The film festival route is certainly a viable one when it comes to promoting and marketing your film, but keep in mind that’s not the only route. Plenty of independent films land a distributor and find an audience going different routes altogether. Regardless of whether you go the film festival route or have another strategy, you should start thinking about your film’s marketing, publicity and release strategy as soon as possible. If you’re smart, you’ll start before the screenplay is finished, certainly before the first frame has been shot.
Remember, the PR and marketing can be the engine that drives the project. It can open doors to distribution, financing and build your audience base. Keep your options open every step of the way. For example, if you’re working on a documentary, you have a number of distribution and showing possibilities from the festivals, to theatrical to outside the box screenings at schools, museums, organizations and churches. Often these types of screenings can run even during a festival showing.
Festivals can be a great place for meeting distributors and forming relationships with strategic partners. This can be particularly helpful for producers and filmmakers who are going to self distribute their film. Filmmakers now need to take a more active role in the marketing, public relations, and distribution of their films.
But there can also be a downside to festivals. It’s possible to get locked in the film festival loop and not look at alternative, creative ways to market, show and showcase your film. Regardless of the direction you chose to take, get your PR and marketing gameplan in place at the start of your filmmaking journey.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013