At Casting Frontier, we’re proud to offer a convenient, accessible online portal to help casting directors and content creators find the perfect talent for their projects. But once you’ve cast, shot, and finished up your film, you’ve got a whole new task ahead of you: getting people to see it. 

Film festivals are a great way to increase exposure for your film, and while Sundance may not be on the table, getting involved in the world of indie film festivals is an achievable strategy to bring your baby into the spotlight. Here’s how. 

How to Find Them 

In New York City, there are many, many film festivals both small or prestigious to enter into. New York City is already a competitive space for all members of the film industry. As a content creator, it is important to get your work out there and to network. Getting involved in film festivals is a great way to gain exposure, network, and master your networking style. As some do say with the film industry “it is about who you know”. 

 So how do you find the right film festivals? 

As simple as it may sound but search engines are your best friend! There are many publications and popular film festivals just a google search away! Another great way to find them is through networking, communities, flyers, and more. 

Here is a list of some of the biggest film festivals: 

  • NYC Independent Film Festival
  • Phillip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival 
  • Winter Film Awards Independent Film Festival
  • Queens World Film Festival 
  • Manhattan Film Festival 
  • Metropolitan Film Festival of New York 
  • New York Indian Film Festival 
  • Brooklyn Film Festival 
  • The People’s Film Festival 
  • Long Island International Film Expo
  • And much more! 

How to Apply for Indie Film Festivals

At first blush, it may seem like the sensible thing to do is just apply to every single film festival you can find. After all, more applications mean more chances, right? 

The only problem here is that film festivals usually have an application fee of $20 to $100, which adds up fast. Accordingly, you’ll need to come up with a budget for applying to festivals, then create a strategy for using that budget in a way that gives you the best chances of getting into the maximum number of festivals. 

We recommend something of a divide and conquer strategy. Have 20% of the festivals you apply to be major film festivals – think Sundance, Cannes, or the NYC International Film Festival. While your chances of acceptance are very low, it’s possible and always worth a shot. The bulk of your entries, say 50%, should be to mid-tier film festivals like Tribeca in New York, SXSW in Austin, or the Raindance Festival in the UK. Finally, spend 30% of your entries on niche festivals. These are festivals that cater to one specific genre, cause, or type of film. 

To be even more tactical in your applications, do some research on different mid-tier and niche festivals to see what films have placed well in years past. This will give you a sense for where your film is likely to do the best so you can focus your energies there. 

Find Actors & Cast Your Film Online\

These strategies will help you make the most of your film and get the best chances of playing well on the festival circuit, and we wish you luck in getting your film up on the festival stage. And when you’re ready to cast the next project, Casting Frontier can help. Our online portal lets you post casting calls and find the talent that will propel your movie to the next level: join for free today!