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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 Paradiso Drifters (Mees Peijnenburg, 2020)
Still from Paradiso Drifters (Mees Peijnenburg, 2020)


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:

Créteil International Women Film Festival

Créteil, France
11-03-2022 – 20-03-2022
Entry deadline: 15-11-2021


Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Films

Buenos Aires, Argentina
31-08-2022 – n/a
Entry deadline: 20-11-2021


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

Malmö, Zweden
19-03-2022 – 25-03-2022
Entry deadline: 21-11-2021


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

Sao Paulo, Brazilië
31-03-2022 – 10-04-2022
Entry deadline: 26-11-2021


New York International Children's Film Festival

New York, Verenigde Staten
25-02-2022 – 20-03-2022
Entry deadline: 01-12-2021


Tampere International Short Film Festival

Tampere, Finland
09-03-2022 – 13-03-2022
Entry deadline: 01-12-2021


Stuttgart International Animated Film Festival

Stuttgart, Germany
03-05-2022 – 13-03-2022
Entry deadline: 01-12-2021


Dresden International Short Film Festival - Filmfest Dresden

Dresden, Germany
05-04-2022 – 10-04-2022
Entry deadline: 01-12-2021


Tribeca Film Festival

New York, United States
08-06-2022 – 19-06-2022
Entry deadline: 08-12-2021


Aspen International Short Film Festival - Shortsfest

Aspen, United States
05-04-2022 – 10-04-2022
Entry deadline: 09-12-2021


The Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival - DocAviv

Tel Aviv, Israel
19-05-2022 – 28-05-2022
Entry deadline: 10-12-2021


Barcelona International Short Film Festival - Mecal

Barcelona, Spain
24-03-2022 - 10-04-2022
Entry deadline: 15-12-2021


International Youth Film Festival of Rimouski - Le Carrousel

Rimouski, Canada
26-03-2022 – 03-04-2022
Entry deadline: 15-12-2021


Munich International Documentary Film Festival - Dok.Fest

Munich, Germany
04-05-2022 – 15-05-2022
Entry deadline: 17-12-2021


Montréal International Children's Film Festival - FIFEM

Montreal, Canada
26-02-2022 – 06-03-2022
Entry deadline: 17-12-2021


Nyon International Documentary Film Festival - Visions du Réel

Nyon, Switzerland
07-04-2022 – 17-04-2022


Taiwan International Documentary Festival

Taipei, Taiwan
06-05-2022 – 15-05-2022
Entry deadline: 20-12-2021


Lisbon International Independent Film Festival - IndieLisboa

Lisbon, Portugal
28-04-2022 – 08-05-2022
Entry deadline: 23-12-2021


Oporto International Film Festival – Fantasporto

Oporto, Portugal
01-04-2022 – 10-04-2022
Entry deadline: 01-01-2022


Vancouver Documentary Film & Video Festival - DOXA

Vancouver, United States


Osnabrück European Media Art Festival

Osnabrück, Germany
26-04-2022 – 04-05-2022
Entry deadline: 07-01-2022


Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Santa Barbara, United States
02-03-2022 – 12-03-2022
Entry deadline: 07-01-2022


Canadian International Documentary Festival - Hot Docs

Toronto, Canada
28-04-2022 – 08-05-2022
Entry deadline: 07-01-2022


Melbourne International Animation Festival

Melbourne, Australia
13-07-2022 – 21-07-2022
Entry deadline: 20-01-2022


Tokyo Film Festival - Short Shorts

Tokyo, Japan
07-06-2022 – 20-06-2022
Entry deadline: 31-01-2022


Oberhausen International Short Film Festival

Oberhausen, Germany
30-04-2022 - 09-05-2022
Entry deadline: 01-02-2022


Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films

Palm Springs, United States
21-06-2022 – 27-06-2022
Entry deadline: 01-02-2022


Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival

Brussels, Belgium
29-03-2022 - 10-04-2022
Entry deadline: 11-02-2022


San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival - Frameline

San Francisco, United States
16-06-2022 - 26-06-2022
Entry deadline: 13-02-2022


Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival - Sheffield Doc/Fest

Sheffield, United Kingdom
23-06-2022 – 28-06-2022
Entry deadline: 04-03-2022


Washington DC International Film Festival - Filmfest DC

Washington DC, United States
22-04-2022 - 01-05-2022
Entry deadline: 05-03-2022