I caught up with award-winning music video director Hisham Fotouh the other day and talked about submitting videos to festivals, how it felt to win and what advice he would give to anyone else looking to submit their work.
Hisham originates from Egypt but lived for some time in New York City before relocating to Toronto Canada permanently with his wife.
Both he and his wife pursue careers in the creative industries and support each other through the rollercoaster ride it can be sometimes.
Hisham is a great example of what is possible when you put your mind and heart into your work.
Most people would consider him an amateur given his short time as a filmmaker. However, he’s proven that with hard work and persistence you can get the experience you need and climb the ranks of any industry quickly.
Having gone through hardship in his homeland of Egypt and dealing with immigration laws throughout his life, Hisham knows what it means to go through hard times and fight for what he loves.
He never let anyone tell him he couldn’t do something or that it was impossible.
With his wife by his side supporting him all the way, and all the ambition in the world,
Hisham has what it takes to be successful and he’s already making serious inroads.
3 of the biggest takeaways from his interview were:
1. Submitting to festivals is rather easy and a lot of people don’t actually know that.
Also, Amazon used to offer a service for this. But here’s something you don’t hear often, they were beaten out by a more fierce competitor and this company is now the leader in festival submitting today.
They’re called FilmFreeWay.com and you can signup as you would anywhere else.
If you’re not sure about your work and whether or not it’s good enough. Have someone critique it for you and see what they say. Or if you have the money to risk, then just go for it!
Hisham mentions how he was accepted into other festivals with music videos shot on iPhones. If the work is good, it doesn’t matter what it’s shot with.
Get yourself out there!
2. You have to put in the work. If you simply post your work on Youtube it might not be enough.. its a big world filled with tons of content. And if you want clients to take you seriously, having a good portfolio and some accolades to back it up isn’t too bad either.
There will always be unicorn stories but not everyone can duplicate that. Hard work and dedication are vital and you should be prepared to put in the work.
3. Persistence is the key and nobody is going to do it for you.