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Festival Strategy Advice

Do you need help crafting your festival distribution strategy? Show Me Shorts is here to help!

To get you started, you can download our strategy template pdf for free, or for NZ$15 purchase an editable spreadsheet version. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is a good way to see and sort much of the key data you’ll need when crafting your own festival strategy.

If you would like more in-depth assistance then we also offer Festival Strategy Advice. This service is designed to assist Kiwi filmmakers to achieve cinematic world domination!

If you’ve got a short film close to being completed you may be finding it difficult to plan your festival distribution strategy. Especially in light of so many festivals being canceled or postponed recently.

Show Me Shorts has been part of the international film festival ecosystem for more than 15 years. We would like to share with you the benefit of our extensive knowledge and experience. We regularly attend film festivals globally at all levels including A-list, mid-tier and newer emerging festivals. We have a vast network of friendly colleagues that we can call on to further extend our abilities and help you create a tailored festival strategy that will vastly increase your success.

We know, because we go.

The Show Me Shorts Festival Strategy Advice service is available to short film makers in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. For a fee of NZ$200 (+gst), we will review your draft festival plan, promotional materials and watch your film. We will provide you with specific, tailored feedback and advice that will enable you to maximise your entry fee dollars by targeting festivals that suit your film and filmmaking goals. A full list of recommended festivals is included as part of the service. If you have already purchased the editable spreadsheet, we will deduct this cost from the overall fee.

“A hugely valuable service for people new to the film making scene.” – Michael McAdam, filmmaker

“I feel so encouraged and hopeful thanks to all your help.” – Arvid Eriksson, filmmaker

“Thrilling news: our film has been selected for the 54th Houston International Film Festival and nominated for the Remi award. We wouldn’t have achieved this without your suggestions and help.” – Sam Li, filmmaker

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many festivals are cancelling, postponing and moving online. Let us help you navigate this shifting territory. We have insight into the latest updates about festival date and format changes.

What do I get?

Short films often take years of hard work and creativity to make. If your festival strategy is out-of-step with your film (mismatched or too ambitious), you will struggle to get the festival success you want.

Here’s what you can expect to receive from our Festival Strategy Advice:

  1. Use of our Draft Festival Strategy Spreadsheet to help you get started.
  2. Professional evaluation of your film and marketing materials.
  3. Customised written feedback on your festival strategy.
  4. A list of festivals we recommend for you to enter.
  5. Help avoiding entering one of the many fake or scam festivals by mistake.
  6. Save time and money on submission fees with a more targeted strategy.
  7. A 30-minute virtual meeting with our Festival Director to discuss our recommendations.
  8. Ask all the questions you’ve been wondering about submission platforms, marketing materials and more!

We are offering advice only – this not a distribution service. You will still have to submit your film and pay the relevant fees for whichever festivals you select.

How do I apply?

If you have a short film in post-production, preferably around the picture-lock stage this is the best time to talk to us. This service is only available to filmmakers who are citizens of, or based in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. Your short film must not yet have premiered, and be under 20-minutes in duration.

Our Festival Strategy Advice service costs NZ $200 (+gst).

Here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Read this article on Developing Your Festival Strategy.
  2. Create your draft festival strategy using this spreadsheet as a template (your own version of this is fine too). Note the festivals listed in our template are just examples and you will need to do your own research as there are many excellent festivals not listed that could be a better fit for your film.
  3. Read our list of recommended international short film festivals for ideas, but do your own research too.
  4. Complete the submission form. You will need to include the completed spreadsheet, synopsis, a password protected link to the latest cut of your short film, a short (1-paragraph) director’s statement and written explanation of your strategy, and three images.