Over the years I’ve learned that when submitting to festivals, in general, more is better than less. So far we’ve submitted to 62 film festivals here in the states and abroad and we have no plans to stop there. This may seem like an excessive number, but what drives this choice particularly is the constant proliferation of independent films all over the world.
The rapidly growing number of indie features has not only contributed to the birth of more film festivals, but a generally very high number of submissions per event, ranging from the hundreds to the thousands, and all competing for a comparatively small number of programming slots. So essentially, whether your film’s the greatest thing since “devils on horseback” (pitted dates stuffed with the smoked cheese of your preference, wrapped with bacon, drizzled with maple syrup, and finally baked/broiled to perfection), unless you have a sure in, it’s essentially a crap shoot so do what you can to improve your odds. Making a film is hard, but the hardest part of all is getting it seen by as many people as possible and getting it the attention it deserves. So when you’ve wrapped principal photography have a drink, and when you reach final cut have a whole bottle because now the real work begins!
Keep on keeping on, and enjoy the ride, bumps, warts, blisters and all.
p.s. Though not so common here in the states, many festivals abroad actually offer free submission for their events so unless the $4-$6 cost of sending your screener abroad via airmail is too steep, why not go for it.