Film festivals are very important for any filmmaker. Whether it is an established filmmaker or the budding one, film festivals are not only an event for them but a big opportunity in their filmmaking careers. The amount of exposure and depth a film festival provides to a filmmaker is huge and is of utmost importance for them.  The Jagran film festival allows filmmakers from across India and even from the international film industry to submit films to their film festival for screening. The JFF, one of the renowned film festivals, invites film entries from national, regional, and international filmmakers in multiple formats and in hundreds of different languages to showcase during the festival.

There are many challenges that filmmakers have to face to get their films selected for screening at the biggest film festivals in India. These challenges occur due to the strict selection process and criteria for the films to get screened at the festival. The storyline, length, genre, and themes of the film do matter and there are other factors too on which the film critics judge a film and pick the best ones.

What do film critics judge in a film at a film festival?

A film critic considers more than a few factors while selecting the best films out of the thousands of film submissions for the film festival. The film critics, without being biased, pick the most amazing films to be screened and awarded at the festival judging upon the following criteria.


How original your film is or is it copied? This is an important factor that the critics consider because the authenticity and originality of the content are primary.


How creative can you get with your film and storytelling skills? Your creativity is reflected through your film and if your film can convince the critics that you’ve used your creative mind to several masses to create the film, you might get selected.


How well your film is shot and how well you’ve captured the beauty of the characters and the scenes throughout the film matters. If you have included scenic shots and the cinematography of the movie is more than excellent, it's a plus one.


The main part of a film is its storyline. How well you’ve built and showcased the story in your film plays a vital role in getting selected for the screening.

How well is the issue or the message addressed through the film

The festivals consider films that have a strong message to pass through or an important issue to address. How well you’ve done the job to achieve that is the key to getting selected.

Does it leave an impact on the audiences?

Your film must have touched the right strings while creating an impact on the audiences to ensure they not unjust receive the message through your film but also act upon it. How impactful or influential your film is, is an important aspect that the critics consider.

Quality of sound

The sound quality of your film should be up to the mark or else the unequal or over-the-top sounds might irritate the people watching your film.

Music and background score

Music is an integral part of any film. You must ace the music score of your film as it will increase the quality, value, and emotions regarding the characters and the audiences will be able to connect better.

Script and dialogues

The script of your film is the main player. How well you’ve incorporated the dialogues and how impactful and apt those dialogues are can truly change the course of how your film will be consumed by the audience. That's why the critics pay utmost attention to these.

But how do you ensure that your film gets submitted or increase the chances of your film getting selected for screening at famous film festivals?

How to increase the chances of your film getting selected at a film festival?

Here are a few tips that can help you grab an opportunity to screen your film at a notable film festival and gain much-needed exposure and get valuable reviews from the experts in the film industry.

Ensure your film is the best outcome of what you want to convey

Your film is your ace card. If your film is nothing close to what you want to convey or address then you might not qualify for the screening. It is vital that, before submitting your film,  you ensure that you’ve tick marked all the factors that the critics will be judging a film to select the lucky ones. Re-watch your film and find out how you can better it before finally submitting it to the festival portal.

Make sure your film fits the qualification criteria.

There is a qualification criterion that needs to be followed to be able to submit your film and get selected for the screening. There is a particular length bracket for every type of movie that is to be maintained. For example, a short film should be not more than 15-20 mins long and the ideal duration of a short film is expected to be around 7-9 minutes. Similarly, make sure your film fits the length bracket along with other factors like the themes and genres. Cross-check everything before finally submitting your film to the festival.

Don’t wait for the last-minute submissions, submit your film early.

Many filmmakers wait until the last day, last minute to submit their films. This is not frankly recommended as there are chances that some glitches or server errors might occur during these times and you end up failing the submission process. It is the best option if you submit your film early as it also helps you from paying higher submission fees if you submit your film in the last few days.