What are the ways to make money via short films?
A short film is any film not long enough to be considered a feature film .the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a short film as “an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits.
Short films are like the laboratory of film making. It’s the area where filmmakers learn and experiment. The demand for short films has reached an all time high today.
Calling card : aspiring filmmakers make short films which are used as a “calling card” to get exposure in Bollywood/Hollywood, so that producers, agents, studio executives, etc. will see them and then offer larger projects. is filmmakers can get offers for decently paid work in advertisements, web series and/or music videos.
Film festivals : The film can be screened at various reputed film festivals across the globe and cash money can be earned as prize. Also, when a filmmaker is accepted into a major film festival , lot of of offers from new websites. Some of such film festivals are mentioned below in the list:
Top 5 Film Festivals
- Sundance Film Festival(USA)
- Cannes Film Festival(France)
- Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films (USA)
- Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival (France)
- Aspen Shortsfest (USA)
Other Film festivals held in various countries across the world are mentioned in alphabetical order:
|Argentina||Mar del Plata International Film Festival|
|Flickerfest International Short Film Festival
Melbourne International Film Festival
Sydney Film Festival
|Brussels International Short Film Festival
Ghent Flanders International Film Festival
Leuven International Short Film Festival
|Bermuda||Bermuda International Film Festival|
|Bosnia-Herzegovina||Sarajevo Film Festival|
|Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival
Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival
Sao Paulo International Film Festival
|Toronto International Film Festival
Montreal World Film Festival
Montreal International Festival of New Cinema
Canadian Film Centre’s Worldwide Short Film Festival
Vancouver International Film Festival – for Canadian shorts only
Edmonton International Film Festival
Calgary International Film Festival
|Chile||Santiago Chilean International Short Film Festival|
|Colombia||Cartagena International Film Festival|
|Czech Republic||Karlovy Vary International Film Festival|
|Odense International Film Festival
AFIA Film Festival, Aarhus
|Finland||Tampere International Short Film Festival|
|France||Angers First Film Festival|
|Germany||Berlin International Film Festival
Cologne International Women’s Film Festival
Oberhausen International Short Film Festival Oldenburg Film Festival
Interfilm Berlin Short Film Festival
Hamburg International Short Film Festival
|Greece||Drama International Short Film Festival|
|Japan||Short Shorts Film Festival|
|India||Mumbai International Film Festival|
|Ireland||Foyle Film Festival
Cork International Film Festival
|Venice International Film Festival
Turin International Film Festival of Young Cinema
|Netherlands||Rotterdam International Film Festival|
|Norway||Grimstad Norwegian Short Film Festival|
|Poland||Cracow International Documentary and Short Film Festival
Wroclav Era New Horizon
|Durban International Film Festival
Cape Town World Cinema Film Festival
|Spain||Huesca International Film Festival
Bilbao International Festival of Documentary and Short Films
Gijon International Film Festival for Young People
Valladolid International Film Festival
|Uppsala International Short Film Festival
Stockholm International Film Festival
Gothenberg International Film Festival
|Switzerland||Locarno Film Festival|
|Raindance Film Festival
London Short Film Festival
Edinburgh International Film Festival
Manchester International Film Festival
Encounters International Short Film Festival
Leeds International Film Festival
Aesthetica Short Film Festival
Los Angeles Film Festival
Tribeca Film Festival
SXSW: South By Southwest Film Festival
Telluride Film Festival
Seattle International Film Festival
San Francisco International Film Festival
Slamdance Film Festival
Chicago International Film Festival
Austin Film Festival
St. Louis International Film Festival
Cinequest Film Festival
Atlanta Film Festival
Santa Barbara International Film FestivalRhode Island International Film Festival
Florida Film Festival
Nashville Film Festival
Hamptons International Film Festival
USA Film Festival – for American shorts only
Los Angeles International Short Film Festival
Chicago International Children’s Film Festival Ann Arbor Film Festival
Athens International Film Festival
Black Maria Film Festival
New Directors/New Films Festival
Gen Art Film Festival – for American shorts only
Heartland Film Festival
Starz Denver International Film Festival
Mill Valley Film Festival
Woodstock Film Festival
Hawaii International Film Festival
San Diego Film Festival
Cleveland International Film Festival
Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
Philadelphia Film Festival
New Orleans Film Festival
Stony Brook Film Festival
World Arts Film Festival
Social Networking revenues : New Video on Demand (VOD) platforms are being launched almost every single day where the films can be launched. Vimeo, is perhaps in the best known in the film distribution game. Their recent introduction of the “tip jar” was a step in the right direction,.For example, a filmmaker on Vimeo could charge 5 cents per film view. As a viewer, one has to purchase a $5 credit from Vimeo, and then everytime the viewer watches a film that requires payment, the site would automatically deduct a nickel from his/her account. Vimeo could charge 10% for the service (that’s half a penny on a five-cent film). A film with 500,000 views at a nickel apiece would earn $22,500 for the filmmaker and $2,500 for Vimeo. Add in downloads for 25 cents, and you’ve instantly created a more effective model for short filmmakers.
Youtube Adsense is another way of displaying the short films to the public, increase the online traffic and earning revenues.
The film maker can make money by partnering with any MCN available the country , which will help gain audience and share revenue based on the agreement.
Grants: they are a pretty good way of funding your doc project. There could be several private, and state grants. PSBT in India is one. Like this one – Call for Documentary Proposals. There are also theme specific grants like Climate Change etc, by international agencies.
Merchandise: Tee-shirts, wristbands or anything that you can buy cheap. You are not going to make a ton of money through this unless you have a huge fanbase. Film Riot has got it right.
Local Screenings : Through paid screenings in preview theatres. Through television screenings . A number of local cable operators networks are offering good money for the telecast rights of short films.
Legal tool : Selling rights of the short film to be made as a feature film is another way of earning.
Corporate sponsors/product placement : If the short film supports a particular cause or comes in the social benefit vision of any of the corporates, they may sponsor it. Also, placing an advertisement of a product or a local business in the short film, some sponsor money can be collected through this mode.
VFX breakdowns, detailed behind the scenes videos, production scripts, storyboards, lighting plots are some more ways to add to the film content and make it more interesting to the public which will in turn draw more revenues.
At the end, having discussed all the ways of earning through a short film, “The real profit is when you get to make another film,” says Kimberley Browning, director of Hollywood Shorts. The likes of Christopher Nolan and Wes Anderson made short films before their respective big breaks.