When there are 3,000 active film festivals in the world, which ones are meaningful? If you’re not careful, the costs involved can produce a net negative experience. Festivals charge submission fees ranging from $25 — $100. And if you get in, there’s travel. Festivals rarely cover flights, and occasionally cover lodging. Since almost all festivals are non-profits dependent on volunteers, they’re unable to allocate screener fees to filmmakers. The Ubers and dining add-up, and in a worst-case scenario, you spend $500 — $1000 to screen your film once to a handful of people.