One of the great things that can happen to actors in the early stages of their journey is when their films are being accepted into festivals. Aside from it being a step forward and a good bump for your careers, this also comes with a great opportunity to network and make some valuable connections at film festivals.
7 Tips on How to Make Connections at Film Festivals
So what do you do if the project you have been involved with has been accepted into a reputable film festival and you’re one of the invited participants?
1. Try your best to attend
If you don’t have any projects lined up for those days and if you can afford to go wherever the festival(s) is, try your best to attend it.
Making great connections at film festivals with independent filmmakers is one of the best ways to secure some more auditions for yourself in the future. You will form new relationships that will eventually open some doors for you.
2. Do your own research beforehand
This one should never be overlooked by actors and filmmakers. In order to maximize on the fortune that you’re going to attend a screening of your work in a film festival, you have to find out who else is going to be there.
Sit down and read festival’s repertoire, know every single film on the list — who’s the director, screenwriter, producer, lead and supporting actors. That way when you actually meet them, it will turn into a great conversation which eventually might lead to a strong relationship.
3. Make some connections before you even go
Try to network online before you even attend any of these events. Get to know people on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. That way when you actually meet them in person and make connections at film festivals, you might have an inside track.
Another advantage of getting to know people before attending the event is that you can get invited to some parties and social gatherings, where professionals are more open to communication.
4. Go to screenings and watch films
Certainly go and see your own film, but then attend as many of other films’ screenings as possible. You are part of the film industry, so you need to be constantly learning about it and staying on top of things.
That, and you’re also going to save yourself some embarrassment when trying to spark a conversation with a filmmaker who’s screening you purposefully missed.
5. Hang out where other professionals do
There are short breaks between every screening, which most actors, directors, producers use to go and grab something to eat. Join the group or if you’re on your own, get to the nearest fast food joint — it’s almost guaranteed you’ll find some people from the festival there.
Don’t impose, of course, but this might lead to an interesting lunch conversation and a possible connection.
6. Have fun and enjoy yourself
While it might be your mission to make connections at film festivals, don’t make it so obvious. These events are usually a fun gathering where people enjoy themselves and watch some great pieces of work; try to do the same.
7. Never forget to connect after
When you get home from the film festival, try to follow up on your recently made connections. This is the essence of networking.
The most appropriate is almost always to just email the person, letting them know that you liked their film, etc. Try and stay in touch so that whenever something comes up, they would remember you as a possible talent for the project.
Making connections at film festivals are much easier for actors who are naturally social. If you’re not one of them though, don’t worry — if you can, attend these events anyway. You never know who might approach you and offer you a part in their next film based on your looks and performance.