When All the Others Were Practice was finished, the plan was to submit it to as many festivals as we could and see what happened. We chose festivals that seemed a good fit for the film. Some were queer, some smaller or local or specifically for very low budget films. If the film was accepted to a festival, it might have a little visibility. If it didn’t get accepted anywhere, well, we’d have to cross that bridge when we got to it – we only have festival rights for some of the music so we couldn’t have our own screenings.
Festival submissions can be expensive. We wanted to submit to as many as possible in a first wave. Then, if there was any interest, we’d invest in the second wave of submissions. By September 2014 we’d submitted to thirty-six festivals around the world, spending a couple thousand dollars on entry fees, screener discs, and mail.
As I’d think about updating the blog, there was always another festival about to announce their slates. Maybe I should wait until there was news of a screening? A post about not screening at a festival seemed like sour grapes.
Now, I have no illusions of the odds that any film has of getting into any festival. There are thousands of films of every stripe produced every year. The competition is fierce for every film. Festivals are looking for films that align with their mission, and will get butts into seats. I know I shouldn’t be surprised that we haven’t gotten accepted in a festival, yet there is a hubris in expectation. Why couldn’t this little film find a little festival?
Over the fall and winter the polite “thank you for your submission” letters stacked up and it became apparent that every festival was ‘receiving an unprecedented number of submissions this year’. The letters were all encouragingly worded – some seemed like they had actually watched the film and enjoyed it – but no one was programming All the Others Were Practice.
It’s now the end of March and there are just two submissions that haven’t announced their slates. It’s time to figure out the plan to make the film available for you to view.
While you wait, here’s a peek at the poster: