Tom Roston, writing for the New York Times:
Career highlights may await filmmakers whose movies have been accepted at the Sundance Film Festival, which begins Thursday in Park City, Utah. But more common is the hurt, frustration and fallback strategizing that occupies the thousands of directors whose dreams have been dashed. Of more than 12,000 films submitted to this year’s Sundance, only 193 landed slots.
This is further compounded by the perception that there are only a handful of festivals that "matter" – as if anything but the most stellar of festival runs invalidates one's existence as a filmmaker.
No question, it's great to play Sundance. Or Tribeca. Or South by Southwest. But plenty of filmmakers have has fulfilling festival runs playing smaller festivals like Sidewalk and Newport Beach and IFF Boston. Some made incredible careers for themselves without playing a single festival. It's a big world of moving pictures out there, and festivals represent one corner of it.