A Comprehensive Guide to Film Festivals

Harrison Glaser
Sundays 5/31, 6/7 & 6/14 @ 2:00pm - 3:30pm PT

Congratulations!  You finally got that film made. You pulled together your resources and created a short or feature that you couldn’t be prouder of. Feels good, right? Great! But don’t bask too long; you still have quite a journey ahead of you. Now it’s time to get that sucker out into the world. For an independent filmmaker, playing at film festivals still may be the best and most powerful opportunity to put your film (and yourself) on display. In fact you’d be hard-pressed to find a successful filmmaker working today who didn’t get their start at fests. It’s where films get sold, where talent gets discovered, where reputations are crafted, where communities are built, and where the best networking can happen.

But playing at a film festival is easier said than done. After all, there are over 10,000 festivals around the world, each with their own identity and submission requirements, and most with entry fees that can seriously add up. Which festivals are worth your time and where will you actually have a shot to get accepted? Where does a filmmaker even start?? 

Start with us! In this three-week class, Harrison Glaser, former Film Competition Director of Austin Film Festival, will pull back the curtain of film festivals and give you the tools, perspective, and strategies to navigate this infamously murky and convoluted landscape.

This Three Week Series Will Cover: 

  • How festivals work from the inside 
  • How festival programmers think and what they look for 
  • Determining and sticking to your festival goals 
  • Doing the research to craft your festival list 
  • How to avoid scam festivals 
  • The best ways to submit 
  • Communicating with programmers to stand out without being annoying 
  • What to do when you're excepted or rejected 
  • How to make the most of the festival once you get in 


About Your Host

A native of Austin, TX, Harrison Glaser has been active in the world of festivals and event producing since creating his own large-scale music festival as a student in college. He started working at Austin Film Festival in 2012 and quickly rose to the role of Film Competition Director, where he programmed the festival’s films for five years and discovered his passion for identifying deserving projects and championing exciting and unrecognized talent. During Harrison’s tenure as AFF’s Film Competition Director, over 100 films he programmed went on to secure distribution, six short films were nominated for Oscars, and one that he qualified won the Academy Award in 2018. Harrison stays involved with AFF and has recently moved to Los Angeles to work closer to the industry and continue to support artists and educate others on the crazy world of film festivals.

What To Expect

Immediately after registering, you will receive an Order Confirmation email that serves as the receipt for your registration. In the Order Summary section of this email you will find a link reading "CLICK HERE FOR INSTRUCTIONS" that will take you to your syllabus, instructions for submitting material (if any), and the link to join the Live Class. Sessions are conducted via video conferencing software ZOOM. You will receive a link to the recording of the session via email following the live session.

Payment Plans

Payment plans are available for most multi-week classes. For 4-week programs, your balance will be due the second week of class. For longer programs, the balance will be broken up into 3 or 4 payments with the final payment due prior to the final week of class. Please note that you are responsible for the full price of the class even if you decide not to complete the program for any reason.

Cancellation Policy

You may cancel for a full refund up to 72 hrs. prior to the start of the class. Cancellations requested after this deadline will be ineligible for refunds.


If you have any questions at all about this class, email our Director of Education Alexandra Davies at alex@roadmapwriters.com!