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September 2017 | Georgie McGahey

Just like any industry, the film industry has recognised dates for business opportunities and celebrating its successes. Here's our round up of the film year calendar, so get planning for 2018!

The film year is packed out with events, too numerous to compile and too diverse to categorise in one blog. However, we thought we would draw your attention to the most important events on the film calendar for the last quarter of 2017 and beyond. 

Film festivals:
If you browse FilmFreeway, the sheer volume of festivals is overwhelming. Genre specific, topic related, festivals for a particular demographic - you name it - there's a festival for it. With that in mind - as this would be an epic post if we added every festival in the UK - we have only included the film festivals that are recognised by the Academy and BAFTA. Being shortlisted for these festivals puts you on the radar for the big league award shows.

If you're submitting your film to a competition, heed the wise words of Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival director Rich Warren. You can find his interview here. Remember to take some time to plan your strategy for each submission and most importantly, consider whether your film is relevant to each festival. 

Even if you don’t get your film to competition, consider attending film festivals as a spectator.  You can watch the work of your peers and it might help you understand why you weren't selected this time around. You can also meet other filmmakers and attend the seminars and workshop on offer. Speakers are invited to Q and A sessions and panel discussions, so if you thought a film festival was all about the screenings, you might be surprised. 

Alongside the above, festivals also offer other areas of opportunity. Many, if not most, festivals are not for profit, so they depend heavily on volunteers, during the main event and as the festival is being curated. If you consider volunteering during a festival, then you can come away with some relevant experience to add to your CV, plus, if you are volunteering at one of the major festivals or film markets, you can gain an insight into how the industry use these events to do business. So, if you are lucky enough to live in a major city, with a good film festival, submit your interest for 2018!

Film Markets:
Anyone interested in distribution, film sales and acquisitions and even producing, should note down the dates for the major international film markets. These aren’t just people gathered around haggling over movies - although that does happen - there are workshops, seminars, networking events. All the mysteries of the film business can be unraveled and although members of the industry conduct the primary business of the day, emerging filmmakers can find the experience of attending a film market invaluable.

To understand more about film markets, watch this short film about the AFM, which is open in November. 

Love them or hate them, awards shows can be great entertainment but also incredibly insightful. For those of you interested in the industry as a business, you might want to pay attention to the campaigning that goes on behind the scenes and what holding a gold statuette can do for your career. 

The Film Year …


Sundance Film Festival - Park City, Utah, USA -

Palm Springs - Palm Springs, USA -

SAG Actors Awards - Los Angeles, USA -

Golden Globe Awards - Los Angeles, USA -

Cinemart - Rotterdam, netherlands -


Berlin International Film Festival - Berlin, Germany -

European Film Market (EFM) - Berlin, Germany -

BAFTA Awards - London, UK -


The Academy Awards - Los Angeles, USA -

Hong Kong International Film market - Hong kong -

Hotdocs International Documentary Festival - Toronto, Canada -


Cannes International Film Festival and market - Cannes, France -

Marche du Film - Cannes, France -


Los Angeles Film Festival - Los Angeles, CA -

Sheffield Docfest - Sheffield, UK -


Comic-Con International - San Diago, CA, USA -

Venice Film Festival - Venice, Italy -


Toronto International Film Festival - Totonto, Canada -

Telluride Film Festival - Telluride, Colorado, USA -

Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival - Bristol, UK -

Raindance Film Festival - London, UK -

Cambridge Film Festival - Cambridge, UK -


MIFED International Film and Multimedia Market - Milan, Italy -

MIP TV International TV and Video Market - Cannes, France -

TIFFCOM Asian Film Market - Tokyo, Japan -

BFI London Film Festival - London, UK -

Production Finance market - London, UK -

Micro market - London, UK - www.filmlondon,


American Film Market (AFM) - Santa Monica, USA -

New York International Indie Film and Video Festival - New York City, USA -

Leeds Film Festival - Leeds, UK -

Cork International Film Festival - Cork, Ireland -


European Film Awards - Berlin, Germany -

First up on the awards calendar - The Emmy's
NFTS to launch new school in Scotland

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