There is no right or wrong answer to that question.
If the story catches the audience, it can get 10 mill + views on YouTube, and festivals are no different. “The Blair Witch Project“, a low-budget movie, was released on Sundance back in 1999, and the rest is history.
But a good place to start to avoid rejection letters are to ask the film festivals for their delivery specifications. Most likely they’ll ask for a DCP. If you can deliver that without failing QC, then you are half way there.
Also, avoid festivals where they are specific on a subject that your film is not about – no point in going for the dedicated festival for films about cucumbers, if your movie is about apples, right? (And no, before you search, I don’t think that there is a film festival dedicated to cucumbers).
Good Luck – I hope that you get into as many festivals as possible.
Festivals have tech specs and standards to meet for display. You have to meet them before you will get a technical acceptance. Beyond that, the image quality is an issue for the lenses, lighting, cameras, camera movement/operation and codecs used to capture, edit and grade the final. So there are both technical expectations and also subjective judgement to define acceptable quality.
We can only really help with tech specs as we can’t see what you are watching to make any subjective judgement.
can I upload a portion of the film so you can see how it looks and tell me. My movie is in 1080p but that doesn’t mean much as a lot of it was shot not too in focus. I added a sharpen effect and noticed a bit of pixelation, but not sure if it’s ok with them.
You can upload to YouTube or similar, and post link here to video.
However, you are likely to get the same answers, which includes that passing the quality of your film is all subjective to the person(s) watching it.
Before getting to that point, you have to be on top of this:
1) Ask the film festivals where you want to submit your movie to what their specifications are for delivery. They are likely to ask for a lot more than just the movie, such as who owns the the movie and asserts copyright on it? Has the movie been cleared for a public showing? More importantly, has it already been shown in public, in which case a lot of festivals will say thank you, but no thank you. Has all the 3rd party copyright, such as music, been cleared and registered? Some may also ask for proof of liability and Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance.
2) Create a DCP (Digital Cinema Package).
The above list is not even close to be complete of what you have to go through, but it is a good starting point for showing festivals and distributors that you are serious.
There are a number of ways to get around the above, but they will all take time, cost money and/or a share in the earnings of the film.