Every year thousands of filmmakers like you unleash their newly completed movies upon the film festival circuit. Whether you're a first-timer with a comedy short or a seasoned veteran with a documentary feature, you all face the same set of problems. You all ask the same questions. You all want the pleasure of seeing your film play before a festival audience and gain the recognition it deserves.

This is your book.

There are three ways to read the book: the print edition, the downloadable PDF, or online.

Film Festival Secrets will help you:

• Select the right festival for your film
• Prepare your festival screener
• Save money on festival fees
• Create marketing collateral
• Craft a screening sell-out plan

--and more!

"Chris Holland's advice on navigating the film festival circuit is invaluable."

- Brian Udovich, co-producer of The Wackness and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

"As a film festival programmer who has also been a filmmaker, I can honestly say that this book succeeds where so many others have failed in terms of describing the realities of the festival circuit."

-         John Merriman, Austin Film Festival Programmer

“Going into the game forewarned can help you create a better plan of attack and make decisions that are best for you and your film. ‘Film Festival Secrets’ can steer you on the right path. I highly recommend this book.”
- Dan Masucci, Fountainhead Pictures


I’m Chris Holland and I’ve been writing about movies, film festivals, and indie film since 1991. I’ve been in love with the movies for even longer.

In 1996 I co-founded Stomp Tokyo, a film review web site described by the New York Times as "a place to indulge one's questionable cinematic taste." In 2003 Stomp Tokyo published a compendium of reviews in a book called Reel Shame: Bad Movies and the Hollywood Stars Who Made Them. That book is still in print, and is highly recommended if you need a good laugh at someone else’s expense.

In 2005 I started life “on the inside” at film festivals by volunteering with the Austin Film Festival, and before I knew it I was their director of marketing. I still screen films on the “front lines” at Austin FF and I’ve served on panels and juries at a number of festivals.

These days I put my expertise in movies and film festivals to use at B-Side as the Director of Festival Operations. If you’ve attended or played in a film festival lately, you may have seen our film festival community software in action. B-Side is also at the forefront of progressive distribution, helping filmmakers reach their audiences in defiance of the old ways of thinking.

I talk to film festival directors day in and day out. I meet dozens of filmmakers at festivals around the country. The obvious and omnipresent need for practical advice about the workings of the festival circuit led me to start the blog Film Festival Secrets, where I publish informative articles about festival strategy and the indie film scene in general.

The positive response to the blog led me to the more concentrated task of writing a book about festival strategy. Film Festival Secrets: A Handbook for Independent Filmmakers .