“Your website says that filmmakers will be notified by April 15th… WTF is the holdup?! I haven’t heard anything yet! Why don’t you guys have your shit together?”
Believe me, I understand your frustration and we have been doing our best to answer emails from filmmakers wondering what the heck is going on. Rest assured that we have been notifying accepted filmmakers and trying to lock down the print details and hope to have all filmmakers notified by the end of the week. BUT… Just because you haven’t been notified yet doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be getting a rejection email on Friday. There have been a few strange and wonderful developments recently, that I can’t announce quite yet, which have opened up some up some additional screening slots and we need to get everything 100% locked down before we send out the rejections. A couple of you still have legitimate hope for another day or so.
If you haven’t gotten a phone call yet, there is a pretty good chance that your email is going to carry some bad news. No matter what I write here, it isn’t probably won’t change your opinion of me, but just know that there are some really good films that we weren’t able to screen for a variety of reasons. Just like casting or editing a movie, some difficult decisions have to be made when programming a festival. Some movies seem just a little too similiar to other movies that we are screening, some are great, but just need a little tighter editing. Some are excellent quality and seem perfect for SIFF, but just aren’t a great fit for STIFF. In my dreams I see Carl Spence and Brian Shelley in some dimly lit parking garage exchanging unmarked paper bags full of these types of DVD’s like captured hostages in a cold war era film.
I’ll close with these two pearls of uninvited advice… Don’t Quit! No matter how many times you get rejected by film festivals, keep making movies. This is a pretty subjective business and sometimes festival acceptance is little more than the luck of having the right screener grab your DVD out of a bin. Thank you so much for submitting your work to us and please keep us in mind when you finish future projects as we would love to see them. We are a lot more willing to grant waiver requests to filmmakers who have submitted to us in the past and paid entry fees than we are to spammers. Second, make sure to check your spam filters. Sometimes notifications get lost in them.