Live Awards Presentation

By Mikel Fair

We get a lot of questions about the awards program and how it's run at our Film Festival Circuit events. Since we started our Film Festival journey in 2008, we've learned a lot over the years about how to make this process flow smoothly as well as become more efficient with our time.


Save 20% on FilmFreeway Get Promo Codes Now!


We No Longer Have Traditional Q&A Sessions

What? Wait? Why? At some other Film Festivals, there is a traditional Q&A after every film. This is kind of how it goes. The film plays in a dark theater. Then the credits roll, the lights turn on, the staff sets up the microphones and chairs in front of the screen, filmmakers get called to the front, applause, questions, answers, applause, remove the microphones, remove the chairs, turn the lights back off, start another film. This probably isn't so bad when it comes to screening feature films. After the audience sits down for 100 minutes, they will usually rush the bathroom for the Q&A while the festiva staff is setting up. And then return to the theater in the middle of the Q&A session which is disruptive. But hey, it's tradition right? Not for us.


New call-to-action


More Opportunities For More Filmmakers

At our events, we do not screen feature films. The time limit for every submission category we have is 30 minutes in length. We do that on purpose for a number of reasons. The main reason being, we want to give more filmmakers more opportunities to screen their films in front of a live audience. It's simple math really. We found it very time consuming to turn on the lights after every short film and set up for questions. We could barely get through 4 or 5 short films in a 2 hour session. We stopped this format years ago in order to allow more time for screening films during our theater sessions. Now we are able to screen 15 to 20 short videos per hour, depending on the length of each film.


New call-to-action


Film Introductions And Award Presentations Combined

Instead of a Q&A, we incorporate film and screenplay introductions into our awards presentation, which take place before the screenings. Our audience gathers in a designated area, the festival director makes opening remarks and then one-by-one, we ask for any representatives from that selection to come up and accept their certificate. We create an official selection, award finalist or award winner certificate for every selected submission. Winners, finalists and official selections are all treated equally. Then we take a photo with the representative at our step-and-repeat. Afterwards, we hand the representative the microphone and ask three questions.


  1. Where did you travel from?
  2. What inspired you to create this film or screenplay?
  3. What are you working on next?


This is an opportunity for the audience to ask questions. We've found that this is a great ice-breaker after the awards program is finished. All of the filmmakers and screenwriters have better conversation starters and the networking runs more smoothly. Conversations start up like, "Hey, you said you were from New York, I went to school there. Is it a comedy feature length screenplay you got nominated for? Since we screen all attending films at the beginning of the screening session, other filmmakers are more inclined to stay and support the films, because they feel more connected to the film. There's nothing worse, than a film festival where people stay for their film and then leave the venue. Just bounce in the middle of a session. That's another issue that I will cover in another article.


FilmFreeway 20% Waiver Code


The Introduction Format Works!

At our festivals, we don't have a giant red carpet, paparazzi or a dramatic Academy Awards style presentation. Those things are cool for huge commercial festivals. At our event, we offer a more intimate experience. There is no dress code, no formal plated dinner and not a lot of glitz and glamour. What we do offer, is an intimate experience to share your creative work with our audience. Our festivals are a place to get to know other people in the industry. It's a great place to have a conversation about your work. Let people know what motivated you to create it. Network with others that may have skills that you need. At our events in the past, people have met screenwriters, producers, production companies, distributors, investors, actors, crew and others. It's an organic process. You get out of it, what you put into it. We don't have any "Shark Tank" style pitch meetings. But I know multiple occasioins where the relationship with investors and distributors started at our Film Festivals. We do our best to give you the best opportunity to meet people and network, but we will never promise you things that we cannot deliver. I hope we get an opporunity to meet you at one of our events.


Film Festivla Submitter's Handbook ebook and AudioBook

Mikel Fair

Mikel Fair

From 1999-2015 I worked on location in the television and film industry as a location sound mixer, production manager and field producer. I have also worked in post production as an editor, post sound mixer and composer. Today, I am the Director of Film Festival Circuit LLC, a US based company that manages international film festival events in Texas and Oregon. Our team is passionate about showcasing new independent films, videos, series episodes, screenplays and teleplays of all genres.

Are you new to the Film Festival submission process?

Film Festival Circuit events have reviewed over 5,000+ submissions since 2008. Our judges see issues repeated daily that weaken the presentation of films, videos and screenplays during the evaluation process. The Film Festival Submitter’s Handbook was written to help filmmakers and screenwriters build a successful strategy and avoid common costly mistakes when submitting to Film Festivals.

Download Now!
$9.99 USD