7 Film Festivals for New and Experimental Filmmakers

Remy D. Clark
2 min readDec 11, 2023

In the world of cinema, film festivals play a crucial role in discovering new talent and promoting innovative work. These festivals provide a platform for filmmakers to showcase their work, network with industry professionals, and gain exposure. Here are seven film festivals that are particularly welcoming to new and experimental filmmakers.

Whistler Film Festival + Summit: The festival offers a variety of networking opportunities through its Content Summit, which connects guests to share and discuss transformative ideas shaping the future of screen entertainment. The Summit fosters an inclusive, progressive, and inspiring environment for industry professionals to network, collaborate, and form long-lasting connections.

Aspen Shortsfest: The festival hosts a variety of networking events, including après screenings, happy hours, and panel discussions. These events are open to filmmakers, festival guests, pass holders, and ticket holders, providing ample opportunities for networking.

Raindance: Raindance offers a variety of monthly ‘Boozin’ N Schmoozin’ film networking events in various cities. It also provides skills, mentorship, and networking opportunities to LGBTQIA+ storytellers and youth underserved in the film industry.

Outfest: Outfest has an inaugural Producers Lab, a five-day intensive program that provides mentorship, creative and logistical insights into leading a healthy and inspired production from established LGBTQIA+ industry professionals6. They also have an inaugural Artist Residency.

BlackStar: BlackStar offers a year-long fellowship for Black, Brown, and Indigenous filmmakers in Philadelphia through its Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab9. They also provide a supportive infrastructure through fiscal sponsorship to projects working at the intersection of art and social justice.

New York Latino Film Festival: The festival is dedicated to supporting the film community with professional development and fostering relationships for Latino talent.

Victoria Film Festival: The festival hosts a variety of networking events, including film premieres, industry summits, talent programs, and parties.

These festivals are not only platforms for showcasing new and experimental work, but they also offer residency and networking opportunities. They are open to new filmmakers and are always on the lookout for fresh and innovative voices in cinema.

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Remy D. Clark

Born in France, Remy has a strong passion for independent filmmaking and underground art activities. He lives in San Diego, where he works in film production.