Kathleen McInnis is a Film Festival Strategist and Publicity Consultant, specializing in World Cinema, Documentary and Short Films. She offers flexible fee structures, personalized service and expert guidance to films using the festival circuit as their launch. McInnis is currently the Film Curator and Director of Industry Programming at Palm Springs ShortFest. In 2014 she attended Off Camera Festival in Cracow where she gave a lecture on festival strategies.
I’ve heard what you said about the festival strategies on your workshop, but what kind of strategy would you recommend for an emerging filmmaker actually? For instance: I have done the film, it’s in the can, or on the disc, and now I’m looking for the right festivals to present the work.
This is a very good question and it’s complex too. The thing I suggest first for a filmmaker: Process it in three months chance. You finished the film, you made a list of what you want from you festival experience for yourself. And how you think your film will help you to achieve it. You look at the calendar. You seek for what are the best festivals, the greatest chance to give you what you want.
So – as for a filmmaker - my list of priorities is: I really want a coverage in trade publications on my film. I really need a trade review. I need to sell my film. I look at calendar and what deadlines I have to fulfill. Where the trade industry attend and they review from that screening. Where I have the chance to be in competition. Where is the festival I have the chances to have it. This is how I would narrow the number of 5 thousand festivals.