As the root of the name suggests, festivals are amazing at creating a celebration of cinema. They bring together filmmakers, critics, and fans in a unique, festive environment. Their role as a market launchpad for films can also be powerful but beyond their cultural significance. Festivals also serve as a valuable tool for building a sustainable community for your national films, especially where you fund your own national festivals overseas.
In this article, we’ll explore why you should include promotional strategies in your national and international film festivals. We’ll also provide some use cases for how to do it effectively.
Why Include Film Festivals in Promotional Strategies?
1. Generate Year-round engagement: Your film festivals around the world offer an incredible emotive moment engaging fans with your content and culture. It is a great opportunity to build relationships with fans. However, it might only last a week.
The opportunity is to use the festival touch point to give them access to your national content 52 weeks a year. This will help you generate repeat traffic and keep fans engaged over the long term.
2. Build a Sustainable Community: The goal of any promotional strategy is to build a sustainable community that is invested in the success of your national films. Using film festivals is a way to connect with fans. National film bodies can build a community that is passionate about their content and excited to spread the word to others.
3. Expand the Reach of Film Festivals: Film festivals are often limited to hardcore film fans or those most passionately connected to your country. Integrating a local festival into your content discovery platform is beneficial for many. You can help expand the reach of the local festivals and allow more people to participate. More festival participants will lead to more sponsorship deals and a more sustainable festival.
4. Collect Audience Data: Film festivals can be a valuable source of audience data. They provide insight into your international fans, their demographics, preferences, and behaviour of attendees. By integrating the festival into your content discovery platform, you can collect this data and use it to inform future promotional strategies.
Use Cases for Promoting Year-Round Content
1. Highlight Festival Favourites: After the festival has ended, you can continue to promote films that were well-received by festival attendees.
By featuring these films prominently on the content discovery platform, you can capitalise on the buzz generated by the festival and keep fans engaged.
2. Host Virtual Screenings/Watch Parties: In addition to physical screenings, national film bodies can also promote virtual screenings of festival films. They can do it throughout the year via watch parties.
This allows fans who were unable to attend the festival to still engage with the content and feel like a part of the community.
3. Promote films in Local Cinemas: National film bodies can promote films theatrically released in local cinemas year-round and encourage fans to visit the cinema for their national releases.
Organising opening night meet ups can give the film that boost it needs to get a sustained cinema run.
Moreover, it allows for positive word of mouth spreading. It is also a great way to sustain the community with little or no effort.
Some usheru partners are using local embassies or regional cultural institutions to organise these meetups who benefit from not having to arrange a private screening.
Why Is This Good for Your International Film Festivals
For film festivals, partnering with a national film body to integrate their event into a content discovery platform can be a win-win situation. By providing audience data and promoting year-round content, the national film body can help to expand the reach and impact of the local festival.
This benefits the festival organisers, who may not have the resources to engage with audiences in this way.
Additionally, by working with a national film body, festivals can tap into a larger network of fans.
What’s more, it leads to building a sustainable community that will continue to support them over time.
Integrate Film Festivals into Your Promotional Strategies
To sum up, integrating your film festivals into your promotional strategy can offer numerous benefits. Some of those are:
- generating repeat traffic,
- building a sustainable community,
- expanding the reach of festivals, and
- collecting valuable audience data.
By promoting year-round content and collaborating with local cultural partners, national film bodies can keep fans engaged and invested in their content.
Lastly, this approach can be mutually beneficial for film festivals, as it can help them to reach a wider audience. Also, they can collect audience data, and finally, build a sustainable community.