Learn How to Enter, Win or Work at Film Festivals Panel

WHEN: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 ^ 7:00 – 9:30 pm

WHERE: Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Marina Del Rey ^ 13480 Maxella Ave. ^ (at the end of Marina Fwy. West – the 90; Lincoln & Maxella) ^ Free Parking ^ Phone (310) 822-8555

ARRIVAL: Please aim to arrive by 6:45 at the latest. And please allow plenty of time for traffic!


Tracey Wise, Learning Annex Program Director

Office: 310-478-6677 x109

Cell phone: 323-702-4595


I (Tracey Wise) will begin by making a few brief announcements on behalf of The Learning Annex. I will include “turn off cell phones,” etc. Please let me know ahead of time if any of you are open to receiving any submissions, resumes, etc. I would expect that you are NOT, which is FINE – but I would rather explain this to the students ahead of time. If you are open to receiving materials, they can send them to the Annex office; we will forward them to you.
I will then introduce Chris Gore, the moderator.
— We often will begin by getting a feel for who is in the room, so the panelists know the “population” they are addressing. Chris might ask (by a show of hands) who the writers are, directors, producers, etc.; who already has a film, who has submitted to festivals already, etc.

— Chris will briefly introduce the panelists, but each of you should be prepared to spend a short bit of time telling your “life story,” meaning how you got where you are today. The students will want to know the personal paths you took. ***We always try to be realistic, yet very positive in emphasizing to our students that there is no one right or wrong way to become successful or “make it” in this industry.

— We MUST cover what was included in the course description printed in our magazine (reprinted below), so please familiarize yourself with it!

— After the panelists answer questions posed by the moderator, Chris will conduct a Q & A with the audience.

— Critiquing pitches/projects: If you have time, Chris might want to select a few students to pitch their projects and receive professional feedback. Please be realistic with your feedback, but try not to completely crush someone’s dreams!!! ; )

You should expect to be approached after class by students, but you should not feel obligated to stay after and continue chatting. Please communicate to me when you need to leave and I will assist in getting you out the door.
HANDOUTS: I know that this is late notice, but if you have anything you feel might be helpful to offer as a handout (i.e. a magazine article, festival list, etc.), please run it by Chris, then email or fax it to me so we can make copies here in the office. Also, if anyone can bring free gifts, or some DVDs, books, tickets, etc. to raffle off, it really gets the crowd going!
GUESTS: If you would like to bring any guests, that is FINE. They can come for free, of course. Please just get me the names by 4:00 Tuesday – you or they should email me at the office (

Learn How to Enter, Win or Work at Film Festivals!

Are you an aspiring filmmaker? Have you completed a film and you’re waiting for your “big break?” Want to make YOUR entry stand out from the crowd? Want a job where you watch films and travel to festivals?

Then join Chris Gore, author of all three volumes of The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, and a panel of film-fest vets as they share their secrets.

Topics include:
* Which festivals are right for you?
* Application process
* Getting your film accepted
* Marketing: from press kits to parties
* How to sell and get distribution for your film
* Making your film stand out!
Plus: Q & A!

Chris Gore (moderator): reviewer, film festival judge, TV host and author of The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide. The creator and editor of Film Threat magazine, he has hosted The New Movie Show with Chris Gore on FX, Festival Pass with Chris Gore for Starz Cinema, and The Ultimate Film Fanatic for the Independent Film Channel.

Jeremy Coon: produced Napoleon Dynamite (premiered at Sundance & acquired by Fox Searchlight). Now in post-production on The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang with co-producer Kevin Spacey.

Jon Fitzgerald: Founder, Festival Consulting Group (programming, production, sponsorship & marketing) and President, Right Angle Studios (production, distribution & consulting services). Has served as: Executive Director, Santa Barbara International Film Festival; VP of Programming, IFILM; Director of Festivals, American Film Institute; Co-founder/Executive Director, Slamdance.

Christian Gaines: Director of festivals at the American Film Institute (AFI), where he oversees the annual AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival. Previously, he held positions as film programmer at Sundance and helped establish The American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival.

Mike Plante: Short Film Programmer at Sundance and Programmer for CineVegas since 2002. He has also held technical positions at the Sundance, Telluride, Arizona and HBO Comedy Arts Festivals. Publisher of Cinemad magazine; has written for Filmmaker, Cinema Scope, Razorcake and

TO ENROLL: Go to and go to the Los Angeles classes – simply enter coupon code FILM15. This class will pop up and you will get a $20 discount! That’s only $29.99 to learn from a panel of top experts! Or, call 310-478-6677 and mention your coupon code (FILM15). 2 tickets per coupon.

Note: Learning Annex registration fee applies for non-members. Become a VIP member for 1 year for only $29.99! Benefits include: no registration fees, exclusive discounts, free magazine delivery and more!

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