Why You Should Attend a Film Festival

A film festival is an extended presentation of movies at a screening venue. It can be on a particular theme, or focus on a specific director’s work. You can often interact with the director, cast, and critics after the screening. It is a great way to meet others who share your interest in movies belonging to a particular genre. New York’s first Dominican Film Festival began this month. It touches on political issues, as well as concerns of the Dominican diaspora.

Some film festivals are free, so you can enjoy viewing movies which may not be available for viewing otherwise. Award winning films, which are international, can also be part of the event. These are usually annual events, organized by cultural organizations.

Look at details of previous year film festivals to understand the kind of movies which are screened by the organizing body. This will help you determine whether they are in sync with your taste. Even if you have watched a few of the films before, you are likely to appreciate the other movies being screened, because they will also belong to the same genre.

A body which is focused on justice can screen films on slavery, and lead a discussion on issues related to freedom. In case you are a law student, this will be of interest to you. If you are an amateur film maker, you can ask questions of professional film makers attending the festival. As you are unlikely to come in contact with these kinds of people in daily life, you should prepare any questions you have for them in advance.

Search online for organizations in your area which hold film festivals. Sign up for their email newsletters to stay informed about dates and venue details. You can go to these events with your friends, family, or colleagues, and expose them to new movies.

Some film festivals specialize in short films. Others focus on a different theme every year, such as Asian cinema, horror, or a famous director’s work. Often there is a competitive category, which celebrity judges from the field of cinema to evaluate them and award prizes.

Watching a film on the big screen is a different experience from watching it on television, or on your laptop. The atmosphere at events of this nature is often festive, and you can enjoy spotting celebrities watching movies too.

The Cannes Film Festival For Tourists

The Cannes Film Festival is the world’s most renowned film festival. It is an indulging event which celebrates the art of acting and films both new and old. It takes place annually in May in Cannes, once a small fishing village, Cannes is now a glamorous and expensive seaside town.

Celebrities attending the festival travel from all over the world, each bringing their own headlines for the celebrity thirsty press. In the last couple of years, top actors such as Eva Longoria, Ryan Phillippe and Hayden Panettiere have been seen there. The most notable celebrity event in 2008 was Angelina Jolie confirming she was carrying twins.

Although regular tourists aren’t permitted to attend the official film screening, which is reserved for filmmakers, actors and the media, it is still possible to get a taste and even watch some of the films in the selection. Following this, tourists can buy souvenir such as posters, t-shirts and other memorable goods in tents which are set up on the outskirts of the festival.

For celebrity-spotting, you can crowd the barricades near the red carpet in the evenings, however schedule watching is a must as only barely-known celebrities graze the red carpet on some nights. Come equipped with a camera and get there early for the best spot.

There are hotel suites named after movie stars, movie star cocktails, wall-filling movie-star murals and, recently placed all over town, life-sized hardboard cut-outs of movie stars with their faces missing. Don’t let this put you off. Alongside the extravagant hotels that accommodate the rich and famous, Cannes offers reasonably priced hotels and apartments. For example, the Appia Hotel is a basic two-star but relatively comfortable hotel that provides a base 200m from the beach and the grounding for Cannes Film Festival. To find out more about hotels in Cannes and to make sure you are in the right area for celeb-spotting, make sure you have a look at a travel guide of Cannes so you can plan ahead.

Marketing Strategy and Movie Distribution Plans

It’s too easy to neglect having a marketing strategy and movie distribution plan when producing on an indie film budget. Producers are focused on fleshing out a tight screenplay, hiring cast and crew while keeping track of every dollar they spend. Studio budget movies hire goliath companies to develop a marketing strategy and movie distribution plan for their latest blockbuster.

Indie filmmakers have to get creative with their marketing strategy and movie distribution plan so their creative hard work doesn’t just disappear after it’s done. I’ve been learning a lot of good stuff by following what other filmmakers are doing to market a movie in order to make film distribution money.

One movie with a sexually driven theme created artwork and an attention grabbing marketing package that included condoms with the name of the film printed on them. I read they stood out at film festivals with this creative approach. There are also rare indie produced movies that are so damn entertaining they secure meaningful movie distribution without a strong marketing strategy to promote them.

But why take the gamble that your movie will be one of the rare ones? Thinking about a marketing strategy and movie distribution plan early as possible is what successful indie producers do. I don’t read entertainment industry trades like The Hollywood Reporter or Variety because they don’t have information based off the real life indie cinema scene.

I’ve been turning to blogs more and more that are ran by indie producers and filmmakers that share what marketing strategies and movie distribution plans have worked for them. I really like reading Indie Slate Magazine and MovieMaker Magazine because they spend time focusing on the business of indie filmmaking not just the creative part of the process.

Creating an online buzz for an indie feature is one of the most effective ways to market a movie without having to spend money you don’t have. It only takes personal time to run a movie blog, Twitter account, Facebook page, Google +1 and other popular social networking outlets. Crowd funding for indie movies has really shown that people do respond to online marketing. The effort to keep a movie blog fresh and stay connected with people pays off in the end. Building interest for a movie online is the way to go.

Having an idea of what the movie distribution plan is going to be will depend on what you want as a producer. Are you going to self-distribute or look to land a distribution deal with a company?

Movie self-distribution makes financial sense for smaller budget indie films. Self-distribution allows the creators to keep control of the rights to their movie. Less money has to be made from direct sales to make a real profit from a movie because there aren’t distribution fees and percentages taken out by a distributor. Many filmmakers have made money for their film investors and themselves from their work through self-distribution combined with an aggressive online marketing push they do themselves.

Landing a movie distribution deal normally offers greater exposure and more people see a movie that is released by a film distribution company worldwide than a self-distributed titled. Movie distributors that cater to releasing indie films usually don’t put together a big marketing strategy. They have relationships with film buyers all over the world that receive their catalog of available titles or see what they have at film markets.

Avoid a past mistake I made by sitting back after signing a distribution deal expecting the distributor to market the hell out of the title. It’s important to still have a workable marketing strategy after you sign a movie distribution agreement. You’ll have to check with the distributor to see what you can and can’t do to market your movie online. But overall it’s a win-win for both parties in exposure and film sales.

A Film Festival For Global Peace

This is an international film festival sans glamour. A film festival sans the star parade, rocking parties and the hype. This is a film festival with a passion-a commitment to make our planet earth a better place to live.

The 7 Islands International Film Festival (7iiff) for Non-Violent Resistance, Global Disarmament and Peace was born in 2006 thanks to the dedicated efforts of a few global citizens residing in Mumbai. Maybe for the first time a film festival was not just restricted to filmmakers. Several socio-cultural organizations dedicated to peace and the Gandhi ideology put in their strength behind it.

Coordination and publicity work was mostly done through the internet. And the response was tremendous. Committed filmmakers from all around the globe joined in forwarding their film videos entirely at their own cost. The foreign embassies consulates situated in India also contributed their might. The issues of the films were a revelation. The legacy of the Martin Luther Kings, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and other lesser known and even unknown mass movement heroes was brought alive; strong anti-war commentaries were heard, seen and felt in the films dealing with the imperialist designs of the US on Iraq, the Israel stalemate, the Latin American problems, India-Pakistan brouhaha and so on. A universal condemnation of global terrorism got echoed all around.

Significantly, 7iiff is slotted during January 26-30 every year. January 26th is observed as the Republic Day in India that is India became a democratic republic with a full fledged constitution on this very day in 1950 January 30th is the Martyrdom day-the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on that day in 1948. ‘Seven Islands’ refers to erstwhile Bombay-now Mumbai- which was a group of islands in the ancient times put together in the form of a city by the British nearly four hundred years ago. Devastating terror attacks had taken place here in Mumbai in recent times and Mumbai has now become a permanent terror target. The Festival aims to mobilize the Mumbai residents into a formidable peace front to reject the terror stigma.

The Festival strives to offer solutions to global problems through non-violent resistance and disarmament. It wants to imbibe the youth with the peace ideology through some excellent films that are instant attractions. As has been demonstrated time and again wars, terrorism and violence not only hinder world progress but also impairs human mind and personality development.

And it has been a film feast too. Outstanding works of many famous award winning filmmakers and also many unknown filmmakers have been showcased here. Films have been discussed debated upon through proactive forums. To serve the dual purpose of art and commitment the festival authorities have recently announced that from the year 2009 7iiff is going to competitive with an Award of 2,00,000 Indian rupees for the best film of the festival. Any film dedicated to the themes of non-violence, peace, disarmament-be it in the format of a documentary, feature or animation film-can vie for the Award.