In November, I joined the team running the Ealing Film Festival as their Volunteer Coordinator. It was their second year running the festival, but the first time running it in person.
On Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th December 2021, the festival ran at Ealing Green Church in Ealing, London, UK. The festival also ran online through their YouTube channel, with selected films available for one month.
I've now joined the team. Here are three things I learnt working for the film festival.
1. IMDb, TMDB, and Letterboxd
If you are submitting your film to film festivals, then you are ready for people to see it. I made it my personal goal to make sure every film that was playing was made available on Letterboxd before the festival. This was so the audience could log and review the films as they watched them.
However one of the most frustrating things I found was that filmmakers hadn't even put their films on IMDb! Come on people! YOU submitted it to a film festival. If you're unsure how to, I created a blog post on it.
I also created this video outlining how to add your film to Letterboxd (through TMDB)
We sent this video and instructions to the selected filmmakers so they could add their own films to Letterboxd and IMDb.
If your film is selected in festivals, make sure it has an online presence for your audience.
2. Communicate with the festival
I was one of the people checking the festival email address. It was lovely to see emails from the selected filmmakers, especially those who attended the festival thanking us for the event.
Also, make sure that you check emails from the festival. We had some filmmakers who missed out on the Audience Vote and audiences seeing their film because they didn't respond to requests from the festival.
Remember, the festival wants to support filmmakers -- keep in contact with them, they're there for you!
Covid-dependent, of course, but one of the best things about the festival being held in person was meeting the filmmakers and film-lovers who attended. Many of the filmmakers commented on how amazing it was to see their films with a live audience -- laughing in the right places, reacting and appreciating. Filmmakers got talking to other filmmakers, and some said they'll be collaborating on projects in future.
Film Festivals are more than just watching films: they're valuable opportunities for filmmakers
So, if you have a short film, make sure you submit it to the Ealing Film Festival