Scott Macauley linked to yesterday's post on the Filmmaker Magazine Blog and included a link to Chris Holland's book "Film Festival Secrets". Seems like a good thing to read up on as you dream about being selected for Sundance. I am going to give it a look. You have to sign up, at least temporarily for Chris' newsletter and then they send you the book -- so I haven't gotten to look at it yet.
I am going to be posting some basic advice over the next few days on how I personally recommend viewing the festival circuit, and in particular Sundance, -- once you are in. Chris' book is a very comprehensive overview on selecting your festivals, how to get in (and manage when you don't), marketing, building your team, preparation, troubleshooting, and followup. It's a quick read and an incredible resource. It compiles what took me years to learn. It does though take festivals a bit as an end into themselves, whereas Truly Free Filmmakers must see them as just the first step in building awareness about their films.
Festivals have to be used very judiciously these days. Festivals are going to change from many diverse and singular events to much more of a unified community focused on year round programming. They are the keepers and maintainers of aggregated film lovers and cinephiles nationwide. They will be able to leverage that community into a truly valuable resource for TFFilmakers, but a new model needs to be found.