In the annual movie-awards hoopla over who's got the best what, it's easy to overlook one of the best bests: Best Film Festival Advertisement.
They're tricky to produce: The ads must convey a sense of what the festival's about and what makes it unique while steering clear of the temptation to go the pomp-and-glam route. Because while festivals sound glamorous, and some can be, they're all going to look shabby next to what Hollywood can provide.
Better to highlight your quirks (festivals specialize in indie film, after all). And best of all if the festival has the courage to not take itself too damn seriously.
That last bit must be one of the hardest hurdles to overcome because festivals have many voices and it's easy for a great idea to be crushed in committee. Here's four that weren't.
Adweek highlighted three ads from the just-ended Whistler Film Festival, but this one is my favorite as it renewed my faith in princesses:
I wrote about this one, from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, in February. Festival director Roger Durling loved it, but apparently, some Santa Barbara board members were not amused to see this play in front of the 2011 films.
There's also John Malkovich in excellent form in this 2010 ad for the Karlovy Vary Film Festival:
And this one with a genius cameo by — not going to spoil it.