For years, I have recommended filmmakers do all they could to bond with the other filmmakers they met at festivals, for as the films travelled festival to festival, these other filmmakers would become their support group, their friends, perhaps even more.
As we enter the Post-Festival Era, this support group needs to be transformed into a far more important alliance. It remains a top priority to find like-minded filmmakers, but now these fellow conspirators should be sought out as fellow distributors. With five united filmmakers you have a booking block, a touring film festival of your own making.
If there was a way to locate all the other festival programmers, community center programmers, or independent theater bookers that attend the festival, this alliance would be in business. Hopefully this type of independent booker will recognize that this is a new era and they can go to the filmmakers directly for an engagement. Somehow I don't think that's going to happen this year, and these people remain hard to find. Filmmakers need to share this information where ever they can find it.
I recognize that some may be hesitant to pursue this approach immediately after the festival. The dreams of acquisition will still be strong. Yet this sort of booking engagement is not a theatrical release in the traditional sense. It is closer to a publicity tour -- a publicity tour on someone else's dime. Field publicity is direct communication with the audience and that is the most successful way to build word-of-mouth on your film.