The festival world has exploded and morphed. These days, it is not only a way to screen films to hungry filmgoers or a marketplace for getting a distributor. Festivals are your next opportunity to develop your fan base and usually your first opportunity to engage your fans in a live event / theatrical context.
-- Jon Reiss (@Jon_Reiss), author of Think Outside the Box Office
I feel like Jon summed up my motivations well in that quote. Festivals are a great place to share this film with people who appreciate the art of filmmaking. It's where our distribution deals might be made. It's also a place where I can engage with audiences that aren't already familiar with the subject matter.
Yet there are sooooo many film festivals. Each of them have submission fees, deadlines, and guidelines. It can be overwhelming.
Websites like Without A Box make it easier, and for that I'm grateful. The site makes it easy to browse festivals, watch for deadlines, and pay submission fees. The fees add up quickly, so you need a game plan. I've been chatting with a fellow filmmaker, and he seems to have the process down. It's very inspiring.
I'm going after some of the festivals that are obvious, local, or relevant to our subject matter. There are also some that cater to female filmmakers, which is pretty cool.
It's important to recognize that this is just one part of our greater marketing / distribution plan. There's a lot more work to be done, but it's all very exciting!