Of Premieres and Strategies

If last time you got the chance to learn from our first guest more about taking risks, submission packages and what things can set apart your movie from the thousands same submissions, this time we are going to narrow it down a bit to one specific/niche section in a film festival.

Mr.Kerkino's office for the duration of the festival

Mr.Kerkinos’s office for the duration of the festival

Our second guest is Dimitris Kerkinos, the Balkan Survey Programme director at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and he is going to talk about what is he looking for in the films for his section, how he finds them and why the premiere status matters.

Since 1994 the Balkan Survey section is showcasing great films produced in the Balkan region and acts as a meeting point for those interested in a different cinematic experience. A lot of film festivals have a special section that cannot be found anywhere else and if you happen to stumbleupon one of those, take a moment and see if your films meets the requirements.

Mr. Kerkinos is very dedicated to selecting films for the Balkan Survey program and he is extensively researching for films that fit the program’s criteria. He asks for DVD and screeners, follows the work of directors or looks at other film festivals for potential submissions. Mr. Kerkinos also gets films submission send to him in an official way, by form completion or unofficially, sending the DVD with no attachments.

I asked Mr. Kerkinos the same question I ask every film festival programmer I interview. What are the factors that make it most likely for a student film to be accepted into a films festival? For Mr. Kerkinos the originality of the film, its narrative course, point of view and thematic approach matter the most. Also, because of the nature of the section he is looking for a film that has a sociological and anthropological background too.

First or second time film directors are often attracted to film festivals that have competitive sections, Mr. Kerkinos says and they are more attractive for premieres too.

There are festivals that only want premieres and in order to have a premiere they might have a film that it is not that great, I will never do that [..]. I prefer the film to be great and not be a premiere, than have a premiere and have a stupid film [..].

What I want you to pick up from this post is how different the film festival scene is and how a film festival section with a special program functions, how there are different ways a film festival programmer selects and puts together a program. I brought you this post because I want you to stop and think where you envision your film, what do you want for it, do you strive to get into competitive or non-competitive film festival programs. Sometimes you have to be selective, sometimes you have no choice than to target a specific audience.

Watch the VIDEO bellow to find out more about premieres and sales agents strategy and who has the final say in the selection process at TIFF.


One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Antonella Marie

twenty something college senior - restaurant server- aspiring film editor.

Film Menu

revistă de cinema

A Film Festival Guide for College Students

How to navigate the film festival world for emerging filmmakers?

Moving Art by Louie Schwartzberg

If a picture is worth 1000 words, this will leave you breathless.

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Rooster Illusion

Arbiters of Taste - Movie Reviews and More.

Cinema Schminema

I'd rather be watching THIS!

Matthew Toffolo's Summary

Daily summary of the life/movie world.

WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review

Feature Screenplay, TV Screenplay, Short Screenplay, Novel, Stage Play, Short Story, Poem, Film, Festival and Contest Reviews


a blog about festivals without an entry fee

A film in the making

Follow AUBG Documentary Class students on their journey to create a feature-length film in less than a month.

Create It Yourself Crafts

How do you craft your style?

the love letters girl

What is the story behind these love letters?


WAT was your summer?

Exchanging Cultures

What makes your culture unique?

Favorite Book Characters

Who is your favorite book character and why?

Finding Home

What is home? Where is home?


How Do You Deal with Your Fear?

Mark Wollemann: On the move

Biking, teaching, writing, traveling -- and moving, always moving

Parkour In AUBG

Is there parkour in AUBG?

A Shopping Story

Why do people like to shop?

diversify life

how did you step out of your comfort zone?

Dark corner of souls

Your skeletons are getting too big for the closet? Tell us!


Which club should I join?

Is This Art?

How do we accept art today?


How does sports unify your culture?

35mm Campus

How does the life on AUBG campus look like through the cinema lens?

wat Times

WAT was your most memorable time while on Work and Travel?

Reinvent Happiness

What makes you happy?

Humans of AUBG



How did theater change your life?


How can an internship help you?

International Dating

What was your biggest challenge when dating an international?


What is your first memory of music?

A Story of Choices

Where have you been and more importantly – however did you come to be here?

AUBG Soccer League

This blog is about the AUBG soccer tournament that starts in the 2nd week of classes and lasts till the final's week


What would you change if you can turn back time?

AUBG Do-Gooders

What drives you to do volunteer work?

Bridge Film Festival

How to navigate the film festival world for emerging filmmakers?

IndiePix Films Blog: Celebrating Independent Film

How to navigate the film festival world for emerging filmmakers?

Film Festival Secrets Blog - Film Festival Secrets

How to navigate the film festival world for emerging filmmakers?


FilmFestivalLife's Blog: your daily digest of festival stories, tips, tutorials, news and insights of the film festival world. Happy FilmFestivalLIFE!

Melody Moves to Bulgaria

Teaching, filming and observing Bulgaria while working at the American University in Blagoevgrad


Just another WordPress.com site

%d bloggers like this: