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Is the film’s premiere status important?


When you finish a short and you want to join the festival circuit, keep in mind that for some films the first screenings are crucial for the film’s further festival run. If you think that your film fits A-list festivals, you should prioritize them before moving on to genre or smaller festivals. Certain festivals only program movies with premiere status, so that films that have screened before or are online publicly may not be eligible for submission anymore.

Even if a festival has no premiere status rule, its curators might still give preference to debuts. For other films, it might be a better approach to skip the world premiere festivals and head for country premieres or festivals without premiere requirements. Often it doesn’t make sense to waste too much money and waiting time, as your film’s lifetime on the festival circuit is limited to 30 months.

Here is a short overview of the various types of film festival premieres to guide you through the film festival galaxy. Of course, FESTIVAL CONNECTS powered by AIBPL will assist you by checking and alerting you to the premiere requirements of the festivals on your Festival Lists.

Do you want to start big? Continue the reading…



To begin with, a film’s FIRST PUBLIC SCREENING ever is its world premiere. It is an exclusive event and its setting has to be carefully selected from the many opportunities. The wish for the exclusivity of festivals like the Cannes International Film Festival and Venice International Film Festival is based on the idea that presenting world premieres improves the reputation of a festival. A world premiere means that your film has never been shown publicly either online or at a festival. However, an invitation-only screening for family, cast, and crew wouldn’t jeopardize the premiere status.


The international premiere is the first public screening of your film OUTSIDE THE ACTUAL COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION. Some festivals also demand that the film has not participated in an international competition at a national festival. When a festival favors international premieres, you might have to withhold your film from any other public screenings abroad. Sometimes it is worth the effort in order to get the film screened at a more prestigious festival, such as Berlinale Shorts. It’s a long game, so play it right and be patient!


In order to avoid long waiting times for the world debut, you might start your film’s tour with a country premiere, the first screening in a particular country. If you wish to submit your work to several festivals, consider where exactly these events take place. Before entering countries with several important festivals, you have to prioritize and make a decision. For example, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and Krakow Film Festival program country premieres.


A national premiere is the domestic festival debut of your film. If a festival requires national premiere status, it means your film is eligible only if it did not yet have a public screening or exhibition as part of a film festival in certain regions, states, or a city of your country.

Remember that you can use your film’s premiere status as an incentive for festivals to program it. If you are careful enough on how to utilize these labels, you can garner attention and get publicity for your work in the first phase of your career when you need it the most.

Fortunately, you don’t have to make all these decisions alone. FESTIVAL CONNECTS powered by AIBPL provides you with information about the premiere status requirements of each festival. In addition, we will also assist you in designing a tailor-made Film Festival Strategy for your film, which results in saving your money and improved probability of getting your film accepted at reputed film festivals. To know more, talk to us.