A comedy film festival is a great way to view short and feature length films from independent and professional sources. If it is a smaller film festival, it's very likely you will view works from local filmmakers. Larger comedy film festivals feature bigger names and even movies from actors' or actresses' own production companies.
Popular Comedy Film Festivals
First Sundays Comedy Film Festival is held on the first Sunday of every month. It is sponsored by the New York improvisational comedy troupe, Chicago City Limits. You can watch of lot of the entries online, with films going all the way back to 2002. There is a lot to watch.
The Boston Comedy Festival hosts some of the best of Boston's finest filmmakers and comedians. This comedy film festival is usually held in September and you can usually find some of the Boston area's hometown boys like Lewis Black and Dennis Leary.
In association with NBC, the Comedy Short Cuts Diversity Festival allows filmmakers all over the country to get a short comedy film in front of some high-powered decision makers at NBC Universal.
Have a Palm Device? Then you can make a 60-second comedy clip and submit it to the Treo Film Festival for a chance to win some great prizes.
Holding Your Own Comedy Festival
You can hold your own comedy film festival if there's not one in your town or there's no festival of high caliber. Whether themed or not, just follow a few simple guidelines:
- Have set submission dates. If you have an open-ended submission policy, you'll never be able finish watching the films. They'll just keep coming.
- Advertise. Obviously, you'll need to let people know you are holding a film festival.
- Try to have at least one "celebrity" judge. This could be someone local that everybody knows or an actual celebrity.
- Have local business donate prizes. Exchange advertising flyer space for donations.
- Set a maximum time limit on the films. This will help you better space out time.
- Use a submission form to stay organized. Nothing says unprofessional than improvising a film festival.
They Seem to be Everywhere
If you are a comedy enthusiast or just want to laugh, you can find comedy film festivals almost everywhere. Check out your local university and colleges or the newspaper. One other option might be your local movie theatre. Sometimes they hold film festivals on off-days or at non-peak times in order to generate some revenue.
Don't get frustrated if you can't find a festival, hold one of your own! Break out a few comedy movies and invite your friends for an evening of laughs. Just stay laughing.