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making an exception

the programmer of a cool sounding indie film fest contacted me a couple of weeks ago & said he read about my movie & that i should submit Date Number One to his fest. sounded like a routine invite/an attempt to increase submissions to the fest so i wrote back & said thanks but i don't really believe in the whole pay money to see if a fest wants to show my movie with no $s coming to me from the screening route. then the programmer said he understands and started a conversation about some indie film biz stuff that i was interested in. i continued the conversation, we exchanged some e-mails & the dude sounded cool & his fest sounded cool, so i said i'll send him DNO to take a look at (w/ out paying a fee) & if he likes it he can program it to the fest & if i can come down & sell some DVDs of the movie at the fest it would all work out for me i said. he said that sounded good. so later this week (hopefully, if all the work gets done) i will mail a DNO dvd screener out to that fest programmer. so i get to submit my movie to a possibly cool fest without having to fill out some forms (kind of cold that process) or without having to pay a submission fee. an exception was being made. of course this is only possible because i did several DIY screenings of the film this year, generated publicity & thus the film may have slightly more value to the fest than a completely unknown film. the film & i are becoming tiny brands - 1 plus thing about the work intensive DIY distro route. i have no problem sending out DVDs to interested indie film biz people (like bloggers & stuff, & indie film fans who happen to be fest programmers), even though i do not want to just blindly submit my film to a fest along with a check. but on the other hand, if it is a cool fest that can use the money, maybe submitting the flick & paying the fee is not all that bad, i guess the fee can be considered a donation to an arts organization even if you never hear a word from the fest. maybe when i have a lot of money to spare i will submit to fests the old fashioned/currently official way. until then, the casual & free inside track works for me. we'll see how it goes. i am also totally fine with not playing fests. the no festival strategy has worked well for me so far :) and i am also cool with playing fests, could be fun, could be a nice positive community thing, as long as i don't have to officially submit the film with paper work & a fee to a feature-less "selection committee" (as in i do not know who will be watching the movie & or if they will be watching the movie at all) BEFORE they decide if they want my film. we'll see how it goes. all this aside, festivals are a good thing for most indie filmmakers perhaps, definitely for most indie film audiences. it's just for a DIY filmmaker, fests are not essential.

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