When you make a film, whether short or feature, one of the biggest things you want is to screen it to an audience. There are hundreds if not thousands of film festivals across the world, the majority of which charge a fee to enter (and there are no guarantees that your film will even be selected).
As a filmmaker you need to try to be strategic about entering festivals. You need to know the quality of your work and then pitch it at the right level of festival. There are some brilliant little independent festivals out there that are run by passionate people who respect both the audience and the filmmakers.
Unfortunately, there are also festivals like the Swansea Bay International Film Festival that are a disgrace and run by people looking to make quick cash.
Watch this video by two Californian filmmakers who travelled half way across the world to attend Swansea only to discover that no publicity had been done for the festival, that there was no set screening time for their film or any of the films (and the screening time got changed several times on the day of screening) and the organiser Binda Singh who is the hostile, unsympathetic and someone to avoid.
You can read an excellent article about this over on Undercurrents blog.
Searching the web it seems that this festival is no longer running however beware of these rouge festivals and if you see the name Binda Singh associated with a festival, avoid it like the plague.