Faq releasing a film

In which ways can you release your own film? Determine your target group first. If you know where your target group can best be reached, you can determine where you want to premiere your film. That last decision has consequences for the entire release of the film.


If you choose to air the film on television, it may be that this rules out a screening in cinemas. They prefer to screen a film that nobody has seen yet. It may also be the case that a television airing means that your film will automatically end up on an online television platform, such as NPO Gemist, for a certain period of time. If a film can be viewed online, the chance of festival selection may decrease. You can also agree that the film will be geo-blocked on NPO Gemist. The film can then only be viewed with a Dutch IP address. Festivals generally do not object to this.

If you know where the film will premiere, you can determine if you subsequently want to show the film via other channels (whether that be online or on television). It is therefore important (especially with film festivals) to say if the film has been previously screened and if it can be viewed online. In addition, many film festivals only accept films that have been completed in the last 1.5 years, so incorporate that in your planning. Make a good budget as well, because releasing a film, also a short film, requires an awful lot of time, perseverance and money. The registration costs of the various festivals alone can already run into hundreds of euros.

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Film distribution

Various possibilities for release:

  • Cinema release (Theatrical release)
    Putting the film in circulation in a cinema. This option is often close to zero in the case of short films, because cinemas often only screen feature-length films. Cinemas (especially smaller and independent ones) are sometimes prepared, in consultation to screen a film a single time or a number of times. You can also examine the possibilities (for very short films) to screen the film as a short before a feature film. EYE manages its own short film catalog in which film houses draw from if they want to program one or more short films, called the Short Filmpoule.
  • Television airing
    In order to have the film aired on television, you can contact the various broadcasting agents of the Dutch Public Broadcasting Service (NPO). In addition, there are also various programmes that specifically focus on airing short films from young talents. For example, student films are often aired via 3Lab. The 2Doc digital theme channel also regularly broadcasts short documentaries under the title Makers van Morgen and VPRO Dorst is also open to shorts from new filmmakers. In addition to the national public broadcaster, it is worth bringing your film to the attention of a regional broadcaster. They have more space in their programming than the NPO.
  • Screenings at film festivals
    In the case of screenings at national and international film festivals, it is important to devise a clear festival strategy. Find out which festivals are appropriate for the film and also keep the target group in mind. Think carefully about the world and international premiere of your film. Did you make a film for children up to 12 years old? If that is the case, find out which film festivals are specifically aimed at young viewers. In addition, you need to take the conditions of festivals into account, such as the minimum or maximum length of the film. All festivals have an entry deadline, which is often three months before the festival - even earlier in the case of large festivals. Websites like Shortfilmdepot and Film Freeway are online registration services that make submissions to festivals easier.
  • Online release
    Now the opportunities offered by online video content are growing, it is also increasingly worth considering releasing a film directly online. For example, new platforms are constantly being set up where short films, among others, can be viewed. If your film suits the type of content and target group, these platforms may be interested in your film. Examples of this are Vice and Mindshakes. In addition, an increasing number of different companies are setting up their own websites for online content. For example, Linda de Mol launched the website Linda TV at the end of 2015, Red Bull now has Red Bull TV and Chantal Jansen started the new platform &C (andc.tv) in 2017. Companies like Ziggo and KPN are also focusing on their own content. For example, a new series Brussel appeared directly via KPN On Demand at the beginning of 2017. In addition to existing websites, you can also choose to place your film online yourself on Vimeo (if your movie is a Vimeo Staff Pick, you're sure the movie will generate a lot of attention) or YouTube. As a result, the film can be viewed by anyone. If you choose this last option, it is sensible to consider the marketing plan carefully, so that your film receives the desired attention.