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A Beginners Guide To Self-Promotion
Benjamin Cook
A Beginners Guide to Self-Promotion
Festivals are concentrated events which showcase new international film and video work.

Most festivals have an open call, this means that anyone can enter their work within certain guidelines and the festival makes a selection of what they are going to show. They are a good place to gain instant exposure for your work, although they should be thought of as a starting point for your work rather than an end in themselves. They happen on an international scale, and as well as the public audience, they attract curators, programmers and buyers. Most importantly, they offer an opportunity to network and see an enormous amount of work by your contemporaries in one place and time. As there are so many festivals in the world each with their own focus and character it pays to be strategic, otherwise you could waste a lot of time and money on entering inappropriate events. So consider the following:
What kind of profile does the festival give artists' film and video work? Some larger festivals may marginalise such work.
Does the festival have a good reputation? And will it look good on your CV and do the right curators and buyers visit it?
What will you get out of it? Some festivals offer more than others - will they pay your travel to the event?, Will they put you up? Festivals are most useful when you can be there in person to network and present your work.
And ultimately - do they actually show the kind of work you make? Most have websites so research their past programmes.

- John Smith's Blight (pictured right) was a big hit at film festivals

Still from Blight by John Smith, 1994-6
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