmmakers to find an audience for their film. During the Junior and Senior production classes, students are required to submit their films to at least one film festival. While the easiest way for filmmakers to submit their films is through Film Freeway, here are a few notable festivals that the SFP recommends.
Film Fund Competitions
- The Shore Scripts Short Film Fund
- The Fund offers an opportunity for emerging screenwriters and filmmakers to have their short film financed and produced. The Fund welcomes submissions from screenwriters and filmmakers from around the world.
- Screencraft Contests
- ScreenCraft offers a variety of screenwriting competitions along with a film fund competition.
Local Film Festivals
- Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
- The BSDFF works to nurture non-fiction filmmakers and films that have the power to change our community.
- MINT welcomes a variety of films from all over the world, with a specific category for Montana-made films.
- Montana Film Festival
- The Montana Film Festivals highlights emerging talent and new perspectives from Montana's filmmaking community.
Tips & Tricks for submitting to Film Festivals
- Gather the Materials - your film, a trailer, BTS photos, credit list, EPK, synopsis, logline, Director's Bio, and the Director's Statement.
- Be Realistic - althought it may be fun to submit to larger film festivals, it's unlikely that your film will be chosen. Start by submitting to smaller film festivals to gain recognition before moving to larger film festivals.
- Set a Budget - Film festival entry fees can range anywhere from $5 to $150. If you have specific festivals in mind, make sure to budget appropriately.
- Use your Student Status - As always, the SFP reminds students to use their student status for discounts on film festival entry fees. To find film festivals that offer discounts to students, simply seach Film Freeway.
- Find your Niche - Many students find success with small genre focused film festivals. There's a variety of genre festivals including comedy, mockumentary, drama, horror, romance and more.
- Submit Early - Film festivals have a variety of submission deadlines normally spanning several months. But, as time passes, prices rise. Submit early to get the cheapest price!