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The Film Festival Doctor Celebrates 500+ Festival Screenings and 415 Awards in 2022

Rebekah Louisa Smith is an award-winning film festival strategist, published author, and founder of The Film Festival Doctor. Rebekah’s work focuses on developing targeted film festival strategies for filmmakers to get their films seen byaudiences around the world. She and her team have helped their clients win over 1,800 awards and have secured hundreds of festival screenings, including The Sundance, Tribeca, Palm Springs, Locarno, Cinequest, Nashville, and BFI London Film Festivals. Originally from the United Kingdom, Smith completed her Ph.D. in Film and Audience Research in Wales. Since August 2021, she has been establishing her presence in the USA, where she is Dallas’s only film festival strategist.

Four of Rebekah’s clients’ films; ‘FINDING WILSON,’ ‘REMEMBER ME – THE MAHALIA JACKSON STORY,’ ‘PLAY IT AGAIN’ & ‘FULL PICTURE’ became eligible to submit to the Oscars, partly thanks to their successful festival runs on the circuit. She also helped two native Texas filmmakers screen their films worldwide and in their hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, at the Lone Star Film Festival in November 2022. One of the films, a documentary feature called ‘OKLAHOMA BREAKDOWN’ directed by Christopher Fitzpatrick, won the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary Feature Film.

This year, her most successful feature film was ‘REMEMBER ME – THE MAHALIA JACKSON STORY,’ which is currently being considered for The Oscars. The film won 25 awards and being featured as the opening night film for all of the world’s longest-running Black film festivals, including a centerpiece screening at the Oscar-qualifying Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival in August. The film premeired at The Pan African Film Festival, where it won the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film and two sold-out screenings at the Oscar-qualifying Heartland International Film Festival in Indianapolis and the Oscar-qualifying St. Louis International Film Festival in Missouri. It recently screened at the BAFTA-qualifying British Urban Film Festival in London, where it won Best International Feature Film. It will finish its festival run at the Canadian Screen Qualifying Toronto Black Film Festival in February 2023. The film is now available to watch on Hulu.

Rebekah continues to nurture up-and-coming South African filmmakers. One of her South African feature films, ‘BARAKAT,’ won a SAFTA award for Best Directing in September 2022. She is currently representing a unique (and one-of-a-kind) South African web series called ‘FOUR WALLS,’ which will have its West Coast Premiere at the Oscar Qualifying Pan African Film Festival in February 2023.

“I am proud of every one of my clients’ films and the results they get – no matter how big or small,” said Rebekah. “They are seeing their incredible vision come to life and be appreciated by audiences. This fills me with joy and ultimately makes this job so rewarding and fulfilling.”

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