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So You Want to Go to Sundance?: Applying to Festivals

    We encourage all filmmakers to send their films to festivals. Don't let one or two "no's" discourage you. We know of films that got into several prestigious festivals but were overlooked by others. Films are judged by panels, and there's no way to predict what sort of tastes or aesthetics a particular panel will have. So, send your film everywhere you'd like it to screen.

Our short list of good festivals for shorts includes:

American Festivals and Awards Ceremonies

  • Academy Awards (They have a student competition)
  • Aspen ShortFest
  • Palm Springs Short Film Festival
  • Seattle Film Festival
  • Shorts International Film Festival (New York City)
  • Sundance Film Festival
  • Telluride Film Festival

International Festivals

  • Berlin Film Festival
  • Cannes (Cinefondation handles their student short submissions)
  • Cinema Jove (Spain)
  • Clermont-Ferrand (France)
  • Drama International Film Festival (Greece)
  • Locarno International Film Festival (Corti Cortissimo is their shorts competition)
  • Oberhausen International Film Festival (Germany)
  • Sao Paolo International Film Festival
  • Tampere International Film Festival (Finland)
  • Venice International Film Festival

    We recommend that you check out our Film Festival Links for additional festival listings. We also recommend that you keep a calendar of deadlines and a list of requirements for each festival, so that you can submit materials in a timely manner. Also note that some of these festivals (like Telluride or Venice, for example) will not accept your film if it has had a prior screening at other festivals. So, if you have your heart set on Telluride (or Venice), you should apply there first.



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