The entry fees are very typical with US festivals. Most international festivals outside the states don't charge you for entering your film.
Personally, I have avoided all festivals that charge entry. In fact I never been to a US festival so I can't say much about them. I can just say that the further east you go, the better the conditions become. As a generalization based on my experience, festivals in Russia, Japan, China, Korea and most of East Europe, will really come towards you as a guest of their festivals. Western European, Canadian and American will let you do the hard work.
In the states most of the festival join in a service (like Without a Box
) which streamlines the process. you enter your film once, and then choose the festivals which you want it to be sent to, and pay according to the different entry fees.
Regardless if you pay or not to enter you film, once your film is in the selection, your accommodation is covered by the festival, you usually get funds for food, or you get catered by the hotel you're staying in, and you get free entry to all screenings. Some festivals will also cover part of your travel expenses, some will cover all of it, but mostly you'll just have to cover the travel by yourself.
I'm not sure how it works with film reels, but I used to the Beta tapes on my expense, and often the festival reimbursed me.