If you've ever entered a film into a festival, whether it was a short, documentary, or feature, you've probably had to pony up some decent cash just to be considered -- and that doesn't include the additional costs once you're accepted. What about festivals without entry fees? Do those even exist? The answer, as you probably guessed based on the title of the post, is yes, and you can find plenty of them over at No Entry Fee Festivals, a site that focuses specifically on the free ones. Click through to learn more about it.
Thanks to Scott Macaulay from Filmmaker Magazine for tweeting about the site:
I started a list of festivals with no entry fee several years ago as a resource for media artists, particularly my students. At the start, I found a couple of articles listing festivals without entry fees. These articles were a helpful starting point, but as I looked, I found many more festivals out there.
Over the past two years, I have continued to add to my no entry fee list of festivals, competitions and other exhibition opportunities. Recently I have evolved this list into a blog for animators, video artists and digital filmmakers, whether they are students, amateurs or professionals, who are looking for opportunities to screen their work.
Many of the festivals are international. A word of caution: these are not for procrastinators. While it can be inexpensive to send a dvd or cd in advance, it can be incredibly expensive to send it overnight. (As an example, the cost to mail a dvd overseas from the US can range from 1.40 if mailed well in advance, (regular post) to 100.00+ to overnight at the last minute.) Some festivals have an online submission option. Some festivals that charge to submit online have free submission for students, but need to be mailed. Some online submissions still require that a dvd is sent after the online application).
While Sundance obviously isn't going to be on the list of free festivals, if you're a DIY or no budget filmmaker, trying to get exposure at film festivals can be very costly, especially when there is no guarantee you'll get into any of them. Some may question the necessity of such festivals when the internet can reach many more people, but they are still excellent places for networking, and if they happen to be local, you might just have a good time watching and talking about films with your peers.
Head on over to No Entry Fee Festivals to see which fests might be right for your films.
Link: No Entry Fee Festivals