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The MAKE IT podcast amplifies the voice of the filmmaker by exploring the filmmaking journeys of actors, writers, directors, producers, and a host of other creatives from across the film industry. We provide a platform for filmmakers to provide advice, lessons learned, personal reflections, and ins… read more


280 - Best Practices For Navigating The Film Festival Circuit w/ NaFF Creative Director Lauren Ponto & Filmmaker Ava Leigh Stewart

Hello, Hello! 


In this episode, Chris joins the Creative Director of the Nashville Film Festival, Lauren Ponto, and Filmmaker Ava Leigh Stewart on a panel to discuss the best practices and pitfalls of deploying your film across festivals nationwide. We talk about the role of Film Freeway, what an “Oscar qualifying” festival actually means, how Creative Directors program festivals, the role of alternate film festivals, the value of in-person festival attendance compared to virtual, and why you should use pitch contests as practice for your big studio pitch, and much more. Enjoy!


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Toronto International Film Festival

SXSW Film Festival

Venice International Film Festival

Sundance Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival

Nashville Film Festival

Heartland International Film Festival

Chicago Film Festival

Palm Springs Film Festival

New Orleans Film Festival

Hot Docs Film Festival

DOC NYC Festival

Film Freeway

Defy Film Festival

Dycee Wildman (filmmaker)

Fetish (short film)

The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart (documentary)

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (film)

Willem Dafoe (actor)

Armageddon (film)

Deep Impact (film)

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