After pouring your heart into the perfect film, you want people all around the world to see it. How are you going to do that? These 10 film festivals are the perfect way to gain exposure for your film.

Film festivals are the perfect way to gain exposure for your film. Enter as many as you can.
Film festivals are the perfect way to gain exposure for your film. Enter as many as you can.
Photo by Zhifei Zhou on Unsplash

1. Sundance Film Festival

We’re starting our list with one of the biggest film festivals in the world. Sundance is one of the first festivals you think of when you hear film. If your film makes it into this festival, you will gain connections and receive opportunities people only dream of.

They accept both features and short films from all around the world. Early entries start in August and stretch into September, with the last entry day falling in October for features, and September for short films. Enter your film early and keep your fingers crossed.

2. Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival is another top festival in the world of film. The amount of press that cover this film festival is enough to boost an up-and-coming filmmaker’s career. This festival also accepts both features and short films.

There are some rules to be careful of before you submit your film to this prestigious festival. If your film has already been accepted in an international festival, it is ineligible. Features must be over 60 minutes, while short films cannot exceed 35 minutes. Read the Cannes Film Festival page before submitting your film.

3. Toronto International Film Festival

While entries for TIFF have already closed for this year, you only have until February before they open up again. Time flies when you’re making a film. Consider attending this international festival, September 10-19, to see how a famous film festival operates.

The film showings range from physical screenings to drive-ins. How cool is that? Not only can you watch magnificent films at this festival, you can also attend press conferences and industry talks to learn more about film. It’s an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up.

4. Tribeca Film Festival

Submissions open soon for this praised film festival. Enter your films from August 19th to December 2nd to be considered for one of this festival’s prestigious awards. This festival accepts features, short films, television and online media. It’s a festival that has changed with the times.

They are ready to see what creative film you’re bringing to the table. You can submit your film directly on the Tribeca Film Festival website, or you can submit on Film Freeway. Follow along with this festival to keep up on all the latest news in film and media.

Enter your film in festivals that will give you connections in the film industry.
Enter your film in festivals that will give you connections in the film industry.
Photo by Alex Litvin on Unsplash

5. New York Film Festival

The New York Film Festival is an art driven show of creativity and skill. They accept works in experimental film, virtual reality, and short films of different genres. If you have a film that doesn’t quite seem to fit into the regular film festival categories, this might be your chance.

Submissions for this year’s festival have already closed, but they will open again next April. That will go a lot faster than you think. Start working on your out-of-the-box film’s now, so they can be ready to go once the submissions open again.

6. LA Film Festival

The LA film festival is not just one festival, but 12! You can submit your film into as many of these lively festivals as you want. This is your chance to win awards, meet unfamiliar people, and see influential films of all types. Submit your film to the following festivals soon!

  • Comedy Festival
  • Sci-Fi FilmFest
  • Queer FilmFest
  • Indie FilmFest
  • Action Filmfest
  • Black Filmfest
  • Women in Filmfest
  • Student Filmfest
  • Asian Filmfest
  • Animated Filmfest
  • Horror Filmfest
  • Latinx Filmfest

7. Seattle International Film Festival

Look at the past winners of the Seattle International Film Festival to see what films people have raved over. With this year’s festival cancelled because of the current pandemic, the festival will only be more ready to receive films for the next festival. Watch out for that early deadline in October.

There are multiple categories you can enter your film in. The new director’s competition, documentary film, short film, features and more. You don’t want to miss out on the chance at one of the great awards this festival offers. Check out the rules, deadlines and awards for the Seattle International Film Festival today.

If even you only enter one or two film festivals, you're bound to learn valuable information.
If even you only enter one or two film festivals, you’re bound to learn valuable information.
Photo by Aneta Pawlik on Unsplash

8. Berlin International Film Festival

Submissions for the 2021 Berlin International Film Festival will open soon. They accept documentaries and features over 60 minutes, and short films including animation, fiction, documentary and experimental films under 30 minutes.

They have festival sections that focus on unique aspects of film. Each section brings a distinct type of filmmaking into the light to receive praise. From the Berlinale Series to Generation Kplus, you will learn a lot about creative filmmaking. To read more of the guidelines for submitting films to the Berlin International Film Festival, visit their page of general guidelines.

9. Sydney Film Festival

Mark your calenders for November. That’s when submissions to the 2021 Sydney Film Festival open for filmmakers all across the world. This famous festival happens every year in June. Unfortunately, this year’s festival could not take place in person because of the pandemic.

They select 12 standout films in the festival to compete in the official competition, where they will compete for a grand prize of $60,000. There are other awards and opportunities available throughout this film festival. Enter your film in this exciting festival.

10. Miami International Film Festival

You’re in luck! Submissions for the Miami International Film Festival are open. Enter your film to this festival through Film Freeway. They could consider you for one of their amazing prizes, totaling more than $100,000.

Visit Miami from March 5 – 14 for the 2021 Miami International Film Festival. They focus on new and established filmmakers to give their competition a diverse feel. It’s a brilliant place to showcase your film, learn more about the industry, and have a marvellous time!