As a big movie buff, I have outlined the best film festivals around the world. While each is different in its own way, the city that the film festival is playing plays an important role in your experience in the festival.
1) Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)- Takes place in early September and goes for a total of 10 days with over 300 films with many of them being World premieres. This festival is open for anyone to attend unlike the Cannes Film Festival and has all genre’s including documentary and horror to name a few. The reason why the festival becomes bigger and bigger each year and why it is favoured by film makers is the Toronto audience. Diverse in culture and ethnic backgrounds, Torontonians make it the perfect playground for film distributers to predict the film’s success across all geographic destinations.
Heidi Klum in Cannes Film Festival, 2013
2) Cannes Film Festival – known for the prestige Palm D’or award (for the best in film) takes place in the beautiful French Riviera in the small city of Cannes. It becomes a hub for the beautiful and famous. It takes place in the middle of May and ends on the same day as the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo which is a quick hour train ride away. This creates a perfect unison for both events in the same trip. The festival itself guarantees films distribution as only a few films are selected by the industry. The festival is closed to only people of the industry. However, you can get in (as I did) through a small number of tickets for “film enthusiasts” or if you are a student. A word of warning that you are not guaranteed to see a film and the films that you can get tickets to even if you have a badge are to old restored films. The good part of this festival is the location of charming Cannes and the delicious French Food!
3) Venice Film Festival- The oldest film festival in the world and also known as the Golden Lion for its award. It takes place in early September and overlaps with TIFF making this festival smaller and smaller each year. However, it takes place in Lido, Venice which has its appeal and the island is transformed during the festival. It is very well organized and anyone can attend; making it a welcoming environment which is typical in Italian hospitality. For those that love Italian filmmakers, this festival is for you!
Venice Film Festival, 2009
4) Sundance Film Festival- The only big film festival to take place in the United States. Takes place in a small quaint town of Park City, Utah in January making it a perfect vacation for film and ski. This festival specializes in independent film makers, making it a perfect festival for those looking for films with a bit of an edge as it rewards films that take risks.
5) Berlin Film Festival- Established in the 1950s, it takes place in Berlin, Germany and is known for the Golden Bear award. It takes place in February and showcases over 400 films making it one of the biggest film festivals in the world. This festival is open to anyone to attend and since it is in the centre of Europe, it is easy for people to attend from all over Europe.
Depending on where you live, you may have a small film festival in your city which may showcase the movies that win at those festivals or films that just didn’t make it through the juries, although they are still worth it so keep watching!
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