Réka Bucsi is one of the most successful short film makers in Hungary. Her animation Symphony No. 42 has had numerous festival appearances. She works together with Daazo to manage the festival life of her film and here she shares her experiences with the readers of World of Shorts.
The festival life of Symphony Nr. 42 is organised by the Daazo Festival Strategy Service, find out about it more, here: www.daazo.com/fss

What is the biggest mistake a filmmaker can make regarding festival submissions?

The biggest mistake is not believing in selection. Anything can happen, it is not predictable. The more festivals you try, the better your chances. It’s very important to do some research about which festival requests that your film has an international premier there, so you can choose where to submit first, otherwise you might get restricted because of another local premier you had earlier. Also, it is very hard to manage festival distribution on your own. It’s almost a full-time job if you want to do it properly.

What is your best festival experience?

My best festival experience is always the reaction of the audience. It’s exciting to sit and hear the people’s reactions. I am always very happy if someone comes up to me after a screening, asks a question, or compliments the film. Also by meeting other filmmakers I always gather a lot of inspiration.

What’s the worst thing about festival submissions?
That it is a full-time job and you cannot focus on your next project. It takes a lot of time to sort out and search for festivals, to keep contact when you are selected, and track the screening copy of your film.

Still from Symphony 42.

What is your guess, how many festivals are there in the world?
3,000 (There are in fact more than 15,000 festivals all around the world – editor.)

And how many do you think you have to choose from them to submit your film to?
300.

How much time have you saved with our Festival Strategy System?
Well, the System helps a lot in sorting out the festivals that fit your profile the best. There are many different festivals, with different outputs. Your goal should depend on your film and how it is received. It saves a lot of time if you already know what to search for and what is worth the entry fee.

Symphony No. 42 has been selected for the following festivals:

Berlinale Shorts Competition, 64th Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
Byron Bay International Film Festival Australia
BUFF: International Children and Young People’s Film Festival – Malmö, Sweden
Féte de le anim – France
38th Hong Kong International Film Festival HKIFF
Creative Mornings Budapest
Friss Hús Film Festival 2.0
Internationales Filmfestival Contravision, Berlin
Ashland Independent Film Festival
Monstronale Festival Germany
21st Titanic Film Festival
Skepto International Film Festival
Athens International Film + Video Festival (Ohio)
26. Filmfest Dresden
Nashville Film Festival
Cinema Perpetuum Mobile – Minsk, Belarus
11th IndieLisboa – Lisbon International Independent Film Festival
Mediawave – Hungary
10th Pisctoplasma Berlin Conference & Festival
Sehnsüchte International Film Festival – GermanyBangkok International Student Film Festival
Anifilm – Trebon
Maryland International Film Festival
11th Green Film Festival in Seoul – Korea
Rooftop Films Summer Series – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island
3. Kyiv International Short Film Festival
Animation Avantgarde Competition Vienna
Animafest Zagreb
30. Internationales KurzFilmFestival Hamburg
TAAFI Toronto Animation Arts Festival International – Canada
Annecy International Animation Film Festival
Fest Anca International Animation Festival – Slovakia
Schnongs studentisches Kurzfilm Festival – Germany
Rabbitfest, Italy
Womanation, Rhode Island
7th.International Animated Film Festival Animator – Poland
FMK International Short Film Festival – Italy
Anima Mundi Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo – Brazil
Guanajuato International Film Festival – Mexico
Supertoon International Animation festival – Croatia
Lago Film Fest – Italy
Melbourne International Film Festival
Hiroshima International Animation Festival
Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival
SESIFF Korea
41st Telluride Film Festival
Fantoche, Switzerland
Festival Siciliambiente – Sicily
Tenerife Shorts, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival, Bristol
Festival International du court métrage de Lille Lille International Short Film Festival – France
Milwaukee Film Festival
International Animated Film Festival KROK Moscow – Tver – Myshkin – Uglich – Yaroslavl
International Animation Festival in Wiesbaden, Germany

… and received the following awards:

38th Hong Kong International Film Festival HKIFF – Special Mention for Best Short Film
Friss Hús Film Festival 2.0 Hungary – Grand Prix for Best Film
Monstronal Festival Germany – Best Film Grand Prix
Skepto International Film Festival Italy – Audience Award
Cinema Perpetuum Mobile, Minsk, Belarus – Best Animation Grand Prix
11th IndieLisboa, Lisbon International Independent Film Festival – Honorable Mention for Best Animation
Mediawave, Hungary – Best Hungarian Animation
Sehsüchte International Film Festival, Germany – Special Mention for Animation
Anifilm, Trebon – Special Jury Mention
3. Kyiv International Short Film Festival – Best Film of the Festival, Audience Award
Animation Avantgarde Competition Vienna – Audience Award
Schnongs Festival Germany – 3rd Prize for best film
Womanation, Rhode Island – Honorable Mention
7th.International Animated Film Festival Animator – Poland – Silver Pegasus Award
FMK International Short Film Festival – Italy – Best Animated Short and Audience Award
Lago Film Fest – Italy – Special Mention
Melbourne International Film Festival – Best Animation Short

Read this interview, and other articles about festival strategy and a lot more, in the Venice 2014 issue, here: