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  • Writer's pictureJoe Sikoryak

Don’t Let Your Laurels Rest

Updated: Jan 21, 2023

Submitting your film to film festivals can be a long, frustrating and expensive process. But when that happy day arrives, and you are an “official selection”—or better still, a finalist or winner, you’re allowed to brag about it. Why not get the most impact from that hard-won recognition? Here are four tips for making the most of your film festival laurels.

1. Post to social media. As soon as your film becomes an official selection, celebrate. Festivals receive up to 100 times as many submissions as they can select. Embed the laurel in a screen grab or production photo to acknowledge your cast and stand out in the feed. You can update the image (or use a different one) when the screening gets near—or you win that award.

2. Stay organized. If you’re fortunate enough to get into multiple festivals, it will be easy to get mixed up or forget details. Rename the art files so that you can find them easily (Sitges_laurel_black). Create a document that includes the laurels you’ve received and note the screening date and premiere status, if any. Export that doc as a PDF and include it with your press materials.

3. Create video thumbnails. Whether your film is publicly available or a private screener, create a custom thumbnail with an image or poster and all of your laurels in a row. This helps set expectations for viewers (especially festival programmers considering you for a potential selection.) You can highlight your wins in the center, and even re-create your own version of the laurels to make them easier to read (some festival laurels are simply impossible to read at small sizes.)

4. Update your poster. When all is said and done, you can commemorate your achievements by adding all of your awards and laurels to your poster (you do have a poster, right?) This can make an inexpensive thank you for donors, cast and crew—or simply help inspire you to do even better with your next project!


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