What do you do when you want to experience films from beyond your local movie theatre? Some people seek out movies from their favourite independent film community, while others prefer traveling all around the world to find pieces of great cinema. Fortunately, there are plenty of film festivals that cater to those looking for both.
Whether you’re an aspiring filmmaker looking for film festivals featuring big-name celebrities (like the Oscars) or just someone who enjoys movies and is searching for the ones that speak to your age group (like the Sundance Film Festival), there’s something out there for everyone. You can check out this article for some of the best film festivals to attend this year.
Cannes Film Festival
Cannes is a world-famous destination, and each year, thousands of people flock to the festival. The event runs from May 15 to June 11 and showcases over 300 films. It is held in the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès on the seafront at Cannes.
Sundance Film Festival
The Sundance Film Festival is one of the world’s premier film festivals, presenting only 200 selected movies during the event. Both independent and mainstream films, including documentaries, shorts, and feature-length films, are screened here. It was first held in Utah in 1978–now it has moved to Park City, where more than 100,000 people attend the festival.
Berlin Film Festival
The Berlin International Film Festival is unquestionably one of the most highly regarded film festivals in the world, ranking in the top ten of numerous annual polls. Founded in 1929 and held annually since 1947, this festival not only offers the opportunity to watch some of the greatest movies ever made across the globe, but the occasion also provides the chance to meet and mingle with other film enthusiasts.
Venice Film Festival
Established in 1932, this is one of the world’s oldest film festivals. The gala event runs for two weeks at the end of August and draws in filmmakers and movie buffs from all corners of the world.
Toronto International Film Festival
The Toronto International Film Festival, (TIFF), is a once-a-year film festival that takes place in Toronto, Canada, since 1971. The festival has been the centrepiece of the film industry in Canada since its conception and it manages to retain that reputation to date.
BFI London Film Festival
The BFI London Film Festival easily features among the oldest film festivals in the world. This year, it will feature more than 180 films from 55 countries, including 12 world premieres. Moreover, the 70th BFI London Film Festival will be marked by 12 days of screenings, industry talks, and special events.
Edinburgh International Film Festival
EIFF is one of the largest film festivals in the world, and one of the favourite events on the cultural calendar of many filmgoers. Taking place each August, it offers spectators a chance to see a vast array of films that tackle a wide range of themes, thereby attracting a number of stars, producers, directors, and writers. This year, the festival will take place from August 21 to September.
SXSW Film Festival
SXSW is a film festival for film, music, and interactive held in Austin, TX. Each year, dozens of films are selected to screen at the five-day event. Several A-listers are rumoured to attend the event this year (which appears to be the best so far), including actor Robert DeNiro, filmmaker and actor Edgar Wright, and director Ava DuVernay.
Telluride Film Festival
The Telluride Film Festival, which originally began in 1971, is a film event organized in Telluride, Colorado. It is one of the oldest and largest film festivals in the United States and has been named the best film festival in the World by MovieMaker magazine for the past three years.
Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival is an annual event that features independent documentary films. The festival has featured the works of both new and established filmmakers from different countries. Each year, it screens films at locations all over the New York City area, including the famed Angelika Film Center in Manhattan and the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn. In 2017, the festival scheduled more than 300 screenings of feature-length films; 35 short films; and 100 documentaries, experimental films, animation shorts, and films for children.