The importance of the festival’s commercial operations has led many films to set the goal of entering the competition units of major festivals at the beginning of their production. How can non-Hollywood films squeeze through the gates of film festivals with the limited number of entries with so many productions each year?
Each Festival strives to build its own identity to attract quality films and prominent insiders. For example, the Venice Film Festival emphasizes and pays attention to the artistic and emotional experience of films; the Berlin Film Festival is famous for its acceptance of films with pioneering exploration and intense political and social expression; The Rotterdam Film Festival has been a platform for third world independent films in the past twenty years; the Busan Film Festival is the cradle of new Asian film forces; the Toronto Film Festival is the place where film industry people gather to explore the latest development direction of the industry every year. When a director submits his or her own work, he or she should also consider whether his or her film and Film Festival tastes to match. For example, the Rotterdam Film Festival, such as romantic comedy, may not be the favorite type of the Rotterdam Film Festival. For Chinese films, movies about China’s social scene, Chinese lifestyle, or discussion-related topics are preferred by the Rotterdam Film Festival.
The quality of the selected film also determines the reputation of the film festival. Normally, a film journalist or critic needs only a glance at the list of entries in the main competition section of the festival to determine whether the festival is worth reporting, and such evaluations can spread quickly in the industry and the media like an “infectious disease”, directly affecting the festival’s artistic and commercial reputation. As a result, it is also the most important means to enhance the value of the festival itself to win the competition and exhibition of new and heavyweight films every year. For the second or third-line festival or audience-oriented film festival, it will bring great prestige for the festival to be able to win a certain film to participate in or participate in the exhibition. For this reason, some festivals are paying expensive screening fees to attract the participation of target films, and such a paid tour can also allow some low-cost independent films that have not yet found distribution channels to recover part of the production costs.
There are interaction and cooperation between different festivals but also implicit competition, which is reflected not only in the contest for some important films but also in how to enhance the artistic and commercial influence of the festival. For example, the Venice Film Festival, which is held every year from the end of August to the beginning of September, coincides with the Toronto Film Festival which opens in early September. In recent years, Venice has been so cold in the last few days that even filmmakers and company representatives invited to the closing ceremony are absent. They all rushed from Venice to Lake Ontario in eastern Canada because the Toronto Film Festival was the gateway to the North American film market and had to be tested for commercial distribution in North America of films already appearing at the Venice Film Festival.