How to Survive a Genre Film Festival (for Journalists)

Crowds, people in costumes, blood, guts, zombies… A Fantastic Film Festival is the best way of getting to know new weird movies and meeting all kinds of people but, if you are one of the lucky ones who have to work there, you’d better follow this modest piece of advice.

Get In Shape

No one really cares about you there. You’d better be ready to run –seriously, you’ve got 5 minutes to go from a theatre downtown to the press conference at a hotel up that hill. Don’t worry, they are only 4 miles apart!

Get Comfortable

I know you think you are cool, and that dress would look super-chic at a film fest. Don’t do it. Again, you will run, jump, get pushed, maybe even get insulted; you will be tired and hungry. Last thing you want is to be worrying about your skirt. Let’s be real, that celebrity at the red carpet is not going to fall in love with you. Don’t make it harder.

Become Inspector Gadget

How much stuff can you carry all day long? Don’t worry, you will figure it out soon. Computer, camera, notebook, spare notebook, lots of pens, all kinds of charger; a book to read on the train, the Festival’s book, the program and any single brochure of information they want to give you; two bottles of water and an Aquarius. Keep thinking, you never know what you are going to need for 12 hours in a city full of zombies and celebrities in equal measures.

Never Eat Before a Movie

What were you thinking? Chances are, the game is going to go visceral. You are going to see lots of blood, guts, ripped off heads and crazy images of robots destroying humanity. It is for your own good.

So, Starve Yourself

You need to watch 2 movies, go to 3 press conferences, four photo shoots, maybe have an interview and still find time to write it all –you know, the Internet’s immediacy. When by 10pm you are wondering what did you miss… It is probably a sandwich!

Be Ego-Friendly

This is the INDUSTRY. Nothing else to say.

Make friends with that guy

How many independent journalists can you see at a Genre Film Festival? Countless. They are probably smart, passionate and it is not their first time at the festival. Besides, everyone will act like you’ve been in every single previous edition and you know how to get by. You need a friendly face by your side!


It sounds painful. It’s worth it. Free movies, great directors, weird nice people and a cute beach town. Make the most of it!