Film festivals. You’ve heard of them, but you might not know much about them.
I’ve learned about them recently, as I’m in the process of submitting screenplays to various festivals for consideration in their screenwriting competitions.
The festivals are an important way for screenwriters, filmmakers and illustrators to get their projects in front of a global audience, to network with industry professionals and secure distribution deals.
And win awards. Awards are typically decided by a jury of industry professionals. Winning an award can significantly boost a filmmaker’s career, leading to wider distribution and critical recognition.
Before reading further, guess the “Big Five” film festivals. Now, close your eyes.
Now, open them (oh, you already did that).
Did you guess:
1) the Cannes Film Festival in France, 2) the Berlin International Film Festival, 3) the Venice Film Festival, 4) the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and 5) the Sundance in Utah?
These are globally recognized as the most prestigious and influential in the industry, shaping Oscar nominations and boosting a film’s profile.
TIFF 2023 has ended after attracting filmmakers and movie buffs from all over the globe. The 2023 festival welcomed celebs like Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig, Jessica Chastain, Kate Hudson, Eddie Redmayne and Canadian Seth Rogen.
Some festivals consider only films. But most, especially the well-established ones, accept screenplays. In my case, the genre is “feature film screenplay”, although I plan to modify the format to also fit the “TV series” category.
In addition to screenings, most festivals offer workshops, seminars and networking events that provide attendees with resources and opportunities to connect with other filmmakers.
The oldest festival is the Venice Film Festival, founded in 1932. Founded in 1950, the Yorkton Film Festival in Yorkton, Saskatchewan is the longest running film festival on the continent! Yes, Yorkton, which as everyone knows is northeast of Regina, northwest of Esterhazy!
With so many incredible film festivals worldwide, it’s easy to see why so many filmmakers choose to showcase their work in this way.
I’ve made seventeen submissions to date. Each has a notification date advising of the status of each submission. Some provide feedback, which is helpful.
The notification date has been reached for five of mine. My screenplay was not selected for three, but I am a finalist in one and have been selected for another.
Approaching each film festival with an open mind will help broaden my horizons and pave the way for creative experiences I couldn’t have had any other way!
My screenplay, "Ticking: A Tale of Two Time Travellers", has been selected to be included in the Bridge Fest film festival scheduled for December. Bridge Fest is based in Vancouver, Canada, which Ticking readers will know as Fraserdale. The festival has been going strong for 18 years and is known for showcasing the best of world cinema in a wide range of genres.
I am honoured to be selected!
Bridge Fest has selected and screened over 12 Oscar winners and multiple Academy nominees as well as the number of Cannes, Venice and the Berlin winners and ...
Bridge Fest - FilmFreeway
The winner of the prize draw from our April 15th book launch is Carolyn C.! Carolyn was out of town for a while, but we caught up with her to present the prize package (a signed copy of "Southumb Pride", a bottle of Storyteller wine, two highly-coveted "Ticking" T-shirts and two attractive, yet functional coffee mugs). Congrats Carolyn!
Can't wait to hear "Ticking: A Tale of Two Time Travellers"? You're in luck! Just click the link below for the full book (works on a PC or Mac). Great for your commute or road trip.
Matthew M. and his dad, Kevin, dropped in. Matthew has read Book #1, so he picked-up #2, "The Hawking Sequence". Happy reading!
Gail C. with her copy of "The Hawking Sequence". Enjoy!
Carolyn Costigan! Congratulations to Carolyn, who has won a prize of a signed copy of "Southumb Pride", a bottle of Storyteller wine, two highly-coveted "Ticking" T-shirts and two attractive, yet functional coffee mugs.
My April 15th launch of Book #4, "Ticking: Southumb Pride" was a success, despite a power outage at Chapters and the surrounding area.
Below is the cover design for the second edition of my first book. The cover ties-in with the other covers and presents them as a set. My son, Clark, did the design, using a map that I drew of the Greater London, England area in the mid-1700's. Londoners will know where Southwark, Covent Garden, Clapham Common and maybe even Wimbledon are. Those of us less familiar with the local geography will see the red pin where the chrononauts landed in Hounslow Heath and, further west in Middlesex, Mansfield Castle.
Is the cover a winning design, or what?
Craig retired in 2015 and has been writing ever since. And boy, is his hand tired.