Saturday, June 24, 2017

Submitting to Film Festivals - FilmFreeway

Hi, for any of you who don't know me I'm Deanna Crisbacher. I'm going to be entering my third and final year of CAA this upcoming September and I will be graduating in 2018. I wanted to share my experiences with submitting to film festivals to hopefully encourage others to do so.

The final project for Year 2 of CAA is 'Adaptation B' - where students chose what they wanted to adapt into what...for example a book or poem into an animation, character or digital set. My 'Adaptation B' project for me resulted in an animation called 'Dysmorphia'.
It was suggested to me to share my film with some charities, but no matter who I emailed I never got any reply back...which I admittedly expected. I was then encouraged to try to submit my film to some film festivals to see what may happen. Since 'Dysmorphia' was an important piece to me, I decided to give it a go.

Through some Googling, I found that many film festivals used a site called FilmFreeway. On this site you simply sign up, and create a 'project, upload/fill in all of the required information, and start submitting. As a student, you should also upload an image of your student ID since some festivals have a 'student film' category that requires you to prove you are a student.


Some festivals you need to pay to enter while others are free, so if you do not want to spend money then you don't have to. Make sure you do read the rules for each festival though so you don't waste your time or money! You also often get discounts as a student or if you find festivals that are in their 'Earlybird' deadline stage. After you submit, you can find the notification dates and keep track of your film's status which I found very appealing because you aren't left guessing if you've been selected or not.

The price of submission increases with each deadline that passes. Some festivals offer a special student discount if you prove you are a student.

In the end, I submitted to a bunch of festivals not expecting much but hoping for possibly a selection or two if I was lucky. However, after only a few days of submitting I received notifications that I was officially selected for the Mindfield Film Festival in Los Angeles California, the FROSTBITE International Film Festival in Colorado Springs, the 3-Minute Film Festival in Santa Barbara California, the Miami Independent Film Festival at Miami Beach, and the SHORT to the Point Film Festival! I have also been selected as a Finalist for the FROSTBITE festival and I have been awarded 'Best Experimental' for the 3-Minute Film Festival (meaning my film was screened in Santa Barbara). I'm still waiting for the notification dates on several other festivals as well.

I highly recommend submitting projects to festivals and competitions. Even if you don't expect anything to come of it, you never know unless you try. You might just be surprised with the outcome.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing, Dee! We appreciate it - and best of luck with everything! :)

  2. Best of luck Dee. Well done :)

  3. Thank you both :) and thank you for allowing me to write about this, hopefully it encourages other people to try to submit their films too.