Your main aim with film festival marketing is to get buzz and a distribution deal. If you get a distribution deal before you get to the festival, make a media splash with the announcement that your film has been picked up.
This is the time to shine. Play at a smaller local festival to see how audience reacts, you can then re-edit with feedback from your audience.
Film Festival Marketing Goals
You need to be clear what your festival goal is, are you raising awareness of your film, look for distribution or building your brand for future films?
This is how you will position your marketing at the film festival through the media.
- Ask film festival for directory of news outlets to get you coverage.
- Ask film festival who is in charge of their outreach, the moment you get accepted into the festival contact with clips, photo’s.
Let the festival market your film to their audience they are gathering for the festival. Don’t leave it too late.
Your film press kit should be ready when your film is accepted into a film festival as that is when distributors send out feelers for more info.
Your PR strategy then becomes center stage. At huge film festivals like Sundance you need a publicist as the media turns out in force. You need to concentrate on the main entertainment reporters and critics.
see List of Oscar Award Qualifying Film Festivals
Create Buzz with Film Festival Marketing
- When you get accepted into festival, immediately create blog content with your film and film festival name in the title. So when someone searches for the film festival, your film name will appear.
- If you win or get distribution at another film festival, let the festival know, they will be happy for your success.
- When writing to a film festival, keep it short and provide a link to the trailer.
- Tell the festival how they will benefit from your film and the attention you will bring to the film festival.
- Personalize as on filmfreeway.com as you see the contact person name on the festival page.
- Explain why your film will fit into the festival, just get them to watch the trailer in the first round. Once they respond you can build a relationship in the next correspondence.
- Include details if you been accepted into other festivals, it will show that your film is screen worthy. They are in the business of attracting audiences to come see your film.
- Mention your actors or crew that have worked on other recognizable films, it gives film marketing value.
- Let them know you available for Q&A after the screening or any other industry discussions in their program.
Make sure your press, social media and materials are up to date and ready for prime time.
Film festivals do not find your film audience, they will assist you in reaching local media and special interest groups in the area.