How To Write & Pitch Your Cover Letter to Film Festivals

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Following on from the previous coverage of our short DOGS CHASING CARS here on FinalBoss, I have decided to include my film festival cover letter example as well. The cover letter was used as a calling card when submitting to film festivals. As a writer, every single email, text and letter that you send should count, and showcase you as the fantastic writer that you are – and in the ever ravenous world that is the festival circuit, you need as much help as you can get.

I wanted this film festival cover letter to be both an advertisement (for the film) and an honest piece that showed what I had been through to get it made. I wanted the cover letter to reflect the film; in its rawness, it’s no bullshit take and its honesty.

That balance between genuine (the feelings behind the film) and artificial (the film and the marketing that follows) is always tricky to find, but as a filmmaker it’s a line that you really do need to toe and get used to.

Dogs Chasing Cars short film Jon Holmes poster

So enjoy, study and plagiarise as fully to your heart’s content. I hope this film festival cover letter example helps your project get off the ground as it did mine!


With two and a half years in the making, Dogs Chasing Cars has been a long journey.

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Whilst in a moment of truly deep depression, I decided that I would simply “talk” and record my exact thoughts there and then in an attempt to capture it all within that moment – everything I felt, everything that hurt, all of it, every damned little detail.

Fast-forward the clock to now and I am in an OK place, happy even – and only with that hindsight (and my brilliant and varied team) could we make this short; something that we shot in an aim of harmonising all of those people who struggle with mental health and depression.

An intensely personal piece for me, but packaged for the viewer in a way that is both accessible and; more importantly, frank and honest. Selfishly, I feel like we have achieved that within our seven-minute long film and we hope that you will too in accepting it in to your film festival.

Hope to hear from you,

Jon Holmes

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Finally, “Dogs” is doing rather well (a result of this cover letter perhaps and no other aspect whatsoever…?) and you can catch a showing of the film at Global Health Film Festival on Friday 6th of December. Tickets are on sale now. Hopefully see you there! Otherwise, you can catch the trailer right here.

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