We happen to be in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). Though I didn’t watch any films at the festival, I was lucky enough to talk with Diane Henderson, the Deputy Artistic Director of the EIFF. Diane was nice enough to take an hour out of her busy day to talk with us about this festival, film in general, and how submission processes work. The ed film festival starts on June 21st and ends on July 2nd; every night there are independent films shown.
Diane talked with us about how the submission process works for people submitting their film. She stressed to us that you have to find the right festival for your film, not for you, but simply for your film. Don’t just submit your film to a big festival at the beginning of your career because it can break your film. To submit your film for it to be reviewed costs £120 which is more than other film festivals charge. Diane told us that they normally receive 4,000 submissions a year. Film lovers will watch every single film TWICE and record feedback for the staff to decide if the film will be chosen for the festival. Diane mentioned that it’s sad when you know how much time and money (some people mortgage their home just to produce a film) but can’t submit it into the festival.
To my surprise, I learned that many films that are set in Scotland are not actually filmed in Scotland, but rather someplace else like Ireland. Scotland doesn’t even produce many films, but the cinema community is loved and appreciated.
Before meeting with Diane, I didn’t know much about film festivals or the process that goes into picking the right films. It was interesting to hear her talk about the process they go through, and to learn more about the behind the scenes stuff. I am grateful to have been able to meet with Diane during this busy time for her, and I appreciate the opportunity I was given. She loves what she does and had nothing but positive things to say about Edinburgh and the film industry.