A terrific primer for getting started on the festival circuit by Ali Selim, director of Sweet Land.
...the fact is, film festivals are egregiously misunderstood: They are not about films and they're not about your film; they're not about selling or buying movies, and they're not about making stars out of new filmmakers. Film festivals aren't about film at all, really.
Film festivals are about audiences, and they're sustained by the energy that happens when a film connects with viewers and vice versa. The fact is, audiences are interested in product, not process. True, if they love a finished product, then they love to hear, during the post-show Q&A, how the movie came to be. But the moviegoer's relationship to a film is two hours long, plus whatever residual effect may linger in their hearts and minds.