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?