Loving the process of film making will not guarantee your acceptance to top-tier festivals. But it will make your life immeasurably better, and it will only help better your chances.
You will face a ton of rejection, forever, until the end of your life. And a lot of it will be for reasons outside of your control. If you let that external validation define you, you will lose yourself.
Viktor Frankl wrote, “Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it.”
Just strive every day to love yourself, the people you work with, and the work you’re making.Strive every day to reconnect with that deep-down reason why you have chosen this insanely difficult life path… and make art recklessly from that place.
If you love your journey, that love will show on the screen. I know that sounds totally bogus and intangible. But when you look at the selected films, they have one thing in common: When you watch them, you can sense that these filmmakers love their characters, their collaborators, and the story. They’re not just in it for political or personal or career gain.
In most of the festivals, it is becoming increasingly rare that a festival director or programmer watches every film submission. But at 7th Art, we had over 75hours worth of submissions this year and it took 3 programmers and 20 days of dedicated viewing to select the films. We can only imagine how many hours of films larger festivals like Cannes or Venice receive. But at 7th Art we watched all the films diligently with a great deal of responsibility. Your film is probably good. You still might not be included, solely because the number of such good films might be brimming the bucket, and the programmers might be looking for the quality of exceptionality. Rejection DOES NOT define your merit.
As the festival director and one of the programmers, we can sense the love and effort that each one of you has poured into your films, and it’s contagious. We fall in love with these characters just as you do, and we want to support you in your quest to get them seen.
Chairman & Festival Director