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Film Festivals & tips

Read more about how important film festivals are for your film, what we can do for you and check up on upcoming ‘festival submission deadlines’.

still from Sweet Dreams (Ena Sendijarevic, NL 2023)
still from Sweet Dreams (Ena Sendijarevic, NL 2023)


Film festivals are important opportunities for the film industry to discover the most recent films on offer and to learn about films that are in production. Being selected for a festival creates publicity and awareness for a film – the so-called buzz which helps to sell a film.

Being selected for a festival and winning awards, raises a film’s market value. These achievements serve as a hallmark, a certification of quality. The moment a film is selected for a festival is the best possible time to launch the film internationally. Usually, festival exposure increases the odds of selling the film.

Every film is unique! Inevitably, this means the best international route for each film is unique too. Which festival is potentially the best launching pad for which film, depends on the film, the year, and the film’s momentum. Various factors determine these choices, including genre, subject matter, director, etc. That is why we always recommend getting in touch with us at an early stage if you want to discuss and set out your festival strategy with us.

To which festival should I send my film?

Obviously, the option of submitting a film to a festival depends on when the film is actually finalised. In addition, it’s also important that the film is suited to a particular festival’s programme. To determine which festivals are appropriate for your film, it’s important to start planning for festivals at an early stage and to decide where you would ideally like your film to have its international premiere. If you’re aiming for Berlin, Venice, Toronto or Cannes, you might have to wait until these festivals announce their selections before you can continue submitting to other, smaller festivals. Also, not all films will benefit from being selected for one of the abovementioned major festivals if the film isn’t in competition or screened as part of the main programme. You may do better to choose to screen your film in competition at a smaller festival, where the film will receive more exposure.

The SEE NL team is eager to help you set out your festival strategy. It’s a good idea to get in touch with us at an early stage, i.e., before the film is finished. We are in ongoing contact with festivals and festival programmers all around the world and we can bring new Dutch (co)productions to their attention.

Nothing is as changeable about film festivals as their submission deadlines, so keep a close eye on this. Deadlines are usually set about three months before festivals start. Festivals like Cannes, Berlin, and Sundance, all have very early deadlines, sometimes even up to six months before the start of the festival itself. The later you submit your film to a festival, the lower your probability of being selected. The slots fill up, so the later you submit your film, the more slots will already have been filled. In other words, it makes sense to submit your film as early as possible.

Submission deadlines

To give you a helping hand, we have compiled a list of the most important film festivals that have upcoming submission deadlines. This will enable you to get started right away:

Deadlines in September

Prague International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival - One World

Prague, CZ
20-08-24 – 28-08-24
Deadline: 1-09-23


Berlinale Talents

Berlin, DE
17-02-24 – 22-02-24
Deadline: 4-09-23


Stockholm International Film Festival

Stockholm, Sweden
8 November 2023 - 19 November 2023
Deadlines: 15 September 2023


Turin International Film Festival

Turin, IT
24-11-23 – 2-12-23
Deadline: 15-09-23


Gijón International Film Festival

Gijon, ES
17-11-23 – 25-11-23
Deadline: 17-09-23


International Film Festival Rotterdam

Rotterdam, NL
25-01-24 – 4-02-24
Deadline: 20-09-23


Park City Sundance Film Festival

Park City, US
18-01-24 – 28-01-24
Deadline: 25-09-23


Angers Premiers Plans Film Festival

Angers, FR
20-01-24 – 28-01-24
Deadline: 29-09-23


Park City Slamdance Film Festival

Park City, US
19-01-24 – 25-01-24
Deadline: 29-09-23


Ann Arbor Film Festival

Ann Arbor, US
26-03-23 – 31-03-23
Deadline: 30-09-23


Prague International Short Film Festival

Prague, CZ
28-02-24 – 3-03-24
Deadline: 30-09-23


Deadlines in October

Brussels Cartoon and Animation Film Festival - Anima

Brussels, BE
23-02-24 – 3-03-24
Deadline: 2-10-23


Austin Film Festival - South by Southwest - SXSW

Austin, US
8-03-24 – 16-03-24
Deadline: 3-10-23


Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival

Clermont-Ferrand, FR
2-02-24 – 10-02-24
Deadline: 3-10-23


Sydney International Short Film Festival - Flickerfest

Sydney, AU
20-01-24 – 29-01-24
Deadline: 9-10-23


Gothenburg International Film Festival

Gothenburg, SE
26-01-24 – 4-02-24
Deadline: 12-10-23


Dublin International Film Festival

Dublin, IE
22-02-24 – 2-03-24
Deadline: 13-10-23


Rimouski International Youth Film Festival of Rimouski - Le Carrousel

Rimouski, CA
6-3-2024 – 10-3-2024
Deadline: 15-10-2023


Lleida International Animation Film Festival - Animac

Lleida, ES
15-02-24 – 18-02-24
Deadline: 16-10-23


The Orange British Academy Film Awards - BAFTA

London, GB
Deadline: 17-10-23


Montreal International Festival of Films on Art

Montréal, CA
12-03-24 – 24-03-24
Deadline: 31-10-23


Deadlines in November

Tampere International Short Film Festival

Tampere, FI
6-3-2024 – 10-3-2024
Deadline: 1-11-2023


Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival

Hawick, GB
2-05-24 – 5-05-24
Deadline: 1-11-23


Malmö International Children's and Young People's Film Festival - BUFF

Malmo, SE
9-03-24 – 15-03-24
Deadline: 15-11-23


Aspen International Short Film Festival - Shortsfest

Aspen, US
1-4-2024 – 7-4-2024
Deadline: 24-11-2023


Oporto International Film Festival - Fantasporto

Oporto, PT
1-3-2024 – 10-3-2024
Deadline: 30-11-2023


Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival

Thessaloniki, GR
7-3-2024 – 17-3-2024
Deadline: 30-11-2023


Deadlines in December

New York International Children's Film Festival

New York, US
1-03-24 – 17-03-24
Deadline: 15-12-23


Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival

Copenhagen, DK
13-3-2024 – 24-3-2024
Deadline: 1-12-2023


San Francisco International Film Festival

San Francisco, US
25-4-2024 – 5-5-2024
Deadline: 1-12-2023


Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Santa Barbara, US
7-2-2024 – 17-2-2024
Deadline: 8-12-2023


São Paulo International Documentary Film Festival - It's All True

São Paulo, BR
14-4-2024 – 14-4-2024
Deadline: 8-12-2023


Deadlines in January

Kristiansand International Children's Film Festival - Barnefilmfestivalen

Kristiansand, NO
22-4-2024 – 27-4-2024
Deadline: 1-1-2024


Seattle International Film Festival

Seattle, US
9-5-2024 – 19-5-2024
Deadline: 4-1-2024