Film Festival Hacks: How to Submit to Festivals Like a Pro
3.6 (71 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,037 students enrolled

Film Festival Hacks: How to Submit to Festivals Like a Pro

Filmmaking is tough enough! We show u the secret hacks to get into film festivals for FREE & How not to get ripped off!
3.6 (71 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,037 students enrolled
Last updated 7/2018
English [Auto]
Current price: $121.99 Original price: $174.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 5 hours on-demand video
  • 1.5 hours on-demand audio
  • 1 article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Create a festival strategy by selecting appropriate festivals for their films.
  • Submit to Film Festivals like a Pro
  • Career Building and Networking
  • How to Educate Yourself for FREE at Film Festivals
  • Audience Building Techniques
  • Discover What Distributors Want and How to Find Them
  • Understand the technical requirements film festivals are looking for
  • A general understanding of how film festivals work and the filmmaking process is required.
  • Just the love for filmmaking and getting their film out to the world

Before you read what I have to say, see what our other students are saying about our course:

As Festival Producer with the Edmonton International Film Festival (EIFF) in Canada for nearly 15 years, I have experienced a whole lotta misinformation about what film festivals DO and I completely support the sharing of ACCURATE information in a non-biased way. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical about this course, titled FILM FESTIVAL HACKS. From the first segment, I was hooked.

Chris and Alex have created a fascinating journey that is relevant to both filmMAKERS and festival organizers. Chris's experience behind-the-scenes at numerous festivals combined with Alex's experiences attending festivals makes for a well-rounded and completely candid course that is less 'instruction' and more In the Actor's Studio. A few chapters into it, I thought -- (insert gratuitous coarse language here) EVERYONE needs to certify themselves as FILM FESTIVAL HACKS!

And the course reminded me that we (at EIFF) aren't all alone on an island, hoping that what we do will resonate with filmMAKERS and that our annual event has VALUE for everyone -- audiences included!. - Kerrie Long


Can't get your indie film into film festivals? Are you tired of spending TONS OF CASH, you don't have, on submission fees? Want to get the inside secrets to give your film the best chance on being accepted to film festivals?

  • Don't have the money continue submitting to film festivals?
  • Do you want to submit to film festivals for cheap or FREE?
  • Do you want to learn how I got my films accepted into almost 600 international film festivals without paying submission fees?
  • Do you want to Enroll NOW and get into the minds of film festival programmers? Let's get started?

They DON'T teach you this in Film School!

Film Festival Hacks is a course pulls back the curtain on the film festival business (and it is a business). THIS IS A MUST FOR ALL FILMMAKERS!


Save TIME and MONEY by learning what film festivals are looking for and how to position your short or feature film to have a fighting chance of being accepted.

This is a LIVING COURSE, we will be adding to it and updating it often!

You will be taught from both sides of "the badge." Alex Ferrari is an award winning filmmaker with almost 600 international film festivals under his belt. He'll show you tricks and techniques on how he got his features and short films accepted with paying little or NO MONEY!

Here's what legendary film critic Roger Ebert (which he met at a film festival) had to say about Alex's short film:

"BROKEN is essentially a demonstration of the mastery of horror imagery and techniques...effective and professional." - Roger Ebert (Chicago SunTimes)

On the "other side of the badge" is Chris Holland, author of Film Festival Secrets: A Handbook for Independent Filmmakers and festival organizer who has been on staff at two Academy-Accredited (Oscar-qualifying) film festivals.

Chris has also worked closely with the staff of more than 200 festivals worldwide, including Sundance, Slamdance, AFI Fest, SXSW, and many more. Over the last decade he has consulted on festival strategy with hundreds of filmmakers just like you and helped them take control of their run on the festival circuit.


"Great tips from both sides of the industry - movie producer with plenty of festival experience, and a festival guru that knows the process inside out. this will save you lots of head scratching and give you the confidence and the knowledge you need to start submitting your movie to festivals." - Ioannis Tsiokos


Here's a bit about Film Festival Hacks:

Included in this game changing course: more than 4 hours (and growing) of insider secrets and strategies for getting your film into film festivals (over 35 videos). There has never been an online seminar like this one -- it’s the Ultimate Film Festival Course.



Why Submit to Film Festivals Today

  • Audience Building
  • Distribution for Your Film
  • Career Building and Networking
  • Travel the World
  • Educate Yourself for FREE
  • Prize Money and Awards


The Hidden Benefits of Film Festivals

  • What are Your Goals?
  • This is a Business, and the Film Festival is Your Customer
  • How to Do Research
  • How to Submit to Film Festivals for Cheap or FREE


Understanding the "Mystery" of How Film Festivals Program their Fests

  • The Screening Process
  • Common Fears and Myths
  • Film Festivals Have an Audience to Serve
  • The #1 Predictor of Film Festival Success


How to Leverage a Film Festival Screening to Help Sell Your Film

  • Audience Building Techniques
  • Networking with Other Film Festival Programmers
  • Discover What Distributors Want and How to Find Them
  • What are Your Chance of Getting a Traditional Distribution Deal?


Technical Requirements for Film Festival

  • What’s a DCP?
  • Quicktime Compression
  • HDCam vs HD-SR
  • DVD and BluRay
  • Warnings and Security

and much more!


Important information before you enroll:

  • In case you find the course useless, don't forget you are covered by a 30 day money back guarantee, full refund, no questions asked!
  • Once enrolled, you have unlimited, lifetime access to the course!
  • You will have instant and free access to any updates I'll add to the course.
  • You’ll get access to the course discussion forum, where you can ask us questions and compare notes with your fellow students.
  • We will give you our full support regarding any issues or suggestions related to the course


Enroll NOW and learn the secrets of getting your indie film into film festival around the world! Let's get started!

Who this course is for:
  • Filmmakers who anticpate making a movie and showing it to audiences on the film festival circuit will get the most value from this course.
  • Any filmmaker planning to submit to film festivals
  • Film Students
  • Filmmaking Professionals
Course content
Expand all 40 lectures 06:37:00
+ Why Should We Listen to These Guys?
1 lecture 03:10

Instructors Alex Ferrari (Indie Film Hustle) and Chris Holland (Film Festival Secrets) describe their combine 40+ years of experience in the film industry and on the film festival circuit.

Preview 03:10
+ Why Submit to Film Festivals Today?
1 lecture 08:40

Are film fests worth submitting to? We think so, and we have some personal stories to back it up. It’s worth watching this lecture for Alex’s “Roger Ebert” story alone.

Preview 08:40
+ The Hidden Benefits of Film Festivals
6 lectures 31:47

Film festivals are the front lines of indie film -- that’s where you’re going to meet the first people who will watch, love, and buy your film.

Preview 02:36

Distribution executives still go to film festivals, looking for new films to sell to their audiences. Learn what to look for.

Distribution for Your Film

Film festivals are like Career Day for filmmakers -- attend them to meet new friends, colleagues, employers, and financiers. Here’s how.

Preview 06:42

We discuss the ways in which your travel needs and desires should inform your submissions strategy. Also: will festivals pay for your travel?

Travel the World

Film festivals offer conferences, panels, workshops, and more. Get a film school’s worth of education and watch some movies in the bargain.

Educate Yourself for FREE

Many festivals offer prize money and services for their films on exhibition. Learn about the process and the odds.

Prize Money and Winning Awards
+ How to Choose the Right Film Festivals for My Film
4 lectures 48:23

Learn what’s possible on the festival circuit, then figure out what you want. It’s the first step of a festival strategy.

Preview 04:21

The festival submissions process can be a negotiation between equals -- if you know what they want and what you have to offer. Find out how.

This is a Business, and the Film Festival is Your Customer

Get your (virtual) hands dirty by digging around the web for festivals that fit your film. Plus: plumb the mysteries of submissions platforms Withoutabox and FilmFreeway.

How to Find the Right Festivals For Your Film

How to pitch festivals on the idea of considering your film without taking a submission fee -- and get them to say yes! Plus: is it OK send an unfinished film to Sundance in order to meet the deadline?

How to Submit to Film Festivals for Cheap or FREE!
+ Understanding the "Mystery" of How Film Festivals Program their Fests
4 lectures 23:35

How many people will watch my film? Do they watch it all the way through? From SXSW to Sidewalk, every film festival is different, but these are the general rules of the game.

The Screening Process

Feeling like you have to “know someone” in order to get into film festivals? Afraid that the festivals didn’t even watch your movie? Find out which prevailing filmmaker fears are realistic, and which are just bunk.

Common Fears and Myths

Applying the startup concept of “product market fit” to movies and film festivals. Learn what festival programming directors are thinking about when they make decisions.

Film Festivals Have an Audience to Serve

The unsurprising truth about the kinds of films that do well on the festival circuit, and the circumstances under which you and your film can defy the common wisdom. How do weiner dogs fit into all this? You‘ll have to watch the lecture to find out.

The #1 Predictor of Film Festival Success
+ How to Leverage a Film Festival Screening to Help Sell Your Film
4 lectures 28:31

Thinking long-term: gathering data about your audience, taking advantage of festival opportunities, and the object lessons of Kevin Smith’s career. Also: building and understanding your personal brand.

Audience Building Techniques

They’re out there in the audience, and they’re looking for movies at the festivals bigger (and smaller) than they are: programmers from festivals other than the one you’re attending.

Networking with Other Film Festival Programmers

Distributors rely on festivals to sort the good from the not-so-good in independent film, and they can often be found at the festivals prospecting for movies. Learn what they want and how you can prepare to present your film as a good prospect.

Discover What Distributors Want and How to Find Them?

Have you thought about your film as a product and how easy it will be to sell that product? That’s how distributors will think of it, so get ready to see your baby in a whole new light. Also: what does “real distribution" even mean anymore?

What are Your Chance of Getting a Traditional Distribution Deal?
+ Strategies for Shorts vs Feature Films
6 lectures 37:41

What’s a world premiere, and how important it is it? How does that inform your festival strategy? Is it different for short films than for features? All the answers will be revealed!

Premiere Etiquette - Why Festivals Care Where You Play First

How do you decide which festivals to submit your short film to, and when? Learn the ins and outs of getting your film “out there” to film festivals with varying levels of prestige.

Submissions Order - Which Festivals to Submit to 1st, 2nd, and So On
Festival Life Cycle of Short Film

How feature films typically make a festival run, and how that differs from shorts.

Festival Life Cycle of Feature Film

What’s an “Academy qualifying” festival, and what does that mean for your film?

Oscar Qualifying Film Festivals

What does it mean to “put your film online,” and how will it affect your festival eligibility?

Should I Put My Film Online While Submitting to Festivals?
+ Dealing with Rejection - What Happens If They All Say No?
3 lectures 15:39

If you’ve poured money into submissions fees and only have a bunch of rejection letters to show for it, here’s a BIG tip on figuring out why that might be -- and maybe how to avoid it in the first place.

Is Your Film Broken? Getting Input on Why Your Film Isn’t Getting Into Festivals

You’ve been shut down by the festivals you submitted to. How can you find out why they rejected your film?

Getting Feedback From Film Festivals About Your Work

Once you’ve gained insight into what your film’s problems might be, it’s time to make some decisions about what to do next. Learn what your options (good and bad) are, and some of the hard realities you may have to face in the process.

Taking Stock and Deciding What to Do Next
+ Technical Requirements for Film Festivals
5 lectures 39:03

Alex’s post-production expertise kicks into overdrive as he describes common Quicktime formats that festivals ask for.

Quicktime Compression

DCPs are quickly becoming the great “common language” of movie projection. But what exactly are they, how do they work, and how do you make one?

DCP - The Way Theaters Play Movies Today

Tapes last longer, as Alex will tell you. Here’s why you should consider creating a master tape for your movie.

Old School Tape That’s Still in Style: HDCam vs HD-SR

It might sound strange, but some festivals ask for spinning disk copies of your movie as the primary projection print. Learn about the possible pitfalls and what you can do to safeguard your film’s projection.

Preview 07:06

What are the dangers of your film being copied illicitly, and what can you do about it? Also: the physical formats you’ll encounter in the course of your film’s print traffic between festivals.

Warnings and Security
+ Final Thoughts
1 lecture 06:01

Chris & Alex sum things up with a few last words of film festival wisdom.

Film Festivals Can Create Magic, but They Favor Filmmakers Who Are Prepared.