Thanks Thadon, much appreciated. The video is thanks to the incredible Paris-based AS HUMAN PATTERN (http://vimeo.com/ashumanpattern) and the music is "Dawn" performed by EUS, POSTDROME & SAÅAD (Featuring METAL ALVIN) (sustainedlayers.bandcamp.com/album/sustained-layers). Will be eq'ing that voice as soon as we get that $$$!
In theory it would be great to have one article that pins down all these subjects. Unfortunately the fees change by deadline (Early Bird, Late deadline, Extended deadline), sometimes change by category, and often increase year by year, so including that here would date this article in a jiffy (or else make updating it a part time job). All that information is easy to find on festival websites, withoutabox, and other similar websites. This article is focused on compiling information that you can't get from any other source.
I agree that someone should create a website that has all this information for each festival, updated by the festivals themselves (because it changes so often), complete with reviews from filmmakers providing the vital financial details the festivals won't disclose themselves. It might already exist out there somewhere -- anyone on it?
Just the opposite - smaller festivals usually don't have the budget to pay for travel and accommodation. If you're wondering why Sundance isn't on the list, it's because they just give a bursary to certain filmmakers ($500 to one filmmaker I know of, which doesn't go too far in Park City) and let the majority fend for themselves. But most larger festivals do cover the travel costs, at least for select filmmakers, and features usually get travel expenses covered before docs. This article features festivals which extend their hospitality budget to most (features + docs) if not all (features + docs + shorts) directors.
Festivals want filmmakers to be present so they add to the allure -- otherwise it's just another screening of the film, without the chance to meet the people behind it. Q&A's are a big draw from audience members interested in specific films and directors, as are the before and after parties where casts and crews are present.
Haha great point Samantha, you caught my late-night-foggy-brain imperialism creeping out...
You're right about the fee Chris, my bad. Honestly I'm surprised that you seem surprised there is a fee (I've been applying for grants for years and only a handful DON'T have fees -- and they are, of course, more competitive) but I should've made mention nonetheless. As for the rest of the prizes, poo-poo them if you like, but $30,000 off these services is $30,000 off. It would surprise me if you're a producer who has already gone through the hurdles of financing a full production and don't find some of these discounts and industry favors appealing. Personally, I applied because the connections are priceless -- and with the majority of other grants, you'll pay the fee and never get any feedback. At least with this one you have a chance to improve your game at the end of the day, whether you get the grant or not.