Since the days of shooting and piecing videos together as nothing more than a fun way to pass the time, till today as someone who pursues filmmaking as a serious career, I have always loved participating in short film competitions. Though reasons and motivations might change, I’ve always look forward to finding a group of friends to participate in new film for competitions. Besides the prizes and recognition, here are some my other takeaways from film competitions.

Working with Restrictions

Though themes and restrictions may feel limiting and creatively stifling, I feel that restriction teaches one to be more innovative and to think out of the box. By challenging one’s self to work within specific boundaries, they are able to step out of their comfort zone and create something that they never thought of doing before.

Being Different

With judges having to watch countless number of entries – all with similar themes, it is important that your film has that X-factor that makes it stand out and more memorable than the rest. “What makes your film so special?” is something I ask myself constantly when entering competitions. Although it is not always necessary to create a complicated or bizzare storyline, for me, there’s no better time to go wild with ideas and have fun when in comes to taking part in competitions.

Knowing Your Audience

A film is nothing without those who watch it. Many a time, we forget that films are not always about what we want, as ultimately, films are for those who watch it.┬áThus, another important thing I learnt from joining competitions also knowing your audience (or in this case, your judges). As important as it is to discover one’s own voice, it is important to not forget who is watching and what do they expect out of it. This goes beyond competitions and is applicable to the working world where it is important to balance between what you want and what your client or audience wants.

Acknowledging Others’ Works

These are the most important lessons that even I sometimes find it hard to take – which is that fact that I can’t win them all. What you do when you win is as important as what you do when you don’t. Watching the works of other participants who won, analyzing their craft, and accepting them, are not easy things to do. But these humbling experiences are what help me grow the most as a filmmaker.

Filet Short Film Competition

Speaking of competitions, here’s one you can take part in right now! The submission deadline has been extended to 19 April 2019, so what are you waiting for? Sign up today at to take part and stand a chance to win $3,000 cash and more!

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