Gerard Weber, Serge Abiaad and Wouter Jansen took part in the discussion on festival distribution – a Kyiv International Short Film Festival industry event.
Yulia Volfovska about the most important aspects of the discussion.

KISFFpro | What to do if the Cannes Film Festival won’t take your film?

Gerard Weber of sixpackfilm, an Austrian distributor of short and experimental films says: “If you submit your film to the Locarno Festival and they don’t take it, I would suggest not to wait for the Berlinale. There’s much more than A-list festivals especially for shorts. Try to get to as many festivals as possible. There’s a lot of interesting festivals where many programmers come back to – Filmfest Hamburg, film festivals in Winterthur and Rotterdam.” Wouter Jansen, founder of an indie distribution company Some Short in the Netherlands and a programmer for the Go Short festival adds: “If you don’t premiere at an A-list festival you can still have a good festival career.”

KISFFpro | Got a zero budget to distribute your film – not an obstacle!

Serge Abiaad, general director of the Canadian indie distributor La Distributrice de Films says: “There’s a filmmaker I work with as a consultant, every time he would submit a film, he would follow up with an e-mail to the programmer and present himself. He does have some sort of a letter of intention or a director’s statement. A lot of programmers give him wavers so he does not have to pay”. Wouter Jansen, founder of an indie distribution company Some Short in the Netherlands and a programmer for the Go Short festival continues: “You can develop your budget as you go if you have a strong film. You win something somewhere and it can fund the rest of the submissions. If you have a budget of 100-200 euro, you can already do a lot. You can submit the film to at least 60-70 good festivals. Within Europe and Asia there’s still a lot of festivals that don’t ask for a submission fee.”

KISFFpro | You have your film ready and want to reach out to festivals, where do you begin?

Gerard Weber of sixpackfilm, an Austrian distributor of short and experimental films suggests: “First go to the national film festivals that are in your own country, that’s the starting point. At a national festival you will see your film in comparison to international films. There are submission platforms like FilmFreeway or Shortfilmdepot, that don’t cost a lot.” Serge Abiaad, general director of the Canadian indie distributor La Distributrice de Films says: “Filmmakers either distribute their films themselves that I always encourage especially when you start making your first film. Go check the web site of each of the festivals that you’re interested in and see what movies they take, what’s their editorial mind, does it fit into the kind of movies that you’re doing. An advantage of working with a distributor would be that on the longrun it helps your film because programmers are aware what the distributor does and it already gives visibility to your film”.

Learn more about the festival’s industry section here: goo.gl/K8jHx2 and at #KISFFpro

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