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Upskilling in Isolation: How to develop an effective film festival strategy for 2021

January 9 @ 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

Upskilling in Isolation: How to develop an effective film festival strategy for 2021

Sat, 9 January 2021

1:30 – 2:45 BST

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Panel Discussion – Zoom

The coronavirus pandemic has caused disruption to film festivals all over the world. Most have adapted quickly and effectively to changing times, connected with new audiences online and brought viewers together emotionally in a time of prolonged social isolation. What will 2021 bring? Which of the changes to the festival model we saw this year are here to stay?

But most importantly – what about the filmmakers? How should you adapt your festival strategy for next year? What festivals should you submit your short films to? How can you use virtual film festivals to your advantage now that there is potential to be at more events at once without the cost, travel or calendar restrictions? How can digital industry events help you develop as a filmmaker from home? And what about industry connections – how effective is virtual networking and are there any advantages in it?

These will be some of the topics discussed by BFI panelists in our January Lab. Read more.

1:1 Festival Strategy Workshops – Zoom


Five lucky people will get a chance to chat to Katie McCullough from Festival Formula about your short films during private one-on-one 15-minute sessions following the panel discussion.

Katie, the founder of Festival Formula, will be providing advice for directors and producers on how to optimise festival strategies for your short films and submit to the right festivals for your projects. You will have a chance to ask Katie specific questions relating to your film projects and discuss how you could benefit from a bespoke festival strategy.


  • Katie McCullough: Founder, Festival Formula
  • Ksenija Sankovic & Sanja Zanki: Festival Directors, Four River Film Festival
  • Philip Ilson: Artistic Director, London Short Film Festival + Short Film Programmer, BFI London Film Festival
  • Rebecca McSheaffrey: Education Coordinator, Glasgow Film Theatre/ Glasgow Youth Film Festival

Moderator: Rowan Woods

Read more about the panelists.


Register here




BFI Film Academy