What Filmmakers Should Probably Know About Film Festivals by Daniel Sol [HollyShorts Co-Founder]

Film Courage: How many submissions has Hollyshorts received each of the past five years?

Daniel Sol, Co-Founder of the Hollyshorts Film Festival: So five years ago we were at around 2,000 or so submissions for that year.

This past year we received 5,000 or so submissions, so in-between that we’ve gone from 2,000 to 5,000 for the last 5 years increased around 500 or so for each of those years. So 2,000, 2,500, 3,000, 3,500, so on and so forth. To now last year we’re at 5,000 submissions for the 14th year. This is our 15th year coming up and we’re expecting potentially 6,000 submissions. That’s a big increase and we might jump up a thousand this year based on averages. Of course, early-bird deadline is coming up next Friday so we’re estimating where it could be. We’ve seen a big jump these last five years definitely.

Film Courage: Very cool. Of those multi-thousand plus films that you’ve received since the inception of Hollyshorts how many would you say you’ve personally watched?

Daniel: A lot. I say it used to be 100 %, now it’s not as possible with the amount of films and a lot of family and new duties and things on top of that. It’s probably a good at least 80% of all films.

Film Courage: Wow.

Daniel: If not even more. The last few years we’ve grown a review team where I’m overseeing the process more now and watching certain scores and rewatching some films and watching my own but I’m not just hands down watching everything like it was before say five years ago where I was literally hunkered down watching every single film.

2,000 films is much easier than watching five to six thousands naturally just time permitting right? So I’d say that’s probably a healthy and safe number because I like to see everything. As much as I can possibly do. It’s a personal sense of pride and also maybe I am too controlling? I don’t know.

Film Courage: Well your name is on it so it’s understandable.

Daniel: I’m not sure. I just want to watch all the films. So there’s that part of it. And in the end, the films that I am watching or other people are watching and reviewing the scores, I’m going to program the films. I program the festival. In the end the films that do get in I’m watching all of them. So of that number you asked if you look at the number of the films that are accepted or in the festival those I watch 100% of. So naturally yes I’m going to review scores of other judges and say okay I want to watch these, these and these and I’m going to make sure and let’s see what they are talking about here and kind of just double check their work and if I like the films then I can sort of make that sort of passive approval. I’ll be the one to program the film so I’m sort of the last go around if it gets in or not kind of thing.

Film Courage: I’m curious about this review team. How are they and how do you screen them to know they are really indie film fans?…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


Check out Hollyshorts.com for this year’s festival info Aug. 8th-17th, 2019





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