Promoting Sundance TV’s annual short film competition in multiple European markets to support emerging filmmakers.
The annual Shorts Competition from Sundance TV demonstrates the channel’s distinct spirit and values, supporting up-and-coming talent and celebrating creativity in storytelling. Organised across a number of European countries with plans to extend into further territories in the future, the competition provides a unique platform for filmmakers: their winning entries are screened at the Sundance Film Festival in London and broadcast on Sundance TV channels internationally. The competition is supported by Sundance Institute and the international video platform Vimeo.
The Shorts Competition requires a carefully scheduled PR campaign to impart a number of key messages across several months of the year – starting each February and concluding in September. Targeting traditional and digital media, audiences include local affiliates, film students and aspiring filmmakers plus consumers and viewers interested in independent film. The competition is launched with a call for entries each February, inviting producers and directors to submit their short films via the competition’s website from March to April. The Jury Prize is judged on a number of criteria, including creativity, entertainment value, original storytelling and production values. Additionally, the Vimeo Audience Award is voted for by independent film fans online and the entry with the highest number of votes receives a digital camera and a 12-month Vimeo Pro membership. Winners are announced in May, prior to the festival in June, with the winning films programmed as part of a Shorts Competition Special on international Sundance TV channels each September. Additionally, special viewing events are staged in local markets with masterclasses delivered by leading filmmakers and hosted by renowned journalists. Press releases are issued at numerous stages of the competition with photos and online video used to promote key elements of the campaign. Interviews are also arranged for the filmmakers to further amplify the key messages of the competition.
In 2016, The Sundance TV Shorts Competition received a 110% increase in entries over the previous year. The competition received outstanding press coverage for its launch, call for entries and winners announcements in leading print and online outlets across the participating countries and was especially well received on social media. As well as the special winners’ screening event in London during the Sundance Film Festival, events were held in Spain, France, Belgium and Poland which helped to garner additional media coverage to support emerging filmmakers.