Thank you for your thoughts and your beautiful film. Our projects are so entwined with our identities and our hopes, it's pretty crushing to receive all those rejections and hard to separate them from our feelings of self-worth. I'd like to add that if you believe in what you are doing, find other ways to get your work seen. Don't rely on the gatekeepers to invite you to the table (sorry for the mixed metaphor). I personally work with galleries, museums, art spaces and organizations, and have created my own events which drew bigger crowds than the festivals that I screened in. I haven't "made it" yet but I'm certainly not putting that in the hands of other people.
Does it turn itself on when you throw it in the air or do you turn it on first and then throw it? I'm just the person who will remember that it's turned off the moment I toss it off a cliff.
I love these lists but they would be much more helpful if they were posted a season in advance of the deadlines instead of a week or less. Just saying. Thanks though.
Considering that most of the tools and experience are readily available, you might also consider studying something other than film and use that as an advantage that other filmmakers don't have. This could give you ideas of what films you want to make, how you see the world and what drives you. Many film students learn all the techniques (if they are lucky) and then have no idea what to do with them.