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The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide: The Essential Companion for Filmmakers and Festival-Goers Paperback – February 25, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Lone Eagle Publishing Company (February 25, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580650090
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580650090
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,552,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The recent boom in independent filmmaking has been both a boon and an added challenge for aspiring directors. While the chic status of festivals like Sundance makes it easier for a few hot new directors to find major distributors, other worthy films risk being lost amid a sudden flood of contenders. Chris Gore, editor of Film Threat magazine, has written the Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide to help the aspiring auteur rise above the tide. The book is chock-full of practical down-and-dirty advice. Every aspect of submitting to and attending film festivals is covered, from an exhaustive listing of festivals and their entry deadlines (the Turku, Finland, Lesbian and Gay Film Festival deadline is in July, so get cracking) to what to wear to the industry party you'll be crashing (big pants with big pockets, the better to stash giveaways and whip out business cards). You can even find a listing for the best bar in the Ukraine (Eric's in Kyiv) and a sidebar of handy tips that will keep you on your projectionist's good side.

Perhaps most helpful is Gore's inclusion of interviews with actual filmmakers who have experienced wildly varying degrees of success; the directors are remarkably candid and very generously try to help others avoid their own mistakes. Those who are still struggling not only illustrate the ongoing process of learning to play industry games, they show an artist's remarkable ability to keep the spirit alive. Filmmaker Joal Ryan memorably describes taking inspiration from the career of Pauly Shore: "The world tells him he's not funny; he says he is--and keeps working." Whether you want to be a filmmaker or just party like one, The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide will help you operate like a true industry player. --Ali Davis

From Library Journal

American independent cinema has skyrocketed in the 1990s, with venues like the Sundance Film Festival launching critical and box-office hits. Gore has covered this emerging market in his magazine, Film Threat, and as a judge at festivals throughout the country. Here, he provides a how-to guide for film festival applicants. The first section covers such topics as publicity strategies, festival politics, and party etiquette. The second section comprises short interviews with festival veterans. The third section supplies entries on over 800 festivals. Each entry is divided into succinct headings, including "Application Process Tips," "Odds of Getting Accepted," "Best Bars," and "Travel Tips." By turns breezy and cynical, jaded and trite, Gore's guide reflects the tendencies of American independent cinema as a whole. And like his purview, it is quite interesting overall. Prospective filmmakers should purchase this title, but the extremely narrow focus of Gore's guide should give libraries pause.?Neal Baker, Earlham Coll., Richmond, IN
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

This is a must-read for every filmmaker.
Pi Ware
This guide helps you wade through the b.s., saving you time, postage and VHS copies, by telling you what they're looking for, and your chances of getting in.
Gorman Bechard
If you aim to send your films to the festivals, make sure you start with Chris Gore's book.
Craig Nybo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
Ever since Chris Gore's book was published, I have used it in my classes to teach both undergraduate and graduate level film courses. Students respond extremely well to the style that the book is written in and the pragmatic information that the book provides. Gore has done a terrific job at covering not only film festivals, but an insider's look into how young filmmakers and established festival directors think about the process of filmmaking. This book covers a critical area in film school curriculum to prepare students for the world of festivals. I strongly recommend this book and will continue using it for all my teaching. Steve Montal, American Film Institute.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By James Walley on July 4, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first half of this book contains generic film-festival information (on applying to and attending festivals, a diary from the "Blair Witch" makers, etc.) which contains some good material. The meat of the Guide, though, is the series of entries about hundreds of specific festivals making up the second half. And here, the age of the book (published in 2001) becomes a problem. Putting it bluntly, if you bought this book as research material for submitting your own film to festivals, you'll find a lot of festivals listed here that simply don't exist anymore, as well as much out-of-date information about those festivals still in existence. Needless to say, it also lacks any mention of the many festivals that started after this book went to the printer. After three years, Gore really needs to update this or, better yet, make it an annual.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
A realistic, entertaining and practical guide to the life of afeature in the festival world. It includes interviews with GeoffGilmore (Director of Sundance), Dan Mirvish (co-founder and organizers of Slamdance), Peter Broderick (President of Next Wave Films, Acquisitions Exec), and stories from many independent filmmakers and how they've succeeded and failed. Quite illuminating is the commentary on the politics of festivals, info on the importance and role of publicists, and considerations about the festival application process itself. Most importantly Gore lists the contact information, deadlines, and descriptions of most to all of the festivals in the world that you could possibly be interested in entering. Providing incisive tips on where to submit your film, how to promote your film, agents and how they work, film fest mistakes and lessons, how to create an engaging movie poster, how to crash parties, and how to schmooze, Gore maps out the festival world with a refreshing and healthy "go get 'em" attitude.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Miguel Ali on May 28, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If there is one SINGLE book that every filmmaker should have, it is this one!
Chris Gore has done a community service to all indie filmmakers by putting together a book that comprehensively lists, almost, every single film festival out there, with tips on how to get accepted and how one's approach should be towards acceptance
While the book isn't necessarily based upon financing and distribution (however, it has major tidbits upon that) it truly is a wonderful read upon the film festival/independent world and what it will take find success within it
If you're an indie filmmaker like myself looking to enter your films (whether they be shorts or features, or docs) then GRAB THIS BOOK ---- if you're a film lover and a festival-goer, then I also recommend it, as I have yet to see a more comprehensive guide put together, regarding festivals
A MUST READ FOR ALL FILMMAKERS AND LOVERS
Thank you for reading and thank you for the time!
Keep up the good work Chris Gore! Us Filmmakers OWE YOU BIG
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ray Sharp on July 23, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was in the market for a festival, and Chris Gore's book was recommended by a fellow filmmaker. It turned out to be the perfect resource for a festival "virgin" because he gives real information about the festival experience, combined with real experiences from other filmmakers.
Most novice filmmakers I know expect the world to beat a path to their film, but Chris Gore gives you a more practical marketing plan to help the festivals, distributors, and audiences discover the work of art you have created.
For me, the best part of the book was the filmmaker "war stories," where experienced festival-ers give us the inside story of what the festivals were like and how they affected the success of their pictures.
Other chapters include hiring a publicist, developing a website, a complete listing of festivals and the Gore-rated top ten fests.
If you are considering entering or attending a film festival, or if your'e just wondering what they are all about, you must read The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
Having been frustrated with where to begin and which festival to enter with my film. The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide is an amazing book that covers the in's and out's that you need to know. I feel that I am now very educated on what to do as well as what not to do in the film festival game. If you have a movie that you're trying to get out there than you need this book, otherwise your just spinning your wheels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Osorio on July 13, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I use this book again and again. It is more useful than anything I can find online because I can obtain all the info I need in a short amount of time. Chris Gore's help, with this book and on his panels at film-related events, have aided me to no end. When I played my first short film at festivals, the book proved INVALUABLE to me.
I post regularly on a messageboard for independent filmmakers and my response to MANY people's questions is usually "Buy the Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide".
One unique aspect of this book is that, in addition to interviewing filmmakers who got their films sold, he also features a woman who admittedly made a bad film and met alot of failure with it. Being able to see the other side of the story really helps you see what NOT to do with your film before, during, and after production when you are marketing it.
In addition to buying Chris' book, you should also try to make it to a panel if he is going to be in your area. I saw him twice: once at a comic convention and another time at a film festival I was playing my short at. I was so happy to tell him personally how helpful his book had been. At one of his panels I learned of another filmmaker that was in between success and failure. He had succeeded in making a well reviewed film that played in several prestigious festivals, BUT no distributor would buy his film! So there are some hard lessons to be learned by these examples, but I digress...
This is TRULY the best Film Festival related book out there for an independent filmmaker. If you want to succeed, attend one of Chris' panels to ask him personally what you need and BUY THIS BOOK. I swear by it!
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