Study sheds light on the economics of film festivals

I have been researching film festivals and found a large study from 2013 of the experiences of 523 festival directors by Stephen Fellows. He has published results of his study here and here.

  • October is the most popular month for film festivals
  • 71% of film festivals screen short films and 52% screen feature films
  • Half of all film festivals run for less than 7 days
  • 14% of festivals regard their funding situation as “great” or better
  • Average submission fee is $27 for short films and $40 for feature films
  • 51% of festivals give discounts to students
  •  77% of festivals allow your film to be online publicly when submitting
  • There are around 3,000 film festivals currently active (i.e. ran in the past two years)
  • 9,706 film festivals have run at least once in the last 15 years (from 2013)

Some questions I am thinking about are:

  • What month would be an ideal time for a Geelong LGBT Film Festival?
  • Should it be linked to another LGBT event such as ‘Wear it Purple’ Day

Given that many film festivals don’t make it past their first year:

  • How small can you start and still call it a film festival?
  • What makes your festival a success and how do you measure that success?

Reaching out and building support

I have begun the process of looking for partners, volunteers and sponsors.

Geelong has a vibrant and diverse events calendar, a very strong arts and cultural scene and our creative industries are thriving. However there have been few events in Geelong that cater specifically to our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The representation of diversity on film is important for inclusive communities and there is an opportunity through an LGBT themed film festival of bringing to Geelong audiences stories on film that are featured less often in mainstream chain cinemas.

Please get in touch if you would like to support this project or be involved.

Get involved

The Geelong LGBT Film Festival aims to bring contemporary and classic LGBT themed films to Geelong for an inclusive film festival for the whole community.

Please contact us to get involved. We are looking to collaborate and recruit partners, volunteers and sponsors.

The film festival is still in development with the feasibility of potential 2017 event being explored.

Links, resources and inspiration

Melbourne Queer Film Festival –

Bendigo Queer Film Festival –

Bethany Arthouse Film Festival

BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival –

11 Tips for Starting Your Own Indie Film Festival – IndieWire –  – 26/08/14

bfi Guide – How to set up a film festival (.pdf) – British Film Institute – 2001

image: “Cinema” by Leo Hidalgo is licensed under CC BY 2.0