Set Your Goals High for 2016


The new year is a great time to set goals and achieve them in your filmmaking career. 2016 brings filmmakers many opportunities to submit their films for festivals and/or awards consideration. Sometimes it's hard to figure out the details of these type of submissions so, we at Austin School of Film have compiled a list of local and out-of-state opportunities for local filmmakers to achieve their goals. SXSW 2016 film submissions are already passed deadline but, setting the goal of a 2017 submission can still be very possible. SXSW takes in most film submissions starting in early June of this year lasting until November of this year. This gives you some ample time to get ready a production for Austin's biggest industry turn out. Another festival in the local Austin area to consider for 2016 is the Austin Writer's Film Festival. Austin's own Film Festival has many different categories to choose from giving you the most options for your production. From Narrative features, shorts and student shorts; Animated Short, Documentary Feature or Short, Dark Matters feature, and Comedy Vanguard. These all are possible options to consider when looking forward to the deadline submission dates which are as follows, early-bird submission is March 30th ($50), Regular Deadline is May 20th ($60), Late Deadline is July 6th ($75). Depending on what your production will need these dates will give you a good place to start as to creating a timeline for your project. If you happen to have any more questions about film submissions for this festival, please visit their FAQ website at the link provided.

Dallas also has their very own film festival which is put on by the Dallas Film Society. They have stopped taking submissions for their festival in April but, will start taking submissions for next year's festival by late summer. More information located here:
While doing research for these Texas Film submissions, I came across some of the more prestigious film festivals that are consider Must-Submit festivals as some are even up for Oscar consideration. These five must-submit festivals would be Sundance, Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, and Aspen Shortsfest ( these three being in the USA ) Although, if you'd like to set your goals even bigger there are Cannes and Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival both in France. Raindance Film Festival in the UK is also another that can get your film into Oscar qualifying categories. So get that passport and take your projects with you. Who knows what a trip over seas could do for your career!
The best way to get your productions out there for submission is to start your research early and plan accordingly to upcoming deadlines. A lot of 2016 festivals towards the beginning of this year have already stopped submissions but, that doesn't mean you can't get a head start on next year. These festivals start taking most submissions early summer to late winter. Set your goals high, do your research and most importantly have fun creating lifetime memories producing your own project! Happy Filmmaking!
Written by: Samuel Leavitt