Long List Tips
Congratulations on being long listed for a BIFA!
Being on a long list brings recognition, momentum and opportunities – but attention spans are short and the news cycle moves quickly so it’s important to make the most out of this success sooner rather than later.
To help long listed filmmakers do this, we’ve put together this short guide with five tips and actions for the next few weeks:
1. get social (irl)
The British film industry can be a surprisingly small place and it is hugely important that you get to know, and be on good terms with, your peers and those who can give you further opportunities in terms of work and funding.
BIFA and its partners run networking events for filmmakers long listed in certain categories. Aside from the filmmakers, we invite BIFA voters and other film industry professionals from all walks of life, from creatives to financiers, execs to editors. These are perfect opportunities to meet your fellow long listees and other film professionals, to find new collaborators and make new friends.
“Get to know the other filmmakers! That was far and away the best outcome for me. I made several firm friends from that group, including one I’m soon going to be living with. Opportunities to meet filmmakers at the same stage of their careers are few and far between in my experience.”
“Turn up! I made some lovely friends through BIFA and people that I’ll probably work with in the near future in some way or another.”
2. get social (online)
As soon as your long list is announced publicly*, make sure to update your accounts and join in on the online conversation. Key things you can do to increase your profile, reach and engagement on the various platforms are:
- Update your bio: put “long listed for #BIFA2019” in your profile description
- Use the right tags: when tweeting about being long listed or talking about BIFA, use @BIFA_film or #BIFA2019. That way we can see your post and share it!
- Keep up with the convo: keep an eye on what’s being said about your category, film or long listing and by who. Seek out fellow long listed films and filmmakers, follow back, like and share their posts.
- Be creative: now might be a good time to upload a new trailer, give followers a sneak peek at a new clip or release some alternative poster art. Convert high interest and impressions to engagements and follows.
(* Please make sure to observe any embargos on announcements – announcing yourself as long listed before we do so is not a great look)
“The longlist certainly gave the film a bump of interest in the industry, who we felt had largely ignored it up until that point… it certainly felt vindicating.”
3. update your web presence
Make sure that your personal website and your film’s website (if you have them) are up-to-date with the long list information and correct contact details. You should also update your film’s IMDB page or create one if one doesn’t already exist.
“Being long-listed really brought awareness to me as a filmmaker. I sure got a bunch of emails afterwards and people interested in working with me.”
4. be communicative and make your work available
Make it easy for people to get in touch with you and be prompt in replying. If you have projects available for people to watch, either publicly or privately, make sure that they can be easily shared with, and seen by, the intended viewer.
“Being long listed was a lovely little bit of encouragement which is appreciated when you’re writing or working alone 80% of the time.”
5. go on campaign
If you have a contacts book of people you know in the industry, you could send around a short, polite email explaining that you’ve been long listed and offering them an opportunity to watch the film or meet you for a chat.
If you don’t have a contacts book, it’s relatively easy to comb the internet and find some email addresses for organisations and sometimes specific people to get you started. Or you could refer to tip (1)!
“Just soak it in. I think that this industry is a strange one and we often don’t give ourselves a moment to stop and breathe, or give ourselves some credit, because we’re afraid that we have to keep moving or it will all be taken away from us. But it’s OK to take a moment to just ride the current and be more present and aware of your success and achievement.”
We wish you the best of luck with everything and specifically with your film’s progress at BIFA. If you have any questions, comments or need more advice, please do get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The nominations will be announced on the morning of Wednesday 30 October. The BIFA ceremony will take place on Sunday 1 December.