Finding Festivals Worth Participation

Collage of film festival poster


Film festivals worth participating in

Hi Andrew,

I just wanted to let you know I found your article about film festivals informative and enjoyable.  I am a Founder and Co-Executive Director of the Shortz! Film Festival, a three day international, national and local film festival, located in Chico, CA.

I and a few other filmmakers started the festival in 2011 because we wanted to have a place where we could show our own short films as well as others from around the world.  But not only that, we wanted to create a fun and relaxed environment where filmmakers could network with each other and perhaps collaborate on projects together.  It has been a fantastic experience.  Our first year, we had local filmmakers meet up with San Francisco Bay Area filmmakers who worked on projects together that were submitted the next year.   And there have been other films created to same way. 

I particularly liked how you said, “Ultimately the festival experience should be fun. As filmmakers, we get to do something pretty incredible with our lives, and screening our work for a receptive audience is a goal we all share.”  Exactly!  That was one of the reasons for starting the festival and the motivation for continuing it.  Provide a place(s) for audiences to see the creativity, ingenuity, and passion independent filmmakers have when sharing their stories with us.

Shortly after beginning the festival here in town, we decided to provide another avenue of distribution to those filmmakers who screened at our festival.  With their permission, we made their films available to the public via our Roku channel.  This channel is free to the public and currently has over 23,000 subscribers. We streamed 10GB of video traffic to 580 visitors in the month of April.

I’d have to agree with your comment that “while big name international festivals may be the best-known, it certainly doesn’t mean they’re the only ones worth your time.”  We certainly are not the best known…YET…LOL, but I believe we are certainly worth a filmmakers time. 

I’d like to invite you to check us out if you have a short film or if you’d like to come take a look we can set you up with some weekend passes.   I think you’d like the experience, and then maybe we will make your list of film festivals worth participating in.  8^)

I hope your newest film has great success!


L. Renee BoydFound & Co Executive Director Shortz! Film Festival

Chico, CA