Why have you decided to choose for festival distribution?
"I noticed that films from the Netherlands that I liked a lot didn't travel around the world so much. So I wanted to change that. Now, after 8 years of doing this, I've noticed that it's become really difficult to understand which festivals are worth it, and which are less important, so festival distribution has only become more important. And I also like the personal connection with filmmakers and to really help them with their first steps into the film industry. A good strategy for the distribution of their film can really contribute a lot to this."
What is the best tip for starting to make a distribution strategy for a short film?
"Don't let the first few rejections get you down. Always make a plan of around 40 to 50 festivals that you will at least submit to and try to constantly evaluate along the way. 'Should I aim for smaller festivals? Am I targeting the right festivals?' etc. When you see a film with a big number of selections you have to realize that that film also had a big number of rejections, so you have to stick around before the selections start coming in."
In your experience, what is the best way for new filmmakers to approach distributors?
"Just send an email with a link to your film. People will watch the film. Sometimes they don't mail back, but they will watch it. Don't send a mail asking 'Can I send you a link?'. Just do it. Personalize the email, make sure that the distributor would fit with your project. In the best case you have already met the person before so you have a personal connection, even if it was only sitting across them during a speeddate or something. That's why going up to people at a festival is so important, even if it's just to say that you want to send them a project. That immediately gives it a slightly more personal touch."