Are Film Festivals Still Relevant?

If distribution deals (the old kind that repaid independent film investors 100% of their money by securing a U.S. distribution deal after a festival opening) are becoming "outmoded" and filmmakers are over-paying for the opportunity to be in "festivals" that don't really benefit filmmakers (paid festival staff and local hotels and restaurants typically see a lot more return than most festival filmmakers), what's the point?

Attorney and Sales Rep George Rush has written a provocative post for Ted Hope's blog questioning the continued relevance of the "film festival circuit": Most independent filmmakers continue to seek screenings at festivals, even though "[m]ost filmmakers I know end up losing money doing the festival circuit!"

Rush's point? "If the purpose of a festival is to promote film as an artform and support filmmakers, it should not leave the filmmaker more indebted at the end of the process."

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Randy Finch's Film Blog:

Thoughts from a film producer about making and distributing films.