My independent film or documentary is in festivals, now what?

Starting a film or documentary project and taking it to completion takes time, resources and above all finances. A term that is very scarcely used around independent productions. Independent productions do not have the budgets of studio releases nor the luxury to own a marketing budget that will enable the picture to be advertised through outlets such as TV, radio, electronic billboards, EPK, etc. That is why most of the independent filmmakers go the festival route hoping their production will get picked up by a distribution company or a studio.

In 2011 alone, 10, 279 submissions were entered to Sundance Festival (Wikipedia) alone. Out of these submissions, 3,812 were features and 6,467 were shorts. 841 documentaries were US and 796 were international. At the end of the festival 45 films were acquired. What happened to the remaining 10K? Where did they go? Some will say some went straight to DVD, some were licensed abroad. None the less, there is still a huge chunk of last year’s film productions that is collecting dust on shelves or occupying space on computer hard drives. Would the success rate have been different if these films have had a better Social Media Marketing experience? Here are three case studies by Dante A. Ciampaglia of film projects that took a different approach. Using Social Media is definitely a way to go for independent filmmakers but getting those eyeballs through these existing social media sites is another challenge.

Now that the film has been submitted to festivals, what next? This does not mean that the film will be exposed to the audience whom the filmmaker expects to go to the theater and buy a ticket at the box office or buy a DVD when it comes out. Exposing the product to the audience and building momentum for the release is equally important as acquiring a distributor. That is why independent filmmakers have started using sites such as FatalCut Entertainment (FCE) to reach their audience. FatalCut Entertainment (FCE) is one of those sites dedicated on marketing trailers of independent films to generate the buzz required for the success of independent films. If you are an independent filmmaker of cinema student and your film trailer is not yet on FatalCut Entertainment (FCE), do so today. Social Media Marketing has no limits. Why should your film fall short of its target audience.

FatalCut Entertainment (FCE) was at the NewFilmmakers Los Angeles showcase last night. This non-profit organization is playing a great role in exposing independent films to potential buyers and distributors. Here are FCE’s favorites: Negative, Mayhem, Hath No Man, & Slingshot. jonendow Photography made the night even more flashy.


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