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Horrible Imaginings Podcast #168: Getting in Bed with Film Festivals; Panel at San Diego Film Week

Have you ever wanted to take a peek behind the curtain of film festivals? If you are a filmmaker, have you thought about some of the things you should do to increase your chances of acceptance into festivals? Those questions and more are what this episode is all about.

This was recorded live on Saturday, February 11th, during our panel at the first San Diego Film Week, an event designed to spotlight San Diego-based filmmaking and film festivals. Horrible Imaginings was invited to showcase some of our program during the event, and we were also invited to join a panel.

I was joined on stage by Beth Accomando of Cinema Junkie Podcast and my partner in crime in Film Geeks SD, as well as Brian Hu from Pacific Arts Movement‘s San Diego Asian Film Festival and Moises Esparza from Media Arts Center San Diego‘s San Diego Latino Film Festival.

Photo by Leirigh Films

I am excited about two things about this panel. One, this is information we can provide not just to panel attendees, but to any aspiring filmmakers or even film lovers in general who are curious about festivals. Making this a podcast was a no-brainer.

Two, our audience was comprised mostly of film students, many in high school, who genuinely want to learn more about this side of the film industry. I have to thank Jodi Cilley and San Diego Film Week for encouraging young people to attend events like this. They were engaged and, as you will hear in the podcast, asked some excellent questions! As an educator myself, this was pretty damn exciting.

The outline of tips (LOTS of details in the conversation!):

  • Research festivals
  • Make sure your film fits
  • Prepare a press kit
  • Take the time to step away from your film and come back to it with fresh eyes so you can make it the BEST it can be. Show it to a test audience!
  • Rejection is an unfortunate part of the process–how to handle this difficult aspect

I hope you find this podcast informative and helpful! As always with live panels, we probably missed a lot so feel free to add your thoughts in the comments!

Also, Horrible Imaginings Film Festival is now accepting submissions! We have been on Film Freeway‘s Top 100 Best Reviewed Film Festivals list for six months running now–don’t miss joining the family!


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Miguel Rodriguez

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