Charles Judson of the Atlanta Film Festival, writing for CinemATL.
Programmers are no different than anyone else. Just as it is with audiences going to a local multiplex, we look at trailers and we instantly decide if films are ones we think we want to see, as programmers and as film lovers, if we think will enjoy them.
. . .
Unfortunately, too many films submitted to festivals either have misleading trailers–stop playing by the Hollywood big budget marketing playbook and you would be much better off. Or they do not have strong trailers at all.
So far this season I’ve seen at least three films that a filmmaker sent me a trailer for that had me pumped, and I walked away a little disappointed that the film was nothing like the trailer.
I'm in favor of cutting a trailer for your film and as a screener for festivals I rarely watch the trailer first.