Smaller film festivals attracting global submissions

by Bob Deutsch

Smaller film festivals attracting global submissionsEven smaller film festivals are gaining a wide reach.

The film festival industry has been receiving quite a bit of attention recently, especially at the beginning of the year. Already, major festivals like Sundance, Palm Springs and South by Southwest have taken place, with other favorites like the Cannes Film Festival set for next month. As the industry as a whole grows, with many seeing more submissions and audience members in recent years, even smaller festivals are reaping the benefits from this trend.

One in particular is the Geneva Film Festival in Geneva, Illinois. The festival was featured in the Chicago Tribune this week, which said that the six-year-old festival had submissions from more than 20 countries. The event was held from March 28 – 30 at the State Street Dance Studio, and 33 independent films were shown. Organizers invested in better sound and screening equipment this year as well.

One of the benefits of these smaller festivals is the ability for independent filmmakers to get their name out to the public, especially since most films screened aren’t typical subjects, the news source explained.

“Without the backing of major production companies, their films – about everything from Holocaust survivors in a retirement home to a horror film that takes place on the roof of a desolate Chicago building – largely aren’t seen by the average movie-goer,” it read.

The festival director is Scott Rolf, a Geneva resident and camera technician. Rolf used  his film industry network to bring in judges for the festival.

In just six years, the Geneva Film Festival has managed to grow in size, pointing to the booming industry. However, there are other ways for festivals to screen films besides the typical movie theater venue. With outdoor movie screens, organizers can offer audience members a new environment as well as accommodate the increasing number of festival attendees.

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