The day has come. By this time tomorrow, submissions will be closing on the 3rd annual Diamond in the Rough Film Festival.
Many people told me that our 3rd year was a key year - we'd show up in more FilmFreeway searches and we'd have more "cred" (since most film festivals croak in year one or two) in the community - ergo, a huge spike in entries.
To prepare for the onslaught we did more social media marketing, we started this blog, we personally reached out to more filmmakers and we are creating a dedicated website just for the 2017 festival (in the past it was just a page on our regular ditrfilms.com site).
During this blog, we have updated you on the amount of submissions in an effort of full transparency and this one will be no different. Our current "stats" break down as follows:
Total Submissions: 180
Number of countries submitting: 26
Number of US entries: 124
Short film narrative: 101
Feature film narratives: 26
Local filmmakers: 22
Short film docs: 18
Feature film docs: 9
Previous fest filmmakers: 6
Although this was actually less entries than we had last year, I can say with confidence that that quality of entries increased quite a bit. I can't think of one entry offhand where it was a slog to sit through it or that reeked of pure amateurism. This was true especially of the feature film entries - last year we barely had enough entries that we were proud to show. This year's entries were much more competitive and a pleasure to watch. If we could afford more days of theater rental, we could have programmed more films for sure.
Another nice surprise was more local filmmakers submitted this year. We do our best to get our local community to submit and this year we seem to have improved that. On the flip side, we had more countries world wide submit this year than last year.
So we'll call it a mixed bag. Less total entries than last year but much higher quality overall, more feature film entries, more local filmmakers and more countries submitting. Actually, that is sounding pretty good now.
We will have the festival programmed and announced very soon. It will be created here but the blog is not going away! The interactive 2017 Diamond in the Rough Film Festival website is going to be great and we look forward to showing it to you all. And come August 25th...we will be premiering some fantastic and truly indie films. Can't wait!