IF you are trying to sell your film – don’t waste your time at festivals… go to the film markets!!!
I’ve personally had a few films i’ve worked on in Cann, Sundance, Berlin, LA, Toronto, New York, Tribeca, and a bunch of others world wide… One thing I can tell you from direct experience is there are a LOT of business card carrying wannabees and time wasters at these festivals, and not a whole lot of buyers.
There used to be 3 or 4 festivals … now there are thousands and more every year…. Except for the top 2 or 3 big ones…. the rest of the festivals are filmmaker masturbation. Spend your energy going to Film MARKETS, not festivals. That’s where the majority of deals are made, its where the buyers are. Caan , Sundance, and a few others do have the ability to help a feature get sold but you really have to get lucky enough to even get in these before you get to show your film and you have to do a lot of prep work to make sure the buyers get to your screening and see your film. Go to AFM, Berlin market, Cann Market… one day at any one of these is worth 100’s of film festivals parties and dealing with all the time wasters.
Take a look at AFM – This is one you should attend.
The markets are designed to bring filmmakers, producers, and buyers together. a LOT of deals are made at these…. Much more real networking and deal making than the festivals and you stand a better chance at showing your film to more buyers / square foot than in festivals.
Another big one is http://www.marchedufilm.com/en – the Caan Film market.. not to be confused with the festival. They happen at the same time and are connected, but you don’t have to attend the festival to sell your film at the market.
This is the BERLIN ( EU ) market http://www.efm-berlinale.de/en/HomePage.php
if you budget around $20K to $30K in your production budget for marketing, you can get to all 3 and if your lucky squeeze in a suite at one of them ( $10K at AFM )…. Probably the best spent $20k to $30K on marketing you’ll ever spend for your project.
If you just attend without a room, you’ll spend about $500 to $1500 USD for a good multi-pass decent access badge, then just flight/hotel and spend a bit on SWAG to give away to promote your project around the market. You can purchase rooms at these markets for around $10K, you can by banners that hang in the main rooms, you can attend conferences, and you can purchase or bring other marketing and promotion tools with you.