Top 5 Film Festivals With Prizes Worth The Entry Fee

With so many film festivals out there, you can often find yourself drowning in submission costs with not much hope of seeing any of it back (let alone the cost of production). However, these film festivals offer prizes that are well worth the cost of submission. So have a look, because some of these deadlines are fast approaching!

  1. Brooklyn Film Festival (2-11 June, 2017)

    With a slew of prizes, this is a definite one to have on your festival shortlist. Sure the submission fee is a little higher than the majority of us would like (around the $70 mark if you’re early) but if you think you’ve got what it takes to take the awards by storm, then we say go for it! Their prizes total over $50,000 in services and products, and with sponsors like Panavision and Xeno Lights, you’re sure to reap the rewards.

  2. DC Shorts Film Festival (7-17 September, 2017)

    For all you short filmmakers out there. With their submission fees costing only $40 if you’re early enough (AKA before March 30th) you could be in the running for a whole bunch of filmmaker goodness. With past prizes consisting of a one week Oscar run screening at Landmark Theatre, Software packages sponsored by Final Cut, Red Giant and Write Brothers, Memberships to The Lookout and The Tracking Board, Equipment rentals and not to forget cash prizes of up to $1000, this one is a must for your production. Oh, and did we mention they have awesome Filmmaker hospitality perks for all you out of town-ers?

  3. NFFTY (National Film Festival For Talented Youth) (27-30 April, 2017)

    Calling all emerging Directors – this one’s for you. With a maximum of a $30 submission fee (yes – $30!), this festival is aimed at helping all directors under the age of 25 (whilst filming). With prizes consisting of to $2500 in cash as well as scholarships totalling up to $8000, this (as they say on their website) is a “once in a lifetime experience”. And you better jump on it fast, as their final deadline is soon approaching (January 30th).

  4. New Orleans Film Festival (12-20 October, 2017)

    A total winner for filmmakers of all kinds. With categories ranging from Narrative Features, Music Videos, New Media and even Episodic, this festival is one for the masses. Oh, and did we mention their prizes are totally amazing? Not only are many of their categories Oscar Qualifiers, but also last year their jury awards totalled over $80,000 in camera packages, film stock, cash prizes and software. It’s the kind of stuff filmmaker dreams are made of. Oh, and the jurors are some of the leading members of the film industry (including Nigel Smith of Indiewire – a personal favourite). Even better than this, their submission fees are totally affordable if you submit early (we’re talking anywhere between $20 -$40).

  5. Diversity In Cannes Short Film & Webseries Showcase (20-23 May, 2017)

    Created to encourage filmmakers from unique backgrounds to share their stories, this festival runs during the same time as the esteemed Cannes Film Festival and their prizes are pretty awesome. Winners can expect perks such as feature articles in online magazines, film marketing and PR consultations, Legal consultations with an entertainment attorney, script coverage from entertainment companies including follow up meetings as well as many other little treats. Although the cash prizes may be small in this festival, these perks more than make up for it (I mean, entertainment attorneys cost about an arm and a leg!). Oh, and last year they also gave away a one hour consultation with a CBS entertainment diversity executive. We’re kind of digging this festival.

Article written by Alexa Berry for The Monthly Film Festival



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