When it comes to the festival circuit, knowledge really is power.

The attrition rate for filmmaking is ridiculously high. Some 80-90% of the filmmakers submitting to festivals every year are first-timers at filmmaking and first-timers on the festival circuit.

As a result, festival directors are swamped with questions from well-meaning but inexperienced artists who just want to know how the festival world works. Imagine being cornered at a family gathering by an inquisitive uncle who has never held a camera before and you begin to understand the day-to-day life of a festival employee. 

As a result, the more you can do to portray yourself as a veteran of the festival circuit, the more seriously festival staffers will take you. And by "veteran" I don't mean "arrogant know-it-all," I mean a professional who respects the time and attention of festival programmers, and expects to be treated respectfully in return. 

The articles below are short cuts to the knowledge that other filmmakers learn through trial and error. Take them to heart and you'll be able to talk like a festival pro – even if it's your first time out. 

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