Microbudget Filmmaking B: The Route to Festivals and DIY Distribution

With over 3,000 film festivals around the world, and internet video platforms that include everything from Netflix to YouTube, learn how to navigate this vast landscape to achieve the unique goals for your project.

10–5pm (Classroom 1)

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Take as many as you want for $350 month. Or for $500 month also get a daily work space.

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There have never been more ways to reach audiences with your film. From the over 3,000 film festivals around the world to internet video platforms that include everything from Netflix to YouTube, how do you navigate this vast landscape to achieve the unique goals you have for your project? Does it make sense to work with a distributor to do this work? Can you do it yourself?

In this day-long course, you will delve into the complex world of film festivals and how to navigate the submissions process. From the large-scale global festivals/marketplaces to the regional and niche festivals all over the country and the ever-evolving possibilities of digital distribution. Plus, you'll have the opportunity to workshop your project and get feedback on how best to get your film seen in theaters and in homes.


THE ROUTE TO FESTIVALS AND DIY DISTRIBUTION is the second of our fall Microbudget Filmmaking courses with filmmaker Paul Harrill. The first part, THE ROUTE TO DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION, will take place on October 28. 

While these two course work independently of each other, we encourage those interested to sign up for both. If you are interested in both, we encourage you to consider our Silver Classwork Package, and get any other Made in NY Media Center courses offered in this month for FREE!


Curriculum Plan

The first half of this day-long class is an overview of the worlds of film festivals and digital distribution.

After a midday break, the latter part of the day will involve students discussing and workshopping one of their projects in class to help identify potential audiences, distribution outlets, and marketing strategies. 

What You Will Learn

  • How to establish realistic, executable distribution goals that are tailored for your film.

  • Distributing your film via services like Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon—either through a distributor or by doing it yourself.

  • How to prepare your film for festival submissions, which festivals to submit to, and how to best position the film so that it might be selected.

  • How film festivals make selections, and what to do once you’ve secured a screening.

  • Cost effective strategies for doing one’s own publicity, or working with a publicist, both on the festival circuit and during commercial release.

Prerequisites & Preparation

Students are encouraged to register at least a week in advance so that they may share information about their film (which may be in any stage of development or completion) with the instructor in advance.

About the instructor

Paul  Harrill

Paul Harrill

Paul Harrill’s films have screened around the world at festivals, museums, and on television. SOMETHING, ANYTHING, Harrill’s microbudget debut feature, was named a New York Times Critics’ Pick, earned an “Essential Viewing” tag from The Dissolve, and was called a work of “simple, unforgettable beauty” by The film was listed as one of the Top 25 Best First Features in IndieWire’s 2015 Year-End Critics’ Poll. Harrill’s other films include the shorts Gina, An Actress, Age 29, which won the Grand Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival and Quick Feet, Soft Hands, a co-production with the Independent Television Service starring Greta Gerwig.

In 2005, Paul founded to champion personal, regional, and do-it-yourself cinema. His work has been supported by the Sundance Institute, IFP, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Aperture Film Grant, among others.

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