Cover image for The ultimate film festival survival guide
The ultimate film festival survival guide
Gore, Chris, 1965-
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Hollywood, CA : IFILM Pub., [2001]

Physical Description:
451 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes indexes.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PN1993.4 .G67 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The recent boom in independent film-making has been both a boon and an added challenge for aspiring directors. While the chic status of festivals like Sundance makes it easier for a few hot new directors to find major distributors, other worthy films risk being lost amid a sudden flood of contenders. Chris Gore, editor of Film Threat magazine, has written The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide to help the aspiring actor rise above the tide. The book is full of practical down-and-dirty advice. Every aspect of submitting to and attending film festivals is covered, from an exhaustive listing of festivals and their entry deadlines (the Turku, Finland, Lesbian and Gay Film Festival deadline is in July, so get cracking) to what to wear to the industry party you will be crashing (big pants with big pockets, the better to stash giveaways and whip out business cards). You can even find a listing for the best bar in the Ukraine (Eric's in Kyiv) and a sidebar of handy tips that will keep you on your projectionist's good side.

Author Notes

Chris Gore has built a solid reputation as the hilariously honest, down-to-earth creator and editor of Film Threat. Chris has travelled to over 100 film festivals having attended his first festival at the age of twelve. A reviewer, writer, celebrity interviewer and television host, he has been a judge at Athens, Austin, Edmonds, Florida, Slamdance, and the USA Film Festival

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

American independent cinema has skyrocketed in the 1990s, with venues like the Sundance Film Festival launching critical and box-office hits. Gore has covered this emerging market in his magazine, Film Threat, and as a judge at festivals throughout the country. Here, he provides a how-to guide for film festival applicants. The first section covers such topics as publicity strategies, festival politics, and party etiquette. The second section comprises short interviews with festival veterans. The third section supplies entries on over 800 festivals. Each entry is divided into succinct headings, including "Application Process Tips," "Odds of Getting Accepted," "Best Bars," and "Travel Tips." By turns breezy and cynical, jaded and trite, Gore's guide reflects the tendencies of American independent cinema as a whole. And like his purview, it is quite interesting overall. Prospective filmmakers should purchase this title, but the extremely narrow focus of Gore's guide should give libraries pause.‘Neal Baker, Earlham Coll., Richmond, IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Since Blair Witch Project, virtually everyone with a video camera is presumed on their way to fame and fortune. Gore's book will be useful to eager untutored amateurs and film students alike. Of the many publications about individual festivals and even the few general festival directories (The Variety Guide to Film Festivals, 1998; International Film Festival Guide, 1998- ; and Adam Langer's Film Festival Guide, 1998, 2nd ed., 2000), Gore's expanded and updated revision is the most recent. He lists more than 600 festivals, in categories for "Top Ten," "North American," "International," and "Online." "Top Ten" entries get extended coverage including maps and personal observations beyond the standard title, address, names, e-mail, categories, and brief description. Gore adds advice about applications, product development, marketing, and even the all-important skill of festival partying. He is frank about his personal experiences and mistakes, offering readers valuable insights. He includes extensive interviews with successful festival survivors, some key players, and even a chapter profiling Blair Witch promotion. Recommended for libraries supporting film studies programs. D. A. Schmitt St. Louis Community College at Meramec

Table of Contents

Special Thanksp. 9
Re-Introduction: Into the Next Decade--sex, lies and the Blair Witchp. 11
A Brief History of Film Festivalsp. 13
D.I.C.--Do It Cheapp. 16
In Film, Politics is Not a Dirty Wordp. 18
What Makes a Great Festivalp. 20
Staying Alive: Tips for the Film Festival Travelerp. 22
Simple Suggestions for Survivalp. 22
Section 1 Conquering Film Festivals
Apply Yourselfp. 26
Getting Into the Best Festivals for Youp. 26
10 Important Factors to Consider When Applying to Festivalsp. 26
Forming a Festival Strategyp. 30
Seeking Acceptancep. 32
Avoiding Mistakes on the All-Important Festival Applicationp. 32
Getting a "Thumbs Up" from the Gatekeeper: Behind the Scenes with Geoff Gilmore, Director of the Sundance Film Festivalp. 35
Gilmore and Gore: The Conversation Continuesp. 46
The Dude, Dude-arino, The Dude-inator, His Royal Dude-ness: A Conversation with Jeff Dowd, Indie Film's Most Notorious Producer's Repp. 49
Learn From the Dudep. 58
Section 2 Build Buzz: Everything about Indie Movie Marketing
Introduction to Guerrilla Marketingp. 60
"Out of the Box" Quick Marketing Ideasp. 61
A Powerful Press Kitp. 62
The Seven Items That Must Be in a Press Kitp. 63
Poster the Townp. 66
10 Elements of Great Movie Poster Designp. 68
10 Most Common Mistakes of Poster Designp. 69
Tease Your Audiencep. 71
10 Elements of an Explosively Effective Trailerp. 72
10 Mistakes to Avoid in Making a Trailerp. 73
Why an EPK Is Essentialp. 75
Producing the EPK Begins with the Moviep. 76
What's On the EPK Tape?p. 76
Get Press Online with a CD-ROM Press Kit/EPKp. 78
Hype It on the Webp. 80
Create a Supreme Websitep. 80
Ingredients of an Awesome Movie Websitep. 83
Do-It-Yourself Internet Publicityp. 84
Hiring a Publicist: What You Need to Knowp. 86
On the Publicity Trail with PR Pro Linda Brownp. 86
Questions and Answersp. 92
Journalist David E. Williams on Getting Pressp. 93
The Partiesp. 94
Get Invited, Make an Impression, Crash, Avoid Spilling Somethingp. 94
The Party Do'sp. 95
The Party Don'tsp. 96
Crashing Film Festival Partiesp. 97
10 All New Lines to Use When Crashing a Party!p. 98
Putting on a Successful Partyp. 101
Create Buzz and Leave Them Talkingp. 101
The Most Important Goal at a Festivalp. 103
The Ultimate Film Festival "To Do" Listp. 103
Section 3 The Artisan of the Deal
Behind the Blair Witch Deal: How Two Unknown Filmmakers Made the Most Financially Successful Independent Movie of All Time: The Shocking Story Behind the Deal of The Blair Witch Project (okay, it's not that shocking)p. 106
The Blair Witch Project Chronology: From Concept to Wrap, from Sale to Release, the Complete Storyp. 120
Section 4 Filmmaker War Stories
From the Front Lines of Filmmakingp. 136
Mark A. Altmanp. 138
Joe Carnahanp. 147
Taz Goldsteinp. 156
Roger Nygardp. 162
Mark Osbornep. 169
Joal Ryan, Writer/Directorp. 178
Joal Ryan's Advice on How to Win the Film Festival Game (Or At Least Not Be Reduced to Tears While Playing)p. 189
Richard Schenkman, Feature Filmmakerp. 190
Heidi Van Lier, First-Time Feature Filmmakerp. 202
Heidi Van Lier's 12 Steps to a Successful Film Festivalp. 208
Life After the Festival Debut
Arthur Bormanp. 209
Mark Edgingtonp. 209
Brian Flemmingp. 210
Sarah Jacobsonp. 210
Dan Mirvishp. 211
Lance Mungiap. 211
Section 5 Film Festival Listings
The Top Ten Film Festivalsp. 214
North American Film Festivalsp. 251
International Film Festivalsp. 345
Online Film Festivalsp. 397
Index of Film Festivals by Namep. 408
Index of Film Festivals by Monthp. 417
Index of Film Festivals by Genrep. 425
IFILMfinders Power Invitation List for Festival Screenings and Partiesp. 445
Filmmaker Resourcesp. 450
About the Authorp. 455

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