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NIGEL R SMITH
page 2 page 1
Nigel has produced a number of award–winning short flms, including
Scotland’s most widely successful short to date, Cry for Bobo, which has made
more than 150 flm festival and other event appearances spanning 34 countries.
It has received 25 awards and commendations along the way, including a Méliès
D’Argent for Best European Fantasy Film, a Royal Television Society Award ,
a BAFTA nomination and several festival Audience Awards. Nigel’s eforts to
promote Bobo saw him both sweeping the streets of Harajuku and dining with
the King of Morocco.
Films he’s produced have variously screened: for a remote island community;
at a convention of US vocational guidance counsellors; in Italian school
classrooms; to staf aboard an Antarctic exploration vessel; and at a European
circus clown convention.
STRATEGY FOR YOUR SHORT
DEVISING AN OVERALL
UK & INTERNATIONAL
THE FESTIVAL CIRCUIT
NIGEL R SMITH
Cry for Bobo
page 2 page 3
You like your flm. Love it, even. There were problems along the way (there
always are) but you feel that your flm is a success. If you’re a producer, you’re
still talking to the director. If you’re a director, you can still stand to be in the
same room as the producer. You’ve shown the flm to friends who all love it.
You’ve shown it to enemies who begrudgingly tell you that it’s pretty good.
Since, as a flmmaker, your primary reason for making flms is presumably that
you have something to say or a vision to share, you should want to make every
feasible attempt to reach as broad an audience as possible.
You may have made the flm as a stepping–stone to greater things – although
we do appreciate the short as an art–form in its own right – so you will want to
have it seen by industry fgures who will be able to assist you reach your goal of
become a professional flmmaker.
How do you go about fnding your audience and increasing the flm’s and your
A gREAT SHoRT
FILM – Now YoU
LovE IT AS MUcH
AS YoU Do!
This booklet is aimed
at those with little or
no experience of short
flm distribution or
marketing, and will
look at the promotion
and distribution of
the short flm form
– be it animation,
or experimental. It
aims to provide you
with a slew of practical
information that will
help you to make your
flm as successful as it
There’s been an
explosion in the number
of short flms produced
in Scotland over the
last ten years – an
increase that’s been
echoed across the
globe – brought about
by the availability of
production equipment and non–linear editing
software aimed at both the industry and home
consumers. It’s never been easier – and perhaps
cheaper – to make a short flm and hundreds are
produced in Scotland alone each year.
That’s a LoT of flms. Some are inevitably more
accomplished than others but they have all been
made by flmmakers with something to say and
a desire to communicate this to an audience.
Yet the general public is only able to see a small
fraction of these flms – and in this country, levels
of awareness outside of those connected with, or
aspiring to work in, the industry, remain low.
why spend all the time, efort, expense and
heartache to make a short flm if you’re not
subsequently going to go through all the time,
efort, expense and heartache of getting it seen
The good news is that there have never been
more opportunities for short flmmakers to
reach audiences with their flms. The traditional
routes of the international festival circuit and
television screenings have been augmented
by the possibility of DvD sales and the
increasing prevalence of on–line streaming and
downloading to a variety of devices.
The bad news – primarily for producers, but also
for directors who’ve taken the driving seat on a
low–budget production – is that, having spent
several months getting to a point where they’re
sitting with a master tape of their flm in their
hand, they’re still less than half–way through
the process. They still need to get it seen by
audiences and that’s what this booklet aims to
help them do.
This is a question you should be
asking from the very earliest stages
of project and script development
– because the answer can at least
partially determine your shooting
format, running time, subject matter
and all manner of variables. It would
seem wasteful (and very expensive!)
to shoot and post–produce your
flm on 35mm if your sole intent is to
place it on a low–resolution website,
for example. Many companies won’t
involve themselves with a project
until they know how and where it
can be marketed, and have made an
informed ‘guesstimate’ as to its likely
chances of fnancial – and to a much
lesser extent critical – success. A short
flm is a diferent beast from a studio
feature, but it can be useful to think
along those lines when coming to
make your short.
page 4 page 5
The frst thing that you need to
consider is what you’d ideally like
your flm to achieve.
Perhaps your goal is to connect
with the flm and television
industries and you feel that
appearing at international flm
festivals and winning awards is a
good way to attract attention to
your flm and to yourself.
Perhaps you’d like to see some
revenue back from your flm as
soon as possible and plan to sell
it yourself on DvD, bypassing the
festival circuit altogether.
Perhaps you’re entirely
uninterested in any prospect
of fnancial return or industry
involvement, and extremely keen
that the widest possible audience
be able to view your flm as soon
as possible, and have an online
streaming website like YouTube in
mind as the flm’s home.
The plans you construct to help
your flm reach its audience can
play an important part in any
potential funder’s decision to
provide your flm with a budget.
No one wants to fnance a flm
that, on completion, will sit
unseen on a dusty shelf.
WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET FOR
WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO
WITH YOUR FILM ?
PROMOTING YOUR FILM
All short flm promotional activities carry both fnancial and time implications. You
have to consider how much money you can aford to spend promoting your flm,
and how much time you are prepared to commit. As a general rule of thumb, the
larger a flm’s scope and budget, the greater your eforts should be to ensure it
whatever you feel you might be able to do to promote your flm will inevitably
impact on its visibility to both industry and the general public. It’s unlikely that
any producer will be able to aford to do everything that can be done, and so an
efective strategy is necessary, prioritising some activities over others.
Some short flm funders now require a promotional strategy and accompanying
budget to be in place as a pre–requisite of their funding a short flm and will only
allow access to this money once a flm has been completed.
You can fnd a sample promotional
budget supplied as an appendix to this
guide (Appendix 1 – page 65).
Are you familiar with the idea of a ‘value chain’ for feature flm revenue
Theatrical (cinema) release is still seen as the economic driver (though no longer
the major source of revenue, and no longer even stand–alone proftable for the
studios on all but low budget surprise successes).
Some studio flms receive flm festival premieres, but the flm festival circuit is
only crucially important for those independently produced flms which don’t
have major distribution muscle behind them and therefore need all the publicity
they can muster. Festivals like Sundance, at which independent producers seek
distribution and sales deals, or distributors and sales agents seek to sell unsold
territories, are major players in this respect.
Theatrical release is followed by a flm’s exploitation across a number of
territories, through the following markets, each allotted its own time ‘window’.
This is a simplifed model of what happens:
Festival premiere •
Theatrical release •
DvD rental •
DvD sell–through •
Pay–per–view/video on Demand cable/satellite Tv •
Premium (pay) cable/satellite channel •
Free–to–air television •
Internet distribution •
Up until recently, many short flm producers sought to replicate the feature flm
value chain in their promotional eforts for their flms:
Take the flm out on the festival circuit initially •
Try to engage a sales agent to sell to television and cable •
Look at the possibility of DvD sales, either through a sales agent or independently •
Place the flm on the internet only after every other avenue has been exhausted •
Strategy Festival premiere
page 8 page 9
Film print and/or video master
tape of broadcastable quality
An English language subtitled
copy of the flm print/master tape
(if not in the English language)
For tape masters, a full stereo
sound mix on channels 1 & 2
and an M&E mix on channels 3
& 4. M&E stands for music and
efects – necessary if your flm is
to sell to television in countries
where re–voicing is preferred to
Digital stills (or 35mm slides) – a
variety. Best to liaise with your
photographer before you shoot
the flm so that you know what
you’re going to get.
Underlying rights and screenplay
cast and crew agreements/
Music cue sheet •
Synopses of varying lengths
A director biography/flmography
Full credit listing of the flm
An English language dialogue list
when you make a short flm, the flm
itself is the most important outcome
of your blood, sweat and tears but it’s
by no means the only end product that
you need to consider.
whether your flm is entirely
self–fnanced or has been made
with money from a television
broadcaster, media workshop or other
source of funding, you will need to
gather together a variety of legal
documentation, promotional materials
and other information in order for your
flm to be seen outside of your own
living room. If your flm has a fnancier
or broadcaster on board, they will
contractually expect that the producer
of the flm supply them with a number
of diferent legal and promotional
Production fnancing is typically
delivered to producers in cash–fowed
stages throughout production, with
the fnal amount of money only being
released on delivery of all the required
materials. Legally, no flm festival will
be able to show your flm unless you’ve
agreed to their terms and conditions,
stating that you have all the necessary
copyright clearances and permissions.
No sales agent will handle your flm
until they’ve received copies of all
necessary clearances and permissions.
There are some crucial diferences
between the feature flm value chain
and the market for short flms; short
flms don’t tend to make money
theatrically or on the festival circuit
as the economic incentive to screen
short flms theatrically in cinemas
and at festivals is largely missing.
However, the festival circuit remains
incredibly important and you’d be
unwise to ignore it. This is where
your flm could win awards and reach
its most appreciative and committed
audiences. It is also one avenue
through which to secure a sales
agent, who is more likely to consider
your flm if it’s a proven festival
But how long can festivals demand
premier status and stipulate a flm’s
absence from the web given that
they ofer little by way of fnancial
return (prize money is the best you
can hope for)?
Festivals – particularly short flm
festivals – have realised that they’re
in competition with DvD and online
delivery of short flms. It’s a battle
they’re unlikely to win.
The days of festivals rejecting short
flms because they’re available
online, on television or on DvD may
well be coming to end – though
festivals will still typically insist
that flms be less than one year or
eighteen months old. Festivals won’t
want to disappear so it’s likely they’ll
have to learn to peacefully co–exist
with the other media.
what producers and producer/
directors of short flms will
increasingly come to realise is that
their eforts to promote their flms
might best take place across all
media simultaneously, in order to
absolutely maximise a flm’s audience
and revenue generating potential.
clearly a producer can’t physically do
all of this at once. Selecting priorities
based on the potential of individual
flms will become increasingly
This booklet aims to introduce you to the following areas:
Film festivals •
Short flm sales agents •
DvD inclusion •
Digital streaming and downloads •
cast & crew/showcase/cinema screenings/other events •
Showreel usage •
whichever method (or methods) of distribution you decide to explore there
are some basic things to consider. Perhaps most important of all are your
The basi c r equi r ed del i ver y mat er i al s
(del i ver abl es) usual l y w i l l i ncl ude
page 10 page 11
The Edinburgh International Film
Festival produces the Film UK guide to
British Film, which publishes in–depth
information on all British fction
features and short flms completed
in the last year. A completed Film UK
Yearbook form is essential if you want
your flm to register on the industry
radar. visit www.flmuk.org.uk for more
Your fnancier should supply you with
a list of expected materials, and the
technical aspects required to fulfll
delivery – flm or tape specifcations,
the number and type of still images
etc – but the above list is an excellent
Even if you have no fnancier to satisfy,
it’s essential that you have these items
in place at the end of production if you
want your flm to screen in a public
forum. If you have a specifc sales
agent in mind, contact them before
you fnish production on the flm
to ascertain the materials that they
It makes things easier if you begin
to gather together your deliverables
during production. gathering all these
materials together at a later date will
prove costly and time–consuming.
without them it will be difcult for you
to have your flm screened at festivals
and other events, and impossible for
you to either engage a sales agent or
sell the flm to television yourself.
These materials should be budgeted
for in the frst instance, and it’s
advisable to set aside an amount of
money to have someone pull them all
together for you if you lack the time to
do it yourself.
Let’s assume that you have all the
required delivery materials to hand,
together with your completed flm.
What do you do with it all now?
Despite the increasing profle aforded short flms via the internet, the
international festival circuit remains a hugely productive arena for the promotion
of your short flm.
Festivals screen to cine–literate and adventurous audiences who seek out new
and fresh short flms, with many festivals also ofering awards to short flmmakers.
Awards and accolades – while nice in themselves – also have the beneft of
furthering your flmmaking career, drawing attention to your flm and raising
its potential as a commercial product – and some of them look pretty fne on a
Producers, distributors, sales agents, talent agents, development executives and
other industry personnel attend festivals in search of new talent. If your flm
has been selected for the festival there’s every chance that it could be you who
catches their eye.
“Multi–award–winning director/producer/writer” certainly doesn’t look bad on a
cv, and could help convince potential fnanciers that they should be backing your
There are currently over 600 flm festivals across the globe, with new ones starting
every year, so you can’t entertain entering them all unless you have an unlimited
supply of time and money.
certainly your flm won’t be eligible for them all anyway – there are festivals that
only accept feature flms, or flms of a specifc genre – so think carefully which
types of festival your flm could appeal to. There’s little point in submitting your
grim social realist drama to a comedy or fantasy flm festival, or your gross–out
black comedy to a human rights–focused documentary festival. This is something
you should be considering at idea and script stage before you shoot your flm:
who will it appeal to and where’s the audience for it?
DECIDING WHAT YOUR FILM IS
AND WHAT IT ISN T
page 12 page 13
Some flm festivals are prestigious, some not. Some show feature flms only, some
accept features and shorts, some are specifcally for short flm, some concentrate
on a single genre – and so on.
Unfortunately there is no single reliable, consistently up–to–date publication or
website listing all the current international flm festivals together with their focus
and entry requirements so you’ll need to visit a number of websites and compile a
working database or spreadsheet. That’s a lot of work, so consider choosing four
or fve sites to begin with (see below).
You also need to keep this database up to date as best you can, and if you’ve the
time, periodically search for new festivals. It’s an onerous task, but the good news
is that once you’ve a database up running you can update it for any subsequent
flms you make.
If you’ve crafted a hilarious and dramatic Star Wars spoof then consider its themes
and target appropriate festivals to which you’ll submit it: festivals looking for
drama, comedy, perhaps children/youth, perhaps fantasy, perhaps science–
fction. No dialogue? what about festivals for the deaf? Silent flm festivals?
what about you, the flmmaker? Are you female? gay? Jewish? A student? A small
child? There are festivals out there seeking your flm.
Sadly, if your flm is between 40 and 70 minutes in duration, most flm festivals
– short and otherwise – will be reluctant to accept it at all. It’ll be too long to
qualify as a short flm under most festival guidelines, and not long enough to
qualify as a feature flm.
If your flm is longer than 25 minutes, most festival programmers agree that
it’ll have to be a truly excellent flm before they’ll give up their perhaps limited
programming time to it, although documentary festivals are generally more
forgiving in this respect.
overall, if your flm falls within the 3–18 minute range it stands a much better
chance of being programmed. of course, the length of your flm is a decision that
you have to take even before you begin writing the script.
A number of festivals now have a ‘short short flm’ category specifcally for flms
under 10 minutes in duration – under 5 minutes in some cases – and even under
3 minutes in others.
The current optimum length, both for flm festival programmers and television
buyers appears to be, for better or worse, around 10 minutes.
Let’s assume that you’ve crafted a flm that’s of an acceptable length to short flm
festivals and the short flm section of feature flm festivals – where are the festivals
that could be most receptive to your work?
weekly flm trade publication Screen International annually issues a printed
booklet based on the information held on its website – www.screendaily.com.
FINDING YOUR FESTIVALS
The f ol l ow i ng w ebsi t es car r y
l engt hy l i st s of i nt er nat i onal
f i l m f est i val s:
page 14 page 15
Your dat abase of f est i val s shoul d
i deal l y cont ai n:
Festival name •
where it is (city, country) •
Festival dates (month) •
Submission deadline (month/date) •
Film/tape formats accepted •
Admission fee charged? •
Priority in your festival strategy – suitable at all? •
Date submitted to •
Receipt of screener confrmed by letter/email •
Date flm accepted/rejected •
Date flm sent and how sent •
Date flm returned or where forwarded on to •
SHORT FI LM AWARDS
OSCAR – must win one of a short list of approved festivals or screen theatrically in
the Los Angeles area – then apply direct to AMPAS (www.oscars.org)
Jamieson European Short Film Award – must win one of a short list of specifed
European festivals (www.euroflmfest.org)
BAFTA – must participate in a short list of approved festivals or be available on
35mm (under review) – then apply direct to BAFTA (www.bafta.co.uk)
Scottish BAFTA – must be produced in Scotland within the 12 months prior to
the awards – apply direct to BAFTA Scotland (www.baftascotland.co.uk)
Scottish BAFTA New Talent Awards – must be produced in Scotland within the
12 months prior to the awards – apply direct to BAFTA Scotland
Jim Poole Award – flm should be produced in Scotland in the last year - contact
cameo cinema (www.picturehouses.co.uk)
Even if you’ve no interest in pursuing awards or commendations, consider
whether submitting your flm to festivals which are non–competitive is a
worthwhile exercise. given the time and expense involved in submitting a flm
to a festival, shouldn’t it ofer the prospect of something in return over and above
the promise of an audience?
Be realistic in choosing the festivals
to submit your flm to: is it really
of a quality that would attract the
attentions of the major flm festivals
such as cannes, Berlin and so on?
High profle festivals can have very
strict criteria for entry; if your flm isn’t
a premiere in their country or their
region, they may not be interested in
screening it. For example, cannes and
Berlin ask for world Premiere status,
Edinburgh asks for UK Premiere
cannes and Berlin each only accept
15 short flms into competition every
year, require 35mm prints to screen,
and demand world Premiere status
– so if you complete your flm in
July or August, do you really want to
delay it’s premiere for six months or
more? what if your flm isn’t accepted
– you’ve wasted precious months
during which it could have been
touring the festival circuit.
once you’ve constructed a festival database or spreadsheet which contains all
the festivals you’re keen for your flm to screen at (or that you suspect could
be receptive to it) revisit the festival websites for those festivals which have
submission deadlines coming up in the next three or four months to double
check they are suitable for your flm.
If everything looks positive, bookmark the festival on your web browser and set
aside some time to apply for it. If it’s not, strike through it on your database and
It helps to have concrete ambitions and goals for your flm, besides reaching
audiences. Do you want to chase an oscar? A BAFTA? The European Short Film
Award? A win at cannes, Berlin or Edinburgh? what’s the highest accolade your
flm could realistically achieve?
Look closely at the home websites of the respective organisations to discover how
your flm might qualify, and research and submit to festivals accordingly.
KEEPING A FESTIVAL TRACKING
DEVELOPING A FESTIVAL STRATEGY
DATABASE OR SPREADSHEET
page 16 page 17
There are two types of festival
screening for the short flm
form – those dedicated to
screening only short flm and
those which run some short
flm programmes, typically as
a side–bar to their feature flm
programming. A few festivals
choose to screen shorts in front
Plan on entering both, but
bear in mind you stand a much
better chance of acceptance at
a dedicated short flm festival,
which obviously allots all of its
programming time to the form.
You must think and act well
ahead of the festival itself, since
typically submission deadlines
are three or four months before
the actual event – some much
longer. You have to be aware of
upcoming festivals and submit
in plenty of time. For some
festivals, the earlier you submit,
the cheaper their entry fee.
It’s worth subscribing to
e–roughcuts, Scottish Screen’s
weekly newsletter (email
com) or Brit Films (email flm.
the British council’s monthly
round up, to keep up to date
with all upcoming festivals and
visit the individual festival’s
website, and ALwAYS read the
Since your flm has a festival circuit lifespan of two years (few festivals screen
work that’s over two years old), consider entering the higher profle festivals in
the frst year, leaving smaller festivals to the second year.
Hi gh pr of i l e shor t f i l m f est i val s i n
Eur ope i ncl ude:
clermont Ferrand (France) – www.clermont–flmfest.com
oberhausen (germany) – www.kurzflmtage.de
Hamburg (germany) – festival.shortflm.com
Milano (Italy) – www.milanoflmfestival.it
Encounters (UK) – www.encounters–festival.org.uk
Nor t h Amer i ca:
Palm Springs (USA) – www.psflmfest.org/festival
Aspen Shortsfest (USA) – www.aspenflm.org
cFc worldwide Short Film Festival (canada) – www.worldwideshortflmfest.com
Rest of w or l d:
Message to Man (Russia) – www.message–to–man.spb.ru
Sao Paolo International Short Film Festival (Brazil) – www.kinoforum.org
That’s by no means a comprehensive list of the major short flm festivals –
there are a huge number of other festivals, which are very worthwhile. Have
a look at Scottish Screen’s website for a more extensive list of international
festivals and markets (www.scottishscreen.com/festivals).
The UK has a smaller circuit and lower profle than France, germany, Italy, the
USA and canada. Despite the large number of short flms being produced
here, we don’t have the same culture for short flm viewing – festivals for short
flms in the UK, while excellent, are few in number and television screenings
restricted to occasional slots.
rules and regulations for each festival
BEFoRE you spend time flling in their
form and mailing of your materials.
It’s worthwhile taking a look at what sort
of flms have screened at the festival in
previous years, and what sort of flms have
received awards there.
Also look at how many short flms are
actually screened during the festival
– some festivals, like cannes, Berlin
and Marrakech, only show 15 flms in
competition each year. what chance does
your flm have of being accepted, given
that major festivals deal with anything
between 500 and 2,000 flm submissions
each and every year?
Almost all festivals require you to fll in
an entry form, either online or on paper,
and send a preview DvD copy of your flm
together with additional materials. So,
make your application, sit back and wait
– there’s no point in continually hassling
the festival as to the progress of your
Film accepted? The festival should contact
you regarding the screening format they
require to discuss shipping details and
so on at least a month before the festival
page 18 page 19
If your flm is being accepted by
less than 10% of the festivals you’re
submitting it to then consider whether
it’s worth changing your strategy to
focus more on the type of festivals,
or perhaps the countries, that have
been accepting the flm – or whether
it might be an idea to abandon festival
promotion altogether and cut your
Losses? Submitting to flm festivals and
promoting your short flm is certainly
not free, and there’s obviously no
guarantee that any prize money the flm
might be lucky enough to win will cover
check whether the festival has print/
tape insurance – so that if your flm or
tape is lost whilst in their possession,
they’ll bear the brunt of replacement
costs. confrm that they’ll pay the cost
of shipping your flm or tape to the
onward destination of your choice in a
timely manner – most will. Ask them to
provide you with a festival programme
and any relevant press quotes or
reviews. You’re unlikely to get the latter
from larger festivals, but some of the
smaller events can be quite obliging.
A word of warning: although festivals
accepting your flm are quick to get
in touch with you, those who decide
that they don’t want your flm are
frequently slow to tell you, some you’ll
submit to and never hear from again.
If you’ve not heard from a festival
six weeks before the event starts, it’s
worthwhile checking their website
for programme details – and if these
haven’t been announced, send the
festival a chaser email asking what’s
happening with your flm. If your
flm has won any awards or had any
signifcant screenings since you
submitted to the festival, tell them –
make them feel guilty should they turn
down a successful flm!
Keep a record of everything you’ve
sent to each festival so that if your
flm is accepted, you already know
When t hey cont act you, you shoul d:
what preview format you sent
(DvD usually) and whether your
submission included a cD with
supporting documentation and
If your flm is doing well, check that
you have enough screening copies
to go around. You should keep a
high quality master in reserve so
you can strike another screening
copy. If another 35mm print is
required, get in touch with your
lab and pay the price – and if you
can’t aford another flm print, why
did you enter so many ‘35mm only’
festivals? Remember that festivals
will typically forward your flm
from their festival to anywhere you
specify instead of returning the
flm to you and you should allow at
least a week for this to happen.
After about six months on
the festival circuit, assess how
successful your flm has been
before spending more money into
sending it out.
page 20 page 21
All festivals ask you to sign their submission form thereby
signifying your acceptance of a whole slew of their rules and
regulations – in efect, you’re entering into a legally binding
what the festival requires is that you confrm that you hold all the
necessary rights to ofer them the flm to screen and that they will
have the right to screen it. If someone views your flm and there’s
material in it which infringes on their rights, the festival wants to
be sure that YoU are the one who might be sued, not THEM.
Be aware that festivals can put onerous clauses into these
agreements – look out in particular for clauses which give the
festival the right to ofer your flm to a cable channel which
sponsors their festival, free of charge, for unlimited screenings as
this can well have a detrimental efect on any later Tv sales.
Some festival rules and regulations contain clauses that allow
them to put the entirety of your flm online – often well past
the festival dates, and there’s the potential that viewers could
download the flm free. You might be perfectly happy with this – if
you own all the rights and haven’t licensed them to a sales agent
you can make these decisions yourself.
BUT, if your flm is lucky enough to have secured a sales agent,
they’re likely to take a dim view of your ofering the flm up for
nothing. You may be in breach of your contract with them, and
legal proceedings could follow. More about the role of sales
agents later on (see page 36).
one fnal word of note: ALwAYS READ THE FESTIvAL RULES AND
REgULATIoNS BEFoRE YoU SUBMIT A FILM. Understand what
you’re agreeing to before you sign any agreement.
The onerous form–flling of the festival
submission process has become much
easier in recent years with the arrival
of online services such as withoutabox
(www.withoutabox.com), where you
enter your flm details and samples of
stills, and so on. once on their website,
you can submit to an increasing
number of festivals associated with
them at the click of a button and a
pinch of the credit card. An added
advantage is that submission fees via
withoutabox can be slightly reduced.
However it’s primarily aimed at the
Two major European short flm festivals
(clermont Ferrand – www.clermont–
flmfest.com and oberhausen – www.
kurzflmtage.de) now ofer a very
similar service to withoutabox,
specifcally tailored for the short flm
festival circuit – seemingly in direct
competition with each other, and
each claiming the allegiance of other
major short flm festivals. It’s not
clear yet whether one or other will
triumph for the hearts and minds of
short flmmakers. But they are worth
checking out, and could, in time, make
withoutabox redundant in the short
Be wary of uploading a high–quality
digital version of your flm to such
sites – you can never be sure where the
copy might end up. If you do upload
a digital version of the flm, make sure
there’s something on the screen clearly
identifying it as a preview version.
ONLINE SUBMISSION SERVICES
page 22 page 23
The number of copies you can
aford to make partially determines
your ability to access the festival
circuit – there’s no point in making 30 festival submissions each month if you only
have one screening copy – what happens if the flm gets into every festival you
submit it to?
SUBMI SSI ON NUMBER OF COPI ES
The number of submission copies you’ll require of your flm largely depends on
the type of flm you’ve made, and on your festival strategy but if you want to go as
wide as possible (and can aford to) a good rule of thumb is:
Approx 350 multi–region DvD copies. From this, you can give some to cast and
crew (which you should do anyway, particularly if they’ve worked for food!).
Approx 30 vHS copies – 20 PAL and 10 NTSc should sufce.
You might want to restrict yourself to sending out DvD screeners only, to save on
vHS duplication costs, since the balance has shifted between DvD and vHS, with
ever fewer festivals accepting the latter. Be aware that you have to provide copies
capable of being viewed on PAL and NTSc screens.
You can cut costs by burning individual DvD copies at home (or at someone else’s
home), but this is time–consuming. Best to get them all done at once to take
advantage of economies of scale if you can aford it.
chose a copy house from which you can also order DvD boxes, packing boxes and
You’ll also need a convenient and cheap method of gathering together all the
supporting materials that festivals ask for – cD is the best format for this.
Festivals across the globe screen a variety of flm formats, and they also ask for
initial submissions to be on specifed formats.
SCREENI NG COPI ES
Festivals usually accept the following screening formats but double–check the
guidelines before sending your flm:
35mm flm •
16mm flm •
Super 8mm (very few small festivals left) •
Digibeta (PAL & NTSc) •
BetaSP (PAL & NTSc) •
Dv (very few, non–specifc) •
MiniDv (PAL & NTSc) •
DvD (PAL & NTSc) •
vHS (PAL & NTSc) •
Upload to Server •
COPIES TO MAKE
WHAT SCREENING SUBMISSION
when setting out to participate in the
international festival circuit, it’s wise
to decide in advance the formats on
which your flm will be available. This
will, of course, depend on what format
the flm was originated on, how much
you can aford and where you’re keen
for your flm to screen. In an ideal
world you’d have a number of diferent
formats available for every possible
Major festivals such as cannes, Berlin
and some smaller French, Italian and
Spanish festivals still demand 35mm
screening copies, and won’t accept
It’s probably best to restrict yourself to
three or four formats, the most popular
being BetaSP (PAL & NTSc), MiniDv
(PAL & NTSc), DvD and Download
to Server. For maximum festival
penetration, having at least one 35mm
print is advisable, but it’s still possible
to hit a huge number of important
festivals with tape formats.
Producing tape formats is an
expensive business; asking duplication
houses to prepare extra copies can
cost up to £100 for a single tape
standard conversion from BetaSP PAL
to BetaSP NTSc. Even MiniDv can cost
£75 for a single standard conversion
from PAL to NTSc. The more copies
you can persuade a post–production
house to supply you with when you’ve
completed your online layback, the
page 24 page 25
Festival programmers are dismayed by the number of entries they receive where
the screeners aren’t immediately identifable – and are therefore more likely to be
lost or overlooked.
If it’s tape, then the spine label should have: Film Title, PAL/NTSc, Director’s name.
The top label should have: Film Title, Director’s Name, Running Time, colour/B/w,
Aspect Ratio, Screening Formats available, Sound Format, Production company
return address, contact phone and/or email.
If it’s DvD, provide basic details on the actual DvD, and everything else on the
DvD case or paper sleeve.
These should be on no more than one page of a letterheaded sheet, word–
processed. Keep a master copy on fle and make individual letters based on it;
update as required.
The letter should include:
Title of the flm •
Any entry number given by the festival if a submission form has been •
completed online and one has been assigned to the flm.
Say what you are enclosing with the letter – DvD or vHS (NTSc/PAL), •
information cD, entry fee (credit card details, cheque or International Money
Briefy pitch the flm’s narrative and sell its successes. •
If you have previously had a flm accepted by the festival, mention it. •
consider including favourable press quotes or other festival blurbs. •
Ask the festival to email you confrming they’ve received your submission. •
Tell them you hope that they’ll love your flm and will include it in their festival. •
Provide a list of enclosures. •
In addition to the screener
copy, there will likely be
required by the festival. It
is worthwhile gathering all
this information together
and keeping it updated so
it is ready to go out. For a
suggested list of additional
information festivals may
require, see Appendix 2
obviously, not every
festival requires all of this
if you have to address each
festival individually and
print all their requirements
out on paper every time the
cost of printer toner and
postage will be enormous.
So, send each festival a
cD containing ALL the
information and let them
pick and chose what they
Keep a folder containing all these
materials on your computer so
that you can drag and drop to
quickly burn a cD. Since software
compatibility is an issue, store the
text fles as both .pdf and .rtf format.
And make sure that the fle titles are
clearly understandable. For example,
FilmSynopses.pdf is much better than
Blurbs.pdf. You might like to send
a list of the disc’s contents together
Alternatively, you might like to
construct a promotional website or
webpages for your flm, on which
you place as many of the above as
you can in a downloadable format.
If you’re regularly using an online
submission service like withoutabox,
you should be able to upload all your
materials to them.
For a sample letter, see
Appendix 3 (page 68).
Det ai l s t o i ncl ude on Tape Label s
page 26 page 27
This can include:
vHS/DvD covers (optional)
Information cDs •
Stills and slides •
Festival submission fees
Submission postage & packing
Screening copy postage &
Travel expenses to festival or
Paper and printing costs
Promotional items – postcards,
posters, other appropriate
KEEPING A FILM PROMOTION
For a sample expenses sheet, see
Appendix 4 (page 69).
All your festival and promotional–related activities will cost money and
someone will have to pay for this up front. You should ideally have a prior
written single–page basic agreement between the principle parties involved
in promoting the flm (usually producer and director) which covers:
what flm or tape formats you make the flm available in? •
who will take overall responsibility for submissions? •
what percentage of total costs will each person be responsible for? •
where will this money come from? •
How any revenue made by the flm will be divided? •
what about award money, trophies, certifcates etc? •
what to do if award monies are intended for writer, cinematographer or •
who will attend festivals/events if a festival ofers to pay travel and •
accommodation? Alternate between director and producer?
A typical agreement would involve each party placing some money into a
central pot, in the control of the person doing most of the work – usually the
producer, though you could agree on an amount of time each week/month
where both parties will get together to work on submissions and top up the
once ALL expenses have been repaid, persons either agree to place any
monies remaining into the further promotion of the flm, split the proceeds
evenly, or pay of deferred fees from the flm.
PRIOR AGREEMENT BETWEEN
You should be able to account for everything you spend on
promoting the flm on paper, with receipts where possible.
Why bother keeping this?
page 28 page 29
DI STRI BUTORS
They may take your flm to festivals like
clermont Ferrand in France – which
has a large short flm market – but it’s
unlikely that they will enter you flm to
festivals on your behalf, since this isn’t
seen as a proftable enterprise.
Festivals will usually cover your return
shipping costs and can sometimes be
persuaded to waive their entry fee,
particularly if they’ve seen the flm at
another festival and have approached
you. You might also win some prize
money if you’re lucky enough.
Accessing the festival circuit involves
a large fnancial commitment, but the
ability to reach a wide audience and
raise the profle of yourself and your
flm makes it worth the money – and
efort – involved.
OF FESTIVAL SUBMISSION
WHO CAN HELP YOU MEET THE COSTS
The onus is on you to pay for every aspect of your flm’s journey around the
festival circuit, but there are places you can turn to for assistance.
SCOTTI SH SCREEN
If your flm was made through
a Scottish Screen–associated
scheme an amount of money will
have been allocated to your flm’s
budget specifcally for promotional
purposes. Try not to spend this on the
production itself! They also have the
Markets and Festivals Fund to support
Scottish–based talent to attend
international markets and festivals
to promote themselves and/or their
projects. More information is available
on the Scottish Screen website (www.
BRI TI SH COUNCI L
They can assist with shipping costs
to foreign festivals (but you have to
get the materials to them in London
frst). They can sometimes help with
the travel costs of producer or director
attending a foreign festival – though
they’ll only do this for each individual
page 30 page 31
There are two reasons for you to attend a flm festival, particularly one that
has a strong industry presence, or even incorporates events aimed at the flm
industry. Firstly to promote your short flm and see it play to audiences – there’s
a lot to be learned from watching groups of people react to your flm. Secondly
and more importantly is to promote yourself and your future work.
(okay, there’s a third reason for attending a flm festival: to relax and watch as
many flms as possible!)
Audiences at flm festivals will hopefully be interested in seeing your work
screened, and in ofering their responses to it. So far, so good.
Film industry fgures at the festival may also be interested in viewing your work
but for them, perhaps, it’s an uncomfortable truth that your flm is ‘old news’.
Short flm sales agents excepted, they can’t get involved with your flm since it’s
already been made.
Assuming that your flm has screened successfully, industry personnel will be
(a lot) more interested in what you plan to do next – projects that they can
potentially be involved with. So, whilst it’s important that you pay attention to
audiences at flm festivals, as a flmmaker your attention should focus elsewhere
– on the industry members present.
How might you handle your presence as a flmmaker at a flm festival?
As your flm travels the festival circuit, you should keep a record of where and
when it’s played. Adopt the following categories for your list:
Awards won and commendations received •
Film festival appearances •
confrmed upcoming flm festival appearances •
Theatrical runs and non–festival appearances in support of feature flms •
other event appearances •
Also keep a note of any anecdotes you receive from the screening – audience
numbers, reactions and stories.
NET SEARCHI NG
It’s worthwhile doing a google/Yahoo search on your flm title every two or
three months – if it’s out on the festival circuit you may be surprised by some
of the hits you fnd – local newspaper reviews and entries on blogs run by flm
fans are potentially things that you can add to your fle of press quotes and
FILM'S APPEARANCES AND AWARDS
KEEP A RECORD OF YOUR
FESTIVAL LIFESPAN OF
A SHORT FILM
ATTENDI NG A FESTIVAL WI TH YOUR FI LM
A short flm has a festival lifespan of around two years from the month in which
the flm was completed. There are a few festivals across the globe that will
accept older flms, but not many. So, you really need to make the most of your
flm’s festival lifespan.
Put into perspective, the lifespan of a short flm online can be endless
depending on the success of the flm and your eforts to promote it.
page 32 page 33
Some flm festivals have a strong
industry presence and publish a guide
of delegates present. As previously
mentioned, try to get hold of this
guide before the festival and scan it
for companies and individuals who
could be of interest to your future
conduct some research on the
individual you’d like to meet, and
the company they work for – what
production credits does the company
have, and how close a ‘ft’ is there
between the flms they handle and the
project/s you’re seeking interest in?
If you feel that a company could
be interested in your work, send a
brief, friendly email to the individual
representing them at the festival,
requesting a short meeting with them,
letting them know who you are and
why you’d like to meet them, and
passing on your festival contact details
(mobile number and email address).
Before your screening, let the festival staf know that you’re in attendance –
they might like to introduce you to their audience. Be prepared to stand up
in an audience to be identifed, or even to step on stage – and if you do, have
something interesting to say about your flm. Jump at any opportunity to
participate in a Q&A session on your flm after a screening or take part in a panel
discussion. The more you can do to create a ‘buzz’ around your flm the better.
given the opportunity, let the audience know that you’ll be available after
your screening and would be happy to meet them (most often in a bar or cafe
attached to the cinema) to talk about your work.
BEFORE THE FESTIVAL
MEETINGS WITH INDUSTRY MEMBERS
BEFORE THE FESTIVAL
Prepare brief verbal pitches for your
projects, optionally backed up by
single page pitch documents you can
leave behind with the person you’re
meeting as a memory jogger.
Arrange somewhere convenient
to meet during the festival, and be
mindful of other commitments the
person might have – don’t expect to
monopolise their time.
Decide what, ideally, you want to
achieve during a meeting – would
you like your screenplay to be
considered? Are you interested in
being considered for directing work
on the company’s projects? Plan a
meeting strategy to achieve your
If you can’t get a message to
someone you’d like to meet before
the festival, ask the festival how you
might best contact someone. Some
festivals have alphabetised message
boxes for delegate use, but be aware
that not all delegates regularly check
If your flm is accepted into a festival
it’s always worth contacting the festival
well in advance to let them know
that someone from the flm could be
available to attend their screening/s (if
that’s the case). Some festivals are able
to ofer accommodation for visiting
flmmakers either free or at a reduced
hotel rate. Some are even able to ofer
basic travel expenses.
Ask the festival if there’s an industry
presence and if there is a Delegate
guide that your contact details and
details of your flm can be included in.
If there is such a guide, try to get hold
of a copy in advance of the festival
(some festivals place their guides
online) so that you can identify anyone
of interest to you and arrange to meet
Make sure that the festival lets you
know the screening dates and times of
your flm as far in advance as possible.
It would be less than ideal to discover
that the dates you’re at a festival don’t
coincide with the screening/s of your
flm, or that your flm is set to win
an award and you won’t be there to
You might also like to let Scottish
Screen know that you plan to attend a
festival – it’s possible that they might
have a presence there and might be
able to ofer advice, assistance and
Be prepared and pack business
cards. You are likely to meet people
of interest to you at screenings, in
Delegate centres and bars and you
should aim to make a professional
impression at all times. You might also
take DvD copies of your flm to hand
out to industry personnel.
Resist the temptation to take copies
of screenplays that you’re working
on to hand to industry personnel
you might meet. Inevitably, they’ll
more than likely end up (unread) in
a hotel room bin at the end of the
festival. A single page document or
brief treatment for each project would
be more appropriate, something that
you can use to accompany the verbal
project pitches you’ve prepared and
page 34 page 35
when meeting someone, be
professional in your approach. Turn
up at the agreed meeting place at
or before the agreed time, and be
ready to fully engage. For this reason,
arranging meetings early in the
morning is best avoided, particularly
later on in a lengthy festival!
Festivals can be frenetic hives of
activity, and delegates are frequently
on–the–go from dawn ‘til dusk (and
beyond), often in hot and stufy
Ask how long the person can spare
you, and try not to overrun an agreed
slot. ofer up your business card
so that the person you’re meeting
defnitely knows your name!
Before you leap in to pitch your
project/s, engage the person by asking
them what they’re currently looking
for – your research into a company is
unlikely to apprise you of gaps in their
project slate that they’re looking to
fll, or new opportunities that they’re
interested in pursuing.
This new knowledge may result in you
realising that the one or more of the
projects you’ve planned to pitch are
not currently suitable for the company.
Try to have a back–up project you can
turn to, or be prepared to adapt your
pitch ‘on the hoof’ to make it seem
suitable. Don’t be afraid to admit that
you don’t currently have a suitable
project for the company – you can still
appear keen to work with them, and
agree to send new material to them.
Be prepared to answer any questions
the person might have about you
or your work – and don’t agree to
something which you can’t realistically
deliver (saying that you have a
draft screenplay or full treatment
of a project ready to mail them the
week after the festival, when all
you currently have are some rough
thoughts jotted down on the back of a
napkin, for example).
As your meeting draws to a close,
thank the person for sparing time
for you, and make sure that you
both know what the outcome of the
meeting is, and what’s required to
follow it up after the festival.
THE MEETI NG AFTER THE MEETI NG
Some festivals incorporate a series of industry–related events –
interviews, workshops, seminars, open pitching sessions.
Attend as many of these as you can, even if you have no immediate
interest in a session’s subject. New and useful information and
inspiration can often come from unexpected sources – and you
never know who else might be in the room.
Here’s a quick reminder of basic materials that, as a
flmmaker, you should take with you to a festival:
Business cards •
DvD copies of your flm •
Page pitches •
within two weeks of the festival’s end, send any materials you’ve agreed to,
requesting a quick response confrming their receipt.
You may have to wait some time for a full response to your material – UK
companies typically take anything between a week and two months to reply.
Hopefully the person you’ve sent material to will let you know roughly how long
a response will take.
Don’t be downhearted if the eventual response to the material you submit isn’t
positive. At least you have made a new contact, who will hopefully be receptive
to your work in the future.
page 36 page 37
A sales agent is a company or
individual that you, as the holder of
all necessary rights to your flm, enter
into a time–limited legally binding
agreement with, to allow them to try
to sell your flm as widely as possible
to their network of contacts across the
Sales agents attend selected flm
festivals (clermont Ferrand and
Sundance are favourites) in search
of new, saleable short flms to add to
their catalogue. If you’ve a short flm
in a festival, check the Delegate guide
and make sure that any attending
agents are made aware of your flm.
You may be approached at a festival
by a sales agent who’s seen your flm
and is interested in representing it – or,
failing that, you may decide to contact
The bad news is that sales agents
are not interested in entering your
flm on the international flm festival
circuit, since flm festivals don’t pay
to screen flms (the reverse is true in
fact, through entry fees) – there are no
‘sales’ to be made there.
The good news is that agents have a
broad range of contacts and expertise
that you don’t. Selling short flms is
Traditionally, sales agents have
primarily done business with broadcast
television and cable companies, selling
short flms either singly or in packages
from their catalogues. However, the
increasing availability of short flms on
the internet has made many broadcast
and cable companies reluctant to pay
for short flm content.
Sales agents continue to search for
and adopt new business models to
help them exploit their catalogues,
with most eforts going into online
streaming or download distribution –
more on that later.
Atom Films – www.atomflms.com
Big Film Shorts – www.bigflmshorts.com
La Big Family – www.labigfamily.com
British Film Institute – www.bf.org.uk
Dazzle Films – www.dazzleflms.co.uk
Future Shorts – www.futureshorts.com
Microcinema International – www.microcinema.com
Network Ireland Television – www.network–irl–tv.com
oneDotZero – www.onedotzero.com
Shorts International – www.shortsinternational.com
SND Films – www.sndflms.com
Films are currently licensed and sub–licensed under international copyright law
using three basic variables:
TIME – how long is the license for? (and how many screenings are allowed 1.
during this time)
TERRIToRY – what countries does the license cover? 2.
MEDIA – what media are included (theatrical, television, DvD, web distribution 3.
If a sales agent is interested in representing your flm, they’ll want to license it
from you for the longest period of time in as many territories as possible and
across as many media as possible in order to then sub–license it to their buyers
and perhaps display it on their own website.
They will want to be the only company able to represent your flm – to have the
EXcLUSIvE rights to sell it.
So, what might you expect from a sales agent deal?
HOW SALES AGENTS DO BUSINESS
page 38 page 39
This is the main area for negotiation
when making a deal with a sales
agent, and many ask for exclusive
rights in all media. You might want to
consider arguing that their DvD rights
should be non–exclusive so that you
can attempt to sell the flm on DvD
yourself. certainly, agents will aim
to place the flm on as many DvD
compilations as they can, granting
a non–exclusive sub–license in each
case. As DvD and online rights
become increasingly important to
agents’ business models, you will fnd
non–exclusivity increasingly difcult
to argue for.
If you grant a sales agent the license
to sell or display the flm as web
content, you can ask for a holdback
– a time period that the sales agent
must honour, within which they can’t
exploit the flm in any agreed areas –
to be placed on this right, particularly
if you plan to ‘hit’ the festival circuit.
In terms of a license period, you don’t want to allow them to have the flm for
the duration of copyright. In the past, seven years was adequate time for an
agent to sub–license a flm around their contacts. Now that online rights have
become a real issue and longevity a real possibility, agents will be looking for
longer license periods.
Agents will seldom look for anything less than a global license – particularly as
their business models increasingly rely on online viewing that crosses national
Many festivals are reluctant to screen
short flms which are being streamed
(downloadable or not) from a website
which can be accessed from anywhere
in the globe. They want their festivals
to show flms that can’t be seen
elsewhere by their audiences. And
they want to be able to show them
In the world of feature flm, cash
advances based on expected revenues
from flms can be involved, with sales
agents guaranteeing payment up
front. Unfortunately, in the case of
short flm, this never happens – so
you’ll never see any money up front
from a sales agent.
on reaching an agreement with a sales
agent, you’ll have to supply them with
their required list of deliverables (see
page 9). So, what kind of revenue can
you expect from a sales agent?
Sales agents don’t work for free.
They’ll aim to sell your flm to
television stations across the globe,
either individually or as part of a
package of shorts.
But for doing so they’ll take a
commission on each sale and may also
levy a charge for the costs involved
in making the sale (such as their
attendance at festivals and markets,
supplying copies of deliverables to
broadcasters and so on).
You might typically expect a sales
agent to keep between 35% and 50%
of each sale amount, though models
for agents’ returning revenue are
becoming more complex, particularly
in relation to online content. Similar
principles should be in operation when
an agent succeeds in placing your flm
on a DvD compilation.
If your flm is available from a
sales agent’s website or has been
sub–licensed by them to a third party
website (itunes.com for example), then
revenue models vary greatly between
There appear to be two basic online
distribution models though:
The frst involves the sales agent
placing an advertisement in front
of your flm. Every time your flm
is viewed, a tiny proportion of the
advertising revenue received by the
sales agent is attributed to your flm’s
The second involves the sales agent
charging an amount for the viewing or
downloading of your short flm, and
you receiving a small percentage of
other models may emerge over time;
this is still a new and largely unproven
area of business for the short flm form.
REVENUE FROM SALES AGENTS
page 40 page 41
How can you be sure that you’re choosing
the right sales agent for your flm? You
should research your sales agent and
fnd out what other short flms do they
represent? Are they similar to your flm?
Ask them what they’ve been able to do
for flms similar to yours. How much
revenue typically returns to the producer/
rights holder? And when? How often do
they send out statements of account?
contact the producers of flms in the sales
agent’s catalogue and ask them what
their experiences of the sales agent have
been. How well do they think their flm
has been selling? Have they seen any
money, heard about any sales? Received
regular download or online viewing
A SALES AGENT
Don’t be nervous about aiming
to negotiate points on a contract
the sales agent ofers. often, short
flmmakers lack in–depth legal
knowledge, but if you bear in mind
the three basic variables of TIME,
TERRIToRY and MEDIA, you’re of
to a good start.
Sales agents typically demand
exclusivity; they want to be the only
company through which your flm can
be seen (other than on the festival
You might fnd that simply by entering
a short flm competition or festival
that you’re expected to grant the
festival or organisation the right to
freely screen your flm on a cable
channel or over the web. There are
even US festivals that ask for the right
to include any flms submitted to them
on a compilation DvD showcasing the
festival – a DvD which is available for
watch out for this in festival
submission guidelines and in the
Terms & conditions of the agreement
you sign with a flm festival as such
clauses are typically ‘hidden’ in the
If you allow this to happen, your sales
agent will feel justifably annoyed
unless they’ve agreed to your doing so
A sales agent is a great thing for your
flm to have in terms of reaching
audiences worldwide, and in terms
of prestige (someone in the industry
thinks it’s marketable) – but not
necessarily in terms of fnancial return
– it remains to be seen just how much
can be made by a flmmaker from their
flm’s online presence.
A sales agent should be able to
make sales and help your flm reach
audiences in a way you couldn’t under
your own steam but be realistic about
the likely returns from any sales; they
are likely to be modest.
That said, few producers set out to
make a short flm with the specifc
intent of making a proft from it.
So what might you be able to do as
an individual trying to sell your flm?
page 42 page 43
channel 4, BBc2 and cable channels
have in the past paid around £100 a
minute for short flm but these rates
are slipping and they are no longer
ofering as much, if anything. with the
proliferation of websites making short
flms freely available on the net, the
commercial potential of a Tv screening
has reduced considerably in recent
The money you receive from a single
television sale could be greater than
what you’d receive from a sales agent
who’s made a number of sales on your
behalf, but deducts commission and
expenses before paying you. Perhaps
you might like to try to sell to a UK Tv
company frst (so that you can become
aware just how hard it is) then leave
the rest of the world to a sales agent.
Selling to a foreign television company
is even more difcult than making
a sale to a UK company, there’s the
possibility of language difculties to
be surmounted for a start.
Factor in the likelihood of a
broadcaster not knowing your
reputation, their preferring to buy
from contacts they already know (sales
agents) and their preference from
buying a number of short flms in a
‘package’ deal, and the prospect of
an individual flm sale is fairly remote,
unless your flm has had signifcant
success on the festival or awards circuit
But it’s not just about sales.
It’s also about reaching audiences.
Television has, in the past, been an important arena for short flm – giving access
to potentially huge audiences and providing revenue to short flmmakers.
You will need to research the constantly changing television commissioning
landscape in a number of diferent territories across the globe to discover which
television stations are currently buying short flm and approach each broadcaster
or cable channel individually. This can be quite time consuming and costly when
you consider that you will be expected to supply a copy set of deliverables with
In the UK – where broadcast slots for short flm form are few – you are limited to
channel 4’s 3 Minute wonder slot, cable channels such as TcM or dedicated shorts
channel Propellor, occasional late night slots on BBc2 and channel 4, and very
occasionally a whole night on BBc3.
You can aim to sell your flm on
DvD, either singly or as part of
a compilation. This has been a
growing area of business for the
short flm form over the last fve
years or so, and a quick hunt on
Amazon or on eBay will uncover
If you have a sales agent attached,
they will want the exclusive right
to sub–license your flm for DvD
releases. If you have granted them
this right, you may fnd yourself in
the strange situation of having to
renegotiate with them to release
your flm on DvD yourself.
Short flms typically appear on
two types of DvD – short flm
compilations containing a variety of
work from a variety of flmmakers,
and single DvDs, which contain
one or more works by a single
flmmaker or production company.
page 44 page 45
page 46 page 47
This is a far more tricky and speculative venture. Essentially, you take all the
fnancial risk and responsibility with little guarantee of what returns (if any) you’ll
be able to make.
Thi ngs t o Consi der :
You can either place a single short flm on your DvD, or collect together a •
number of works, either produced by your company or by a specifc flmmaker
you work with.
You have to be sure that you have the right to use all the materials you plan to •
on the DvD.
You have to think of DvD extras which will add value to the product – a •
documentary ‘making of’, commentary tracks, director’s notes, picture galleries
and so on – and budget how much these will cost to prepare.
You have to investigate the design, manufacture, distribution, advertising and •
sale of your DvD yourself.
It’s becoming common for companies in the UK to ofer one–stop shops for
design and mastering, packaging and multiple copying of DvDs and the
economies of scale come into efect here; the more you order, the cheaper the
cost price per unit will be to you.
Let’s assume that you get all of this together and one morning a huge box arrives
on your doorstep containing two thousand copies of your DvD, ready for you to
sell. How might you go about doing this?
once you’ve tested the generosity of your family, friends and acquaintances you
need to consider wider sales – this inevitably means advertising and distribution –
and hopefully a USP (Unique Selling Point), which would boost saleability.
Let’s look at three diferent examples of DvDs that have gone on sale in this
manner, using three diferent models (whilst also bearing in mind that there will
be other routes you could follow).
compilation DvDs are a relatively
new method of distributing the short
flm form – attempts to market vHS
compilations didn’t catch on, but with
the increased versatility of the DvD
format, and menus allowing rapid
access to individual flms, business
has blossomed. The ever–increasing
number of compilation DvDs suggest
that it can be a proftable enterprise.
Here’s how your flm could appear on
a compilation DvD:
By invitation from a Film Festival •
(Milano, Hamburg, Raindance)
By submitting to or invitation from •
a company creating compilations
(cinema 16, Short cinema Journal
By invitation from a public body for •
inclusion on a showcase DvD (UK
Film council, Scottish Screen)
By invitation from a flm school •
(defnitely no payment involved!!)
If you’re a shrewd negotiator, it’s
possible that you may be able to
secure payment for use of the flm
on DvD, particularly if it’s going to be
released for proft (although typically
you shouldn’t expect more than a
couple of hundred pounds). The
fgure will depend hugely on how
many territories the DvD publisher
plans to make the DvD available in.
You may even be able to negotiate a
percentage of each copy sold over a
certain number. Realistically, though,
don’t expect to see any money past
an initial advance.
once you’ve supplied the DvD
publisher with their required
deliverables, it’s up to them to do
all the hard work of manufacturing,
distributing and selling the DvD. They
should send you a few free copies for
page 48 page 49
t he Chr i s Mor r i s DVD,
My Wr ongs 8245–8249 and 117
The format was a single flm on DvD in a booklet package,
with minimal extras. The flm won the short flm BAFTA a few
years ago, and is by an established comedian and satirist with
a proven track record – so that’s a fairly strong USP.
The company which produced the DvD was warp Films,
the flm arm of established electronic music record label
warp, who were able to access nationwide DvD sales, both
through their mail order website and through distribution
to cD shops nationwide.
The DvD had an RRP of £7.99, which fell to £5 within a year.
(Possibly a sign that they’d manufactured too many and
needed to ofoad them quickly to stimulate cash fow.)
Nevertheless, this DvD had perhaps the highest commercial
visibility of any individual flmmaker DvD – the cinema 16
DvDs have had a higher profle, but these are compilations.
a DVD by Aust r i an exper i ment al
f i l mmak er Vi r gi l Wi dr i ch
This DvD compiles three short flms and an early feature flm from Austrian avant–garde producer/director virgil widrich, whose short flms Fast Film and Copy Shop have won numerous awards on the international flm festival circuit.
The flms are all experimental narratives using new animation techniques – a USP of sorts.
The DvD is for sale through his website, from the
websites of a number of international flm festivals, and it was also for sale at a table during the Hamburg Short Film Festival, together with a few other independently produced short flm DvDs and compilations.
widrich has sought – and found – a method of getting his DvD into outlets that should be sympathetic to his work.
Ashvi n Kumar ’s DVD, Advent ur es i n
Shor t s: A Fi l mmak er s Jour ney t o
Hol l yw ood
This DvD was initially advertised on the Shooting People
message board (shootingpeople.org) in the UK.
Kumar has compiled his two short flms Road to Ladakh
and Little Terrorist together with two ‘making of’
documentaries and an additional documentary, Can you
Cannes? that documents his team’s eforts to promoting
these flms and their other projects at the cannes
International Film Festival.
Pitched very much as an experiential ‘how to’ DvD,
this has been marketed to the aspirational Shooting
People network, and made available for sale through a
US website portal called customFlix on–Demand DvD
Publishing (now called createSpace – www.createspace.
page 50 page 51
PoD (Print on Demand) publishing is increasingly popular in the book world, and
its DvD equivalent holds similar promise. Because there are no (or few) up–front
manufacturing costs, it reduces the fnancial risk and you can always consider
switching to higher volume traditional replication if your sales grow immensely.
on–demand publishing can also allow you some more fexibility and control over
your materials; within reason they can be presented in the way you’d like them to
Let’s take a look at three DvD PoD models:
w w w.cr eat espace.com
The producer sends a DvD copy of their flm together with box artwork
to createSpace and sets the price of the DvD. when customers order it,
createSpace duplicates DvDs and artwork then ships them direct to the customer.
createSpace sends the producer regular proft statements, taking a percentage of
the purchase price from each sale they make, however it’s up to you as producer
to attract potential buyers to visit the createSpace website to make a purchase.
w w w.shor t f i l mcent r al .com
Short Film central hold a catalogue of content from short flm producers
and allow customers to pick and choose to create their own short flm DvD
compilations. The company then makes an individually tailored DvD which is
mailed out directly. Producers receive a percentage of the DvD’s purchase price
based on the number of flms on the compilation.
w w w.ebay.co.uk
The cheapest and most widespread hard copy distribution network of them all.
A home colour printer, a DvD burner and an online connection are all you need
here. Use ‘Buy It Now’ rather than an auction format. Buyers do search for and do
buy short flm DvDs on eBay if the price is right and the package made to seem
attractive although all eforts on your part to direct buyers to your eBay link will
help drive sales.
This mention of the internet brings us neatly into another relatively new avenue
for the exploitation of short flms.
POD PUBLISHING OF DVDS
page 52 page 53
Adver t i si ng i ncome–based r oyal t y
A website licenses your flm, puts adverts before it and after it, then places it on
their website for streaming or download. The site will then ofer you a percentage
of their advertising revenue income for each view or download.
Per cent age of a dow nl oad f ee
A website charges a fee for the streaming or download of your short flm and
returns a portion of this revenue to you.
As mentioned above, sales agents are already ofering streaming and downloads,
both paid and free. In addition, many other sites – already too numerous and
fast–changing to identify them all – are ofering short flm content.
Shor t f i l ms cont ent onl i ne
For mobi l e phone user s:
Mobile phone service providers •
The online flm content revolution is undoubtedly gaining momentum – and
short flms are at the forefront of its development. It’s not clear yet which business
model – free to the consumer or paid for content – will become dominant,
however with the huge success of sites such as YouTube ofering short flms
for nothing it may be almost impossible to ask consumers to pay for content in
The early proliferation of companies
attempting to distribute and screen
short flms on the web led to several
high–profle ventures either going
bust or drastically scaled down their
operations as there simply wasn’t the
market for it at the time.
However, there’s a second wave now
gaining steam, with what – at this
point in time – appear to be solid
commercial models for streamed
watching online or for downloading to
a variety of personal viewing devices.
Digital distribution is very appealing
to short flmmakers: digitise your
flm, register with and upload it to an
increasing number of websites, and
potentially millions of people around
the globe have to opportunity to
watch it streamed, or download it to
watch later at their convenience.
In some cases flmmakers will be able
to make money from this method of
distribution and there are currently
two revenue–generating models for
online downloadable and streaming
page 54 page 55
If it’s industry members that you want to impress – presumably they’ve already
seen your work at a festival, or you’ve sent them a DvD copy of the flm –
consider what they will be looking for. Probably not your flm (which is already
‘dead’ in terms of their ability to get involved) but evidence of other extant
work that might convince them you’re a talent to be watched, or pitches for
upcoming work that they might be able to get involved with by contacting you.
Arguably, a website that exists solely to promote a short flm is of limited
usefulness – and costly if you register a domain name for it – but maintaining
a website that both demonstrates your work as a flmmaker and alerts the
industry to projects that are upcoming can be of some use.
By placing your short flm in its entirety
up on your own website people will be
able to view it but you’re unlikely to be
able to make any fnancial return in the
process. If all you want is for people see
your flm – with the tantalising thought
that a major industry fgure will see it
and snap you up – then go ahead.
It’s important, however, to bear in mind
that as soon as your flm is available
on the web it becomes of less interest
to flm festivals, sales agents and DvD
By all means, if you’re able to do it
cheaply and have the time to do so,
set up a website to promote your flm
and the personnel involved or include
promotion for your flm on your broader
company website. Some flm festivals
do ask if the flm has a weblink, and will
publish this link in their catalogue.
when setting up a website it’s important
to consider who’s going to visit the
website, and why? what should this
A WORD OF WARNING
BUILD YOUR OWN WEBSITE
Should you place your flm on a third
party website for viewing and perhaps
It depends how old the flm is and if
you have a sales agent. A sales agent
would be rightly annoyed if a short
flm they were trying to sub–license
to television stations or for inclusion
on DvDs or even stream online were
to be freely available elsewhere (ie
not via their website) to anyone who
There are now many websites which
freely ofer short flm content (see
above) so take a close look at the
legal agreements that you enter into
when posting your content onto each
one – in efect, you’re granting them a
non–exclusive license to do whatever
they want with your flm. Are you
happy with that? what happens if you
then try to engage a sales agent? can
you withdraw the flm from websites
you’ve placed it on?
The BBc Film Network now carries
hundreds of UK short flms, and is a
great resource for flmmakers and
flm fans alike. But they won’t pay
you for your content either unless
it is selected to be ofered for free
download (as it does with a few
shorts every month).
Unless you have no other options
open to you – or unless you are
ideologically disposed towards the
free availability of your work – don’t
put the entire flm on any website
yourself for either streaming or
download until you’ve explored
all other possible avenues for
Incidentally, check out www.
nightisday.com for an interesting
business model. It’s a Scottish–based
website set–up by independent
flmmakers to promote their six–part
short flm series about a glaswegian
superhero. You could watch the frst
part free online, then pay £1 per
episode to see the next fve online
for a limited time period. If you
bought them all, they sent you the
DvD of the complete series when it
If you have a sales agent, they’ll want your flm to form part of
their catalogue and may also want it to be available for screening/
downloading from their own website exclusively. If you want to place
the flm anywhere else online, you’ll have to make sure that the deal
you strike with your sales agent gives them non–exclusive rights for
the internet and that they’re happy with what you plan to do. If not,
you have to leave the flm in their hands.
If you don’t have a sales agent, what might you do?
If you envisage flm festivals
looking at your website, you could
include, in downloadable form,
everything that a flm festival
might ask for in terms of publicity
materials (see Appendix 2, page 66)
but this may not stop the festival
from requiring that you ship them
these materials anyway.
If your website targets curious
members of the general public
who’ve seen the flm at a festival
and have read the festival
catalogue and found the web
address, what more can you ofer
them that would enrich their
experience of the flm?
If you are intent on making sales of
your flm on DvD, provide payment
options (including shipping costs),
and for best efectiveness ofer a
page 56 page 57
construct an emailing list for your
short flm – include cast, crew,
relatives, industry representatives,
contacts, festivals the flm has been to
– and do an occasional mass mail–out
bulletin to them updating them
on the progress of the flm. Useful
information such as what festivals it’s
been to, where it’s going next, what
awards it’s won and any amusing
anecdotes collected along the way.
You might even include projects
that the team who made the flm are
currently involved in.
This costs next to nothing – just a
little bit of your time – and can do
a lot to maintain awareness of your
flm. Remember to ofer people the
option of unsubscribing from your
mailing list. once your flm has done
its promotional rounds, stop sending
your bulletins and be aware that you
can’t sell or pass on the email list to
anyone else without permission from
each address. (For more information
read about Data Protection: www.
The internet is a superb resource and
potential ‘shop–front’ for your activities
and your flm, and it’s developing all
Let’s turn our attention to another
avenue for promoting your short flm.
If you decide to place your entire
short flm for online viewing or
download from your own website,
how are members of the public going
to stumble across your unadvertised
website? You could engage in a
spot of ‘viral’ marketing. This is an
important tool at your disposal,
particularly if, like the makers of Night
Is Day, your ambitions outweigh your
resources and traditional forms of
advertising and publicity are either too
expensive or not possible for you.
The internet has led to the creation of
an extraordinary number of special
interest websites, newsgroups,
chatrooms, and so on, so consider who
might your flm appeal to. Look at the
central themes and issue and seek out
groups that exist to discuss them.
Drum up interest in your flm by
providing clickable links that lead
them to your flm or place clips
from the flm on YouTube and other
websites directing the viewer to
somewhere that the flm – or further
content related to the flm – is
To increase the chance of making
revenue from your flm – having
gotten a number of people to your
website – it makes sense to have
something that they can buy there.
If you’re ofering a DvD for sale,
for example, then make it easy to
purchase with a PayPal link or similar
payment system. convenience is
If you do attract visitors to your
website, try to get some simple
feedback from them – did they like
or dislike the flm? And, above all,
try to get a contact email address.
These website visitors could be your
customers in the future, perhaps
buying the next flm that you produce
or even possibly helping to fnance
your next flm if you have the brass
neck to ask.
page 58 page 59
Regular short flm events are
becoming increasingly popular in
the UK, USA and germany – many
are monthly, some occasional, some
one–of. They either have a submission
procedure to follow or are hand–
picked by the programmers.
Typically these events will screen
either DvD or MiniDv shorts in a
cinema, pub or club environment
that’s been hired or secured for the
You should consider why you want to hold the screening? Are you looking for
a local cinema (or other quiet venue with a large screen video projector and
good sound facilities) to hold a cast and crew screening and give them the
opportunity to see it on the big screen? or are you looking for a cinema or
screening room venue in central London that you can invite a throng of industry
talent spotters to as well?
cinemas will only be interested in hosting a screening outside of their normal
feature programming hours, for obvious reasons. Independent, non–multiplex
cinemas are usually the most approachable but it’s worth talking to all your local
screening venues to see if they would be willing to support local flmmakers.
CAST AND CREW OR SHOWCASE
PUB CLUB SCREENINGS
The days of shorts preceding features are sadly long gone and it’s very rare to
see a short in front of a commercial feature in cinemas. So how might your flm
make non–festival appearances in cinemas in the UK, either on it’s own, as part
of a programme of short flms, or screening before a feature flm?
Her e’s some t hi ngs t o consi der :
Do you rely on local cinema largesse – or will you have to pay? •
what formats can the cinema screen on? Is your flm compatible? •
will you ask for a morning or a late night slot? A weekday or the weekend? •
Do you call this a premiere/public screening? •
who do you invite – cast, crew, extras, family, any local industry fnanciers, •
sponsors, journalists, media, distributors, local flm festivals, Tv buyers –
anyone else you want to impress and get involved with?
will you use publicity material – such as a page of text on the flm director’s •
thoughts – that gives the audience some further info on the flm?
Do you provide some level of catering? Do you invite everyone to the cinema •
will you ofer a small gift of some kind for the projectionist/cinema staf for •
giving up their time?
The Magic Lantern – regular themed screenings across Scotland •
Future Shorts – takes place monthly in Edinburgh, glasgow and around the •
curzon cinema – monthly short flm programme in central London cinema •
There are hundreds more such events across the globe. These events are small–
scale, and are often difcult to fnd out about without having local knowledge.
The best way to fnd out about this kind of event in the UK is by subscribing to the
Shooting People website (www.shootingpeople.org).
These events can be fun evenings. Your flm will be seen by audiences who have a
real interest in the short flm form, but such screenings are likely to fall below flm
festivals in terms of their priority on your submission strategy.
Pub and non–cinema screenings are also on the rise thanks to the Public video
Screening Licence (http://tinyurl.com/5emj4o) so approach the landlord and see if
they would be willing to screen your flm before the main feature.
Exampl es i ncl ude:
Back in the heydey of cinemas a night
out at the pictures involved a whole
programme of flms and shorts before
the main feature – but it’s very unusual
for this to happen in the UK nowadays.
A friendly independent cinema might
be open to the idea of screening a
short before a feature, but you must be
prepared to ofer your flm for free and
do so for the sheer joy of seeing your
work on the big screen.
Recently there has been a new
initiative between Mini UK (the car
manufacturer) and Future Shorts to
screen shorts before features across
the UK but only a few titles have been
selected and this deal has now ended.
Keep your eyes open for similar
opportunities in future however. (Read
more about the initiative here: http://
The British council constructs cinema
programmes for screening at showcase
events abroad, so if they’re aware of
your flm, they may request it. Scottish
Screen is also occasionally asked to put
together short flm recommendations
for overseas events and festivals. Make
sure you are in the Film UK guide as
they will refer to it when looking for
occasionally you might hear of an event – local or national – which might suit
your flm – and if you do, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the organisers. The
opportunity could come from almost anywhere....
page 62 page 63
A few magazines acknowledge
the short flm form; here are a
couple it might be worth sending
a copy of your flm to:
Showreel magazine – quarterly •
short flm reviews
Little white Lies magazine •
Think creatively – where else
can you place your flm? Try
not to refuse any opportunity
that’s ofered you – unless you’re
ideologically opposed to the aims
of the organisation that’s shown
Having exhausted all other
possibilities, let’s take a step to
the side, away from all thoughts
of fnancial recompense and
reaching an audience, to look at
how you might use your short flm
as part of a showreel of your work.
I don’t recommend that you speculatively send your flm out to schools, further
education institutions and flm schools, but do consider whether your flm
might be thematically strong enough to be of educational interest.
If you can persuade an educational body to incorporate your short flm as part
of their teaching materials, you could very well see a small fnancial return for its
use in this context.
This stands alone because, as soon as
your flm is completed, you can use it
as all or part of a personal or company
showreel on DvD.
You can include your entire flm, or
restrict yourself to clips from it, but
you should consider who else you
might allow to use your flm on their
showreel – presumably you don’t want
a production runner claiming a more
signifcant involvement in your flm?
The following cast and crew members
make signifcant creative contributions
to the flm:
Production Designer •
Sound Recordist •
Principal cast •
Sound Designer •
Title Designer •
Do you supply them with the entire
flm, or extracts from it? what about
your own showreel? who are you
going to send this to?
This depends largely on what you do –
producer, director, cinematographer –
but in almost all cases a reel is likely to
be going to companies and individuals
who might potentially employ you in a
professional capacity at some point in
This might include larger production
companies, advertising agencies,
corporate video production
companies, post–production houses,
sound studios, production companies
Don’t just send your flm out blindly.
If you’re a producer or writer, there’s
little point in sending out your
showreel to production companies,
development executives and so on
unless you have other projects in the
pipeline that you’re trying to get their
interest in: something which might
appeal to their company in particular
– there’s little point in sending your
blood–drenched splatter movie to
Disney – or even their adult division
page 64 page 65
The short flm form is generally
under–promoted and under–valued,
and the blame for this can at least
partially be laid at the door of
producers who are reluctant to
devote their time and money to
promoting their flms.
Producers are always looking for
their next project, and so they should
be – but if they’ve spent time, efort,
money and heartache putting a flm
together, why not make sure that it’s
seen by as many people as possible?
Ultimately, producers – and
producing directors – should take
responsibility for promoting their own
work. If they can’t be bothered to
make the efort to promote their own
flms – and by extension, themselves –
why should anyone else bother?
The opportunities are certainly out
there – it’s up to you to grasp them
SAMPLE PROMOTIONAL BUDGET
Description Budget Actual
MARKETING & PROMOTION
graphic design 99.00 80.00
Postcards 50.00 50.00
website design 30.00 00.00
website hosting 20.00 20.00
Posters/Banners 50.00 50.00
vHS/DvD covers 30.00 30.00
Total 279.00 230.00
vHS - viewing copies 50.00 50.00
DvDs - viewing/promotional 30.00 30.00
35mm Print 99.00 80.00
other 30.00 80.00
Total 209.00 240.00
COURIERS & TRANSPORTATION
Festival submissions 88.00 99.00
Marketing materials transport 60.00 70.00
Duplication carriage charges 30.00 40.00
Print/tape transport 30.00 40.00
Total 208.00 249.00
Travel 99.00 99.00
Accommodation 99.00 99.00
Subsistence 70.00 50.00
Hospitality/receptions 60.00 99.00
Total 328.00 347.00
GRAND TOTAL 1024.00 1066.00
page 66 page 67
Depending on where you plan to submit your flm, you should gather together
the following required and optional materials, and keep them updated.
THE TI TLE OF THE FI LM
in other languages.
a variety of lengths:
less than 15 words •
less than 25 words •
less than 50 words •
less than 100 words •
Having the shortest synopses in a variety of languages would also be helpful. You
should enlist the help of a fuent speaker of the language for this, as free internet
translations will not necessarily be coherent.
DI RECTOR BI OGRAPHY & FI LMOGRAPHY
A few brief prose paragraphs of cv highlights with the director’s flmography at
foot of page.
DI RECTOR STATEMENT
A few brief prose paragraphs – the director’s thoughts on the flm.
PRODUCTI ON HI STORY
A few brief prose paragraphs – who funded the flm and why, anecdotal
FULL CREDI T LI ST OF THE FI LM
Taken directly from your opening and closing credit sequences.
TECHNI CAL DATA SHEET
Formats available for screening •
Running time •
colour or B/w •
Screen Aspect Ratio •
Language of Dialogue •
SCRI PT AS PER FI NAL EDI T (opt i onal )
A PDF fle is necessary to retain script formatting
ENGLI SH LANGUAGE DI ALOGUE LI ST
As per the completed flm, NoT the shooting script. •
Also include any English language signage that appears. •
You can construct this by removing all the business/action sections of your •
Script as Per Final Edit, leaving just the dialogue.
A LI ST OF APPEARANCES AND AWARDS
Update this constantly. Divide into sections under the headings below:
Awards won/commendations received •
Festival appearances made •
Festival appearances upcoming •
Tv sales (if any) •
other appearances (runs in support of feature flms, events etc) •
Include the full name of the festival, its city/country, the month/year, and any •
colourful information that you glean from each festival.
Maximum of 10 .jpg images at photographic resolution (300dpi is generally
acceptable). These should include:
oNE preferred promotional shot •
oNE shot of director or director/producer team •
oNE shot of each of the two lead actors •
A few festivals still ask for 35mm slides if possible. But they’ll all accept a cD •
with digital images.
A CAPTI ON LI ST FOR THE PHOTOS
A festival obviously needs to know what’s contained in each photograph. •
Make sure that the numbering of the captions matches the numbering of the •
OPTI ONAL MATERI ALS
Press pack (containing some of the items above):
Press & festival quotes – if you’re lucky enough to get good reviews •
Postcards – full colour best, unless flm is in b/w •
Film–specifc promotional items – beermats, plastic bags etc •
List of favourable press quotes and blurbs from festival websites where the flm •
Promotional website address •
page 68 page 69
Sample expenses form
Sample submission letter
Anchorage Film Fest
1410 Rudakof Circle
10th April 2008
CRY FOR BOBO
Please find enclosed entry materials for your festival - a DVD preview copy, together with
a completed application form (with credit card payment), a list of prior appearances and
awards and a CD containing all the photographs, synopsis, biographies etc... that you’ve
CRY FOR BOBO was produced in August 2001 for BBC Scotland/Scottish Screen’s award-
winning Tartan Shorts scheme, and is quite unlike anything they’ve handled in the past - the
film is proving itself a real crowd-pleaser with audiences of all ages, fast-paced and very
funny, with an underlying message of tolerance towards oppressed minorities.
In addition to numerous international festival and UK theatrical screenings, the film has
won three major UK awards; a Royal Television Society Programme Award; the TAPS
Writer of The Year Award for ‘Best Completed Short’; and the Jim Poole Award for Best
Amongst its international accolades, CRY FOR BOBO has won Best Narrative Short at
the Athens (Ohio) Independent Film Festival; a Méliès D’Argent for Best European Fantasy
Film from Sitges International Film Festival; Best Fiction from FIKE Évora International
Short Film Festival; the FICE Award from Napoli Film Festival, and Audience Awards from
Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Films and the Down Under International Film
“Cry for Bobo is beautifully written, directed and produced and works on every level, as
knockabout silliness, as a serious satire on racial intolerance, and as a visually sumptuous,
technically perfect short film. This is an absolute must-see.” - Review from MJSIMPSON.
I do hope that you’ll love the film and will want to include it in your December 2008
Please confirm receipt of this application by email to the address below.
I look forward to hearing from you...
Nigel R. Smith
Entry form/list of appearances
Nigel R. Smith, 35A Brittania Row, Glasgow, G2 3IG
DATE EXPENSE £
17/7 UPPSALA FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 4.41
18/7 BRIEF ENcoUNTERS SFF - postage £ 0.84
24/8 FoYLE FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 1.72
5/9 BREST FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 1.74
5/9 STocKHoLM FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 1.83
13/9 - oLYMPIA FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 2.10
13/9 gIJoN FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 2.10
13/9 ZINEBI FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 2.10
1/10 BRITISH coUNcIL - requested, postage £ 0.44
1/10 BERLIN FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 2.10
1/10 oSLo FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 2.10
1/10 BERMUDA FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 3.36
5/10 BRITSPoTTINg - postage £ 1.56
12/10 BUENoS AIRES FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 3.36
5/11 unspecifed postage £ 1.91
5/11 MANHATTAN SHoRT FILM FEST - postage £ 2.68
5/11 MANHATTAN SHoRT FILM FEST - $30 cash entry £ 21.54
5/11 oBERHAUSEN SHoRT FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 2.10
6/11 PoST oFFIcE - PoSTPAcKS FoR FESTS £ 9.50
7/11 BRADFoRD FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 1.00
7/11 BUFF MALMo FESTIvAL - postage £ 1.65
7/11 SANTA BARBARA FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 3.19
7/11 SANTA BARBARA FILM FESTIvAL -c/c $45 entry fee £ 32.85
7/11 ASPEN SHoRTSFEST - postage £ 3.53
7/11 ASPEN SHoRTSFEST - IMo entry fee £ 29.77
7/11 unspecifed postage £ 0.95
8/11 SAN FRANcISco FESTIvAL - postage £ 2.51
8/11 SAN FRANcISco FESTIvAL - c/c 55usd entry fee £ 40.15
8/11 NEw ZEALAND FILM FESTIvALS - postage £ 3.62
9/11 NASHvILLE FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 3.36
9/11 NASHvILLE FILM FESTIvAL - c/c 30usd entry fee £ 21.54
9/11 Hazel - postage £ 0.19
13/11 cRAcow FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 2.10
14/11 wASHINgToN Dc FILMFEST - postage £ 3.36
14/11 wASHINgToN Dc FILMFEST - entry fee $15 cash sent £ 10.77
20/11 unspecifed postage £ 0.38
20/11 MATERIALS To SND DISTRIBUToR £ 6.18
21/11 unspecifed postage £ 1.01
22/11 DRESDEN FILM FESTIvAL - postage £ 2.10
23/11 PoUNDSTRETcHER - BLANK cDRS £ 19.98
ToTAL AT 1ST DEc £ 257.67
TOTAL £ 257.67
PAID IN FRoM gIJoN FILM FESTIvAL (AwARD) £ 50.00
NEw ToTAL £207.67
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