What makes a film festival truly "filmmaker friendly"? I want to explore this. To kick it off, a filmmaker sent me this which he received from Joe Cultrera of the Salem Film Festival in Salem, Massachusetts:
I pushed to make this a filmmaker-friendly event. Here’s what we did last year and are sticking to:
#1) No entry fees (we are not looking to make money from our filmmakers).
#2) Each feature-length film will be sponsored by a Salem business and the filmmaker will receive those sponsorship dollars as a screening fee (last year this was $250). This created a real community feel to our 2008 event – allowing small businesses to be active and visible sponsors and giving filmmakers the rewards of that participation.
#3) Attending feature filmmakers will receive free accommodations in our attractive and historic downtown (we want as many filmmakers as possible to participate).
#4) The Audience Award Winner receives a run at CinemaSalem – including a share of the gate.
#5) Attending filmmakers will have a great time (free food and drink, passes to Salem museums and parties, good attendance, intelligent dialogue, great swag; new friends).