So Festival A emails during the summer: "Please send Film X for our consideration."
"Huh," I say. "I didn't think that was a good match for that fest, but they must have some programming idea going if they've asked for it. I'll send it in. Maybe they'll go for it. That's really exciting."
The very next day, Festival B emails: "We'd like to see Film X -- we think it might be a match for a program we're putting together."
"Well, alright," I say. "It does seem like a match there. Never heard of them before, but it looks like it could be a good event. How exciting. Everyone wants Film X."
Dissolve to: Months later. Festival A emails: no thanks.
Cut to: Five minutes later. Festival B emails: no thanks.
That's how it goes. I then look at what films have been chosen:
"Ah, that one is good, and that one. Don't know the rest.... Wait. There's that one short film that's been screening at every fest I've been in recently. It's made by a filmmaker who has completed and sold multiple feature films. It's in -- in the Amateur Production category? What the heck?"
Did the filmmaker enter it in the "Amateur" category? Did the fest look at it and say "this is a great amateur production!" and select it? I guess I'll never know.