This is the Comprehensive Film Festival Database We've All Been Waiting For

How many of you can agree that finding the right film festivals to submit your films to is a chore? Sure, we know about the standouts -- Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, but wouldn't it be nice to have, like, a comprehensive list of tons of different festivals that range in popularity, that allowed you to search different criteria, like submission fees, countries, and genre categories, and offered all of this information in the form of a timeline so you could see which ones were coming up in the next few months? Well -- you are in luck.

I'm sure we have all been waiting for a film festival compendium that was at least a little bit intuitive and a lot bit comprehensive, and this little gem might be it. We got the tip-off about the Film Festivals Timeline from Twitter user @Armack, and after playing around with the database a little, I was not only impressed, but relieved.

It's not very fun to run around the internet chasing film festival websites; Googling "best film festivals for indie films" or "film festivals without a whole lot of stiff competition". The Film Festivals Timeline lists tons of festivals along the side of the timeline, which link to each one's website. That alone would be a step up from the system most of us probably have, (I downloaded The Black List's Writer's Calendar and it's absolutely great, but it definitely fills up the calendar on my phone -- which is no bueno), but they include search criteria to help you find exactly what you're looking for. You can search for a specific festival in the search bar, sort by country and genre/length/age categories, and toggle "no fees" to find festivals that, you guessed it, don't require submission fees. The timeline itself indicates when submissions open, first and last deadlines, as well as when the festivals themselves take place, which helps show you the big picture in terms of planning and comparing between festivals.

The side-scrolling format isn't my personal favorite, and being able to see a bird's-eye view of the entire year would be really helpful, but -- you guys -- this thing is pretty awesome. Usually, I'd let my criticism flow like a harpoon (daily and nightly), but this database is a sight for sore eyes. Though it's certainly not without its flaws (I couldn't find the Ashland Independent Film Festival or Telluride, which are pretty significant), the timeline is a huge step in the right direction. Hopefully the list gets regular updates so filmmakers can enjoy the splendor of not having to spend hours combing the internet for the right festival for their film.

And for those who might've been wondering, the timeline was created using The Takes, which is a powerful resource in and of itself. It's a project management tool designed specifically for film and TV production that allows you to complete tasks in all phases of production, like managing your crew, actors, locations, and resources, breaking down scripts, storyboarding, and creating production boards. I haven't got my hands dirty with it yet, but if you're in need of a tool that helps you plan and organize your production, you might want to look into signing up. (Monthly fees range from $52/mo to $593/mo, depending on how many users will have access.)

What do you think of the Film Festivals Timeline? After looking through the database, did you find any film festivals that were not yet listed? Which features did you like most/least?


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Your Comment


So why didn't Withoutabox do this a long time ago? Oh yeah, because they're f--king useless.

August 6, 2014 at 3:20PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


Pretty great list but how is it missing the deadlines for Sundance (early submission was July 28, regular is at the end of August and late is at the end of September) and have no listing for Tribeca and SXSW? Seems like a pretty big oversight :-/

August 6, 2014 at 3:51PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


Don't forget about the Little Rock film festival, which Paste Magazine named one of the best "fests in the country."

It didn't make the list, but should be there, I think:

August 6, 2014 at 4:07PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


The Little Rock fest looks cool, but they haven't updated their submission page for the website, and still say 2014 submissions open. WAB shows it closed for the season. Would be nice if they kept up appearances better.

August 6, 2014 at 10:24PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


So glad this exists. +1 on calling out withoutabox

August 6, 2014 at 9:17PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


My country The Netherlands is such a big name in festival land... We're even listed twice! :-)

August 7, 2014 at 1:57AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


Works nice,
But a bit incomplete
Missing SXSW, Clermont Ferrand for instance

August 7, 2014 at 5:18AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM

Reply is so awesome! Links to outside resources like this - not to mention your own content - it's all so helpful! Nothing else on the web like it that I've found. Thanks!!!.

August 7, 2014 at 5:43AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


This is a fun list to look at, thanks for the article Renée!

Even it sounds somewhat odd, I am working for FilmFestivalLife - a comprehensive database with over 850 festivals.
We made FilmFestivalLife because we felt like there was something missing and we want to have the most relevant festivals all in one place, so filmmakers can explore and discover the film festival circuit in an easy, user-friendly way. For example, check out all festivals organized in order of their submission deadlines:

August 7, 2014 at 9:59AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


good to have but its missing alot of festivals... ( at least here in Canada)

August 9, 2014 at 8:58AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


+1 for the sly Vanilla Ice reference.

August 10, 2014 at 11:55AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


It is best for the teen and one or two parents to begin this exercise.

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and prescription from a doctor. After understanding everything that provokes
all your fears, after correcting all your mistakes and misconceptions about the
world where you are and the people who are around you,
and after seeing that you have many capacities that you were not using but that can help
you achieve new goals, you'll feel safe and confident, instead of living tortured by social phobia.

August 25, 2014 at 5:33PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


thanks for share this

December 4, 2014 at 9:13PM, Edited December 4, 9:13PM


Hmm. I tried it in Chrome, Safari, and Opera on Mac, and nothing. I see the timeline, with fests down the left side and months across the top, but zero data in the actual graph. Hope it's a simple fix (on my end or theirs) cuz it's a great idea.

May 21, 2017 at 8:04AM, Edited May 21, 8:04AM


Ditto under windows 10. What up?

May 22, 2017 at 12:15PM


Same for me. Anyone managed to view the timeline successfully recently?

July 7, 2017 at 4:08PM

Marc Adamson
Director, matte painter, concept artist.

It sucks man, I've been struggling like many filmmakers to search for the right film festivals, decided to make a list of it with deadlines and fees, it's in spanish but im sure you can manage and

January 18, 2019 at 11:01AM

Enrique R Bencomo