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Toronto

Festival Campaigns are specifically targeted to those films premiering at A-List film festivals. Toronto, Sundance, Berlin and Cannes are the festivals for which I have in-depth experience with both film and corporate campaigns. Other festivals that can benefit from a strong film campaign include Venice, San Sebastian and Pusan. These are festivals that have attached markets and/or actively sell films from their line-up. There are other festivals at which it is worthwhile to plan for a modified campaign. These include festivals such as Tribeca, Seattle, LAFF, Miami, SXSW, Vancouver, London, Rotterdam, Clermont-Ferrand (shorts), Annecy (animated shorts), Rio and Sao Paulo (shorts) among many others. The campaigns for these festivals focus on aspects of participation other than selling the film, yet often just as important. These aspects may include audience awards, trade reviews, niche marketing demographics, etc.

Sundance Festival Passes

Sundance

There are some festivals when a campaign isn’t warranted and simply wastes money. There are publicists who will take on films for these festivals, charging their normal fee, but I’m not one of them. Emerging filmmakers in particular don’t have enough money as it is! The one exception to the rule is if your film has a release date set for the same city the festival is in. If that is the case, you will need to plan a great deal of publicity off your festival experience, and in that case you do need the help of a good publicist.

Berlin Venue

Berlin

Fees for festival campaigns are roughly the same no matter where you go, and can range from $5000-$15,000 for independent (non-studio) films. Publicists are very often happy to negotiate their rates, however there are always fixed costs at each festival that must to be paid for. I personally work off a flat fee structure which includes my expenses at all festivals except Cannes (Cannes expenses are too high and too unpredictable to be able to fold into a fee). I take up to 3 films at a time at each festival, but not more as I like to give each film full attention.

 

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes