By Tony Nation
When you are networking at film festivals the best people for you to me of course are directors and producers, but other actors can be excellent for networking and building relationships. Right after a movie is a great time to approach directors and compliment them on their work. Don’t offer that you are an actor right off the bat, but if they ask you can let them let know. Writers are another great resource as you never know when they might like your work so much they write you a role in their next film. There will also be opportunities to meet agents and if you get invitations, go to the parties as they are fantastic ways to meet everyone!
Some things you do want to avoid when meeting these industry folk are appearing to eager, green or being too pushy at festivals. The industry is not there to meet actors, they are there to promote their films. But if you get the opportunity to speak with a director, producer, writer, or agent and they ask you, that’s great. Just go, network, meet people, be open and create relationships. Get as many business cards as possible because you never know when you might be chatting up someone from a BIG film office or production company that normally you would never be able to get on the phone.
Since there is pretty much a film festival in every state, I recommend looking to see what film festival is in your area. In NYC alone, we have several festivals that occur during the year including Tribeca Film Festival, NY Film Festival, NY International Independent Film and Video Festival, and the NY Horror Film Festival just to name a few. These provide tons of marketing/educational opportunities to advance yourself in this area of the business or perform in NYC.