What materials do you need to enter a film festival?

What materials do you need to enter a film festival?

Impact50 has been selected for its FIRST Major Festival… Details to follow soon…

I can’t say which festival yet as the line up has not been announced, but it’s in the early Autumn, it’s in Europe and it’s a BRILLIANT one.

Ahead of the announcement I thought I would share what I needed to supply for them, with some extras I would always add.

Here’s a fairly typical bullet point list of the items needed for most good festivals.

  • A DCP of the film – not always needed as some will show an MP4. Be clear about sound mix, stereo or 5.1.
  • An MP4 of the film with low compression (so the file will be big, likely around 50gb)
  • An MP4 of the trailer with low compression.
  • Three clips from the film in MP4, again low compression.
  • A press pack detailing how the film was made and why, and by who. You can see the one for Impact50 HERE. I would supply both PDF and Word documents for this.
  • Press pack photo package in ZIP format (about 20 images, stills from the film, BTS. Director shot, poster etc. all hi res and ALL clearly named so they describe what the photo is of).
  • Synopsis of the film. Short (200 characters), medium (600 characters) and long (one page).
  • Bio / filmography of the director (usually a couple of paras)
  • Photo of the director looking like a director please!
  • Directors statement – what were you attempting to do and why? Be passionate! Usually about half a page.
  • 5 Stills from the film. NOT behind the scenes shots. All must be hi res.
  • A few GOOD behind the scenes shots – even if not requested as they always need some. Again Hi Res.  
  • The poster in HiRes – I usually supply both PDF and low compression JPG.
  • SRT subtitle file in English. They will often handle translations if needed and you should ALWAYS ask for a copy if they do, so the work does not need to be done again and you can also add to your sales package. Not all festivals will give it to you. We used www.Rev.com.

Much of this will already be collated on sites like FilmFreeway, but always keep your own local copies also.  

It should be collated and saved on a cloud platform like Dropbox or Google drive for instant global sharing and access.

The film at about 50gb and the DCP at around 300gb will be your biggest storage overhead of course. Personally I found Google drive a bit flaky, but Dropbox has always been bulletproof.

Good luck with YOUR festival journey and I will keep you updated on ours.

Chris Jones
Filmmaker, Author and Firewalk Instructor
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What am I doing now?
Directing splinter unit on Mission: Impossible 8
Exec producing The Enfield Poltergeist

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