I run a festival.
Your top priority should be to make a film where your story to stands out. It should have a beginning middle and end, hold interest, and make us want to watch it again. 90% of films do no fulfil this.
It is worth bearing in mind that the majority of films received are drama; if you pick a different genre, you are already on a good footing to stand out from the crowd. To a lesser extent we receive entries for horror, and comedy, but other genres are rare. When selecting a programme for the festival, we want to give a broad selection of genre (do the maths!).
I don’t care how expensive your equipment is, but it is hard to accept a film with bad sound and bad basic photography. But, to be honest, the majority of completed films are acceptable quality (production wise). Equipment shouldn’t stop you making a good film, these days.
Don’t deliberately make showreel fodder. We get a few films that are thin excuses to show off a DP or how dramatic an actor can be, that don’t hold together as a film.