Before and during your festival

Before the festival, make sure you invite key journalists well in advance so they can prepare their travel schedules and block out your dates. It’s frustrating for press to be invited a few weeks before the festival, when it’s too late for them to rearrange their schedules. They might have other deadlines, of course. Plus, flight costs are so much cheaper if you plan in advance.

If you have talent attending – directors or actors in particular — agree in advance (i.e. alongside the invitation to the festival) what you might expect of their time commitments, are they willing to come to festival events other than their own screenings, and more crucially are they happy to do some press interviews? Find out if they will do phone interviews in advance of the festival, or how many hours of press interviews you can expect them to do on the ground. And be reasonable, it might not be fair to ask someone to do 8 hours of press in one day! They are not machines.

During the festival check in with your attending press to make sure they have everything they need. Do they have tickets for all the screenings they want to attend (within reason), do they need help arranging more interviews, do they want tips from you about buzzy films?

What press need on site is a place to work and great wifi. Remember they might be sending video or photo files so strong wifi is crucial. Free water and tea/coffee in a press working area is also appreciated. Especially if the press hotel is far away from the cinemas, make sure they have an easy place to work without trekking all the way back to hotel multiple times a day – this can even be in a local café as long as the wifi is strong and there are plugs for laptops!

During the festival, some of the festival films might get bad reviews. Don’t panic, this is a natural part of the process. If a critic loves every film they see, they aren’t a very good critic, are they? Don’t take it personally and don’t try to tell the critic they are wrong. They are entitled to their opinion. Hopefully you’ll get enough great reviews for other festival films to take the sting out of a few bad ones.

Subscribe to our mailing list

What would you like to receive emails about? *
* indicates required