Sorry I can't suggest any specific festivals. But here's a general note:
In seeking places to send the film, you should probably take into account the
way they deal with pieces of similar length. There are lots of festivals out
there, and you can go broke from submission fees submitting to all of them. So
you probably want to give low priority to venues that will have generic
"issues" with the film, unrelated to its quality. Form is obvious: some are
more open to the unconventional than others. Running time is not-so-obvious,
but probably more important.
The festival description will usually define a max length for shorts, but those
have to be taken with a grain of salt. The programmers want to cast a wide net,
to get more submission fees, and just so they don't rule out getting something
they consider so incredibly awesome they just have to include. But within that
defined range of TRT, all times are not treated equally.
In most cases, works in the half-hour range fall into the valley of death.
Yes, it's unfair and makes no sense from the standpoint of the quality of
individual works, but it is what it is. Programmers want each session to have
an identity. The two broadest categories of identity are "a single longer
featured film" and "a bunch of short films." For the shorts sessions, they want
to include as many pieces as they can, both to include more makers in the
program, and to frame the audience appeal of the session a certain way. Thus,
faced with a 25 minute submission they tend to have two reactions:
1. Why should we give 25 minutes to this long-short at the exclusion of 3
shorter shorts we could put in the same slot?
2. This would make defining and promoting a session difficult. It's not long
enough or "major" enough to be a "featured" work that defines a session and
pulls in an audience accordingly. But it's two long to put in a "variety pack"
collection. A seesion with two longer shorts is awkward to define and promote.
Thus, regardless of the specified max duration of shorts, the functional
ceiling is usually somewhere between 12 minutes and 17 minutes, more often on
the shorter end of that range. Which sucks, because the half-hour range is a
very natural and appropriate length for many kinds of wonderful pieces to fall
> does anyone out there know of festivals that focus on "senior" or "aging"
Any such festivals you may find will be your best bet, as they they focus
programming decisions on how well the films fit their subject focus, and
running time is a minor issue, if at all.
A few years back I was one of the collaborators on a 30 minute "experimental
narrative" which IMHO was pretty good, but was selected by only one of the many
general festivals we submitted it to (Big Muddy, FWIW). All the other
screenings it received, including a couple of very "high prestige" venues
(FESPACO, Art Institute of Chicago) were framed with themes that the film "fit"
in significant ways.
Best of luck in getting it 'out there.'
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