I am an aspiring screenwriter with several screenplays nearing completion. I envision my screenplays as independent films, with low budgets and talented character actors. I will need a director. I’ve been told excellent director contacts can be made at film festivals. Is this good advice?
It’s great advice. In fact, I intend to steal it as soon as I get the chance.
Early in their careers, most independent directors aren’t exactly getting besieged with scripts for them to direct, so you have a pretty good shot of getting them to actually read it. Having been through the festival grinder a few times, my only advice would be to try to find a relaxed moment to talk about the project, and not swarm the stage after a Q&A session.
If you don’t have a chance to meet the director at the festival, you can probably find contact information in a program or at the festival office. Drop a note telling the director how much you liked her movie and a few paragraphs describing what your script is about, and asking if you could send it to her.
It’s certainly not foolproof, but it would be a good way to get your foot in the door with a director you hope to work with.