Tips To Create A Film Festival Strategy

Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming Festival Formula founder, Katie McCullough. With over 13 years plus experience Katie has hosted workshops and seminars for a broad range of audiences including: Encounters Film Festival, Shooting People, East End Film Festival, Independent Cinema Office, Cork Film Festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, BFI Flare, Glasgow Short Film Festival, LOCO London Comedy Film Festival, Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, FilmFest Dresden, and many training events at the BFI Southbank.

MandySurgery sessions are a great opportunity for Film & TV Crew to network and get FREE 1-2-1 time with an established industry expert. This private session is your chance to ask questions about the industry, network and get advice on how to take your career to the next level.

Top Tips from Katie:

  • Devise a strategy when applying to film festivals.
  • Get out the calendar and start planning when festival deadlines are.
  • Go to as many festivals as you can, even as a spectator.
  • Take all positive and negative feedback on on board to best tailor which festival is best for you.
  • Make sure you market and publicise your film as much as you can.
  • Consider mid-range festivals with solid audiences. No festival is too big or too small.
  • Choose festivals wisely based on film partners and components.
  • Don't be afraid to embrace niche festivals; target as many varieties of festivals you can that embrace your films' genre strengths.
  • Research worldwide festivals.


"Katie was very informative and gave helpful advice for a newbie to the festival circuit. She has inspired me to start researching into festivals well ahead of production instead of waiting until it's 'in the can". Alex Kruszelnicki

"The session was very informative and I learnt so about the festival industry I never knew before!" Chris Bridgland

"I really appreciated the helpful attitude and advice from Katie. It was such a welcome relief to hear what is realistic and achievable in the festival industry." Dustin Murphy

"Katie was fantastic and she gave me a list of ideas and broke down the festival circuit for me. The festival process is so much clearer now!" Charlotte Atkinson

"I feel so enlightened and have a bigger insight into the festival circuit. I feel very relieved that festival success doesn't depend on who you know in the industry."Mathias Falcone Mathias Falcone

"The surgery was an eye-opener to the festival process. Having the opportunity to talk with Katie has given me so much to think about." Stephen Lally

So how do I attend #MandySurgery sessions?

#MandySurgery sessions provide an opportunity for actors to get free one-on-one career advice from key players in the industry. These events are run exclusively for Premium Members. Not a Premium Member? Sign up today to receive 30 days Premium trial and apply to attend our next Mandy Surgery for FREE!