Film festivals are great opportunities to view films that you wouldn't necessarily catch at your local multiplex. With the help of the Internet, you can investigate the many types of film festivals. Once you've located your niche, check schedules, purchase tickets, or even watch films online. You'll also learn how to submit your own work to festivals and keep up with film festival news. The only thing you'll have to find on your own is a tight black turtleneck.
Unless you know exactly what film you want to see at a particular festival, it's worth checking out ... read more »
Even a cursory glance of the search results of the term "film festival" on the Internet reveals that there are literally dozens of different kinds of festivals, and that they take place in practically every major city in the world. There are animated film festivals and children's film festivals, horror film festivals, and short-film festivals. Some festivals are competitive, meaning that the films are judged by a panel and prizes are awarded, while other festivals are merely chances to celebrate different types of film. As you begin to search online for film festival information, you'll slowly be able to narrow your search to the types of festivals which interest you most. For example, do you want to attend festivals in the United States or abroad? Do you want to attend festivals with films directed by professionals or by amateurs? It's up to you, and the Internet can help you find just the information you need.
- If you plan on traveling to a festival, consider purchasing your tickets online or in advance to ensure that you don't arrive only to find that the film you want to see is sold out.
- If you're booking travel to a festival and would like assistance with airfare and hotels, visit the findingDulcinea Travel Guide. Or, take advantage of sites that offer their own travel guidelines-many provide information about nearby hotels and transportation options.
- Festival sites usually provide submission guidelines and information as well as schedules and general information, so filmmakers, as well as movie-goers and fans, can make use of the specific listings below.
- Make sure the information you're reading is current. For example, right after a film festival, the dates for the following year might not be up yet. In other cases, information from past years is left up online, so read closely.
For U.S. film festivals ...
Sundance Film Festival
is one of the United States' most famous (and notorious) film festivals held in Park City, Utah, every January. You can watch short films on the site, keep updated on the festival's events and venues, and purchase tickets online as well.
The Seattle International Film Festival Group
holds the Northwest's most famous film festival over the course of one week each year. You can buy festival-related products online, learn about film programs, and become a member of the SIFF Group, a nonprofit seeking to enrich the Northwest with creative arts.
South by Southwest
is a huge festival held in Austin, Texas, every year. Its film festival is quickly gaining a very good reputation for the quality of films submitted and shown. You can submit your own film to the site, keep track of all the parties, and read the press's coverage of festival events.
The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival
is said to be the largest of its kind in the world. Film, music, and art events take place in both New York and Los Angeles. There's a photo and video gallery on the site. You can also submit your own film, and even find out what hotels to stay in if you want to attend the festival.
For international film festivals ...
The Cannes Film Festival
is arguably the world's most famous film festival, held in Paris each year. View photos from the festival's 60+ years of history, read press releases and news articles and look up the schedule of events
. Download the schedule of film screenings here
The Telluride Film Festival in Toronto
has been around for over 35 years, and some say it is the world's most exclusive film festival. College and grad students will be interested in the Student Symposium
, a four-day intensive session of viewing and discussing films. The site also has instructions for those wishing to volunteer
for the festival.
The Edinburgh International Film Festival
is the longest continually running film festival in the world. You can register on the site to receive e-mail updates, search for films by keyword and section (such as animation or short films), or use the "Suggest-o-tron" if you're not sure what you're looking for and would like suggestions and navigation help.
For short-film festivals ...
The LA Shorts Fest
is the largest short-film festival in the world. You can purchase tickets, see videos from a variety of film categories, and learn about film festival jurors.
The Sundance Film Festival
in Utah has a short-film program during the week of the festival, and selected films are available to stream online after they premier in Utah. You can watch selected films on iTunes
or on the site
The Manhattan Short Film Festival
actually takes place across Europe, North, South, and Central America, and more venues are added every year. It's a very competitive and popular film festival. An interactive map is on the main page to help you search for a venue near you. A blog and press center keep you updated about screenings and events and allow you to ask questions of filmmakers.
Encounters Short Film Festival
draws film submissions from around the world. Learn about available volunteer positions, view Encounters films online and keep updated about submission dates and guidelines.
The Miami Short Film Festival
has been around since 2001, and includes categories such as gay and lesbian, Latin, and horror films. You can be updated about important submission deadlines for your films, and find out where the film venues will be.
For animated film festivals ...
The International Animated Film Festival and Market
has been running for over 45 years; it offers six days of films and activities. You can learn about the festival or use the site's other features, such as "Animaquid," a huge database of animated films, film companies, and animation professionals. There's also a link to the International Animated Film Market, a trade fair for the animation business in all broadcasting mediums.
The Ottawa International Animation Festival
is the largest animation event of its kind in North America. It's a competitive festival with a wide variety of submissions. Learn how to submit your film on the site, read the updated film schedule, and keep up with current news on the homepage.
For documentary film festivals ...
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
is North America's largest documentary film festival. Some short documentaries are available to view online, as are recent press conferences and event podcasts. Registered Hot Docs delegates automatically become members of the "Online Community," offering the benefit of networking with festival attendees before the festival even starts.
The International Documentary Festival Sheffield Ltd.
describes itself as "the UK's premier documentary festival." Purchase a delegate pass, make your travel arrangements, book your hotel, and register as a festival volunteer, all online. Filmmakers can apply to the "MeetMarket
", which gives the producer the chance to meet with buyers and pitch their projects.
takes place in Washington, DC, every year, and is one of the area's biggest documentary film festivals. You can buy a pass, browse the "News & Links" page, and view video highlights from the festival and press conferences.
For gay and lesbian film festivals ...
Out Takes Dallas
has been around since 1998. It lasts for 10 days. You can purchase tickets, films, and merchandise, and also read updated listings for festival happenings.
The Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
is a highly acclaimed and popular event. You can learn how to submit your movie and sign up for the e-mail newsletter [http://www.mglff.com/emailsignup.htm] to receive updates about the current festival and any other developments.
For horror film festivals ...
The New York City Horror Film Festival
takes place in October, and is one of the East Coast's most popular horror film festivals. Browse through the archives to learn about past festivals and winners, purchase films and merchandise, and find out how you can enter the film screenplay competitions.
takes you into the "dark and spooky" world of horror films and invites directors and special effects artists from the industry to participate in seminars and workshops. You can create your own account on the site, read blogs, learn how to submit your film, and even apply for employment on the site. There's also a link to a Yahoo chat group and a ChicagoHorror MySpace page.
is a film festival and screenplay competition for horror, thriller, sci-fi, and fantasy films, that takes place in Hollywood. Buy tickets, read about film success stories, and fill out an entry form online.
The Eerie Horror Film Festival
has only been around since 2004, but it has grown into one of the most respected events of its kind in the country. Read the "F.A.Q." page to get some quick facts about the festival, check the "Vendors" section to find out which vendors will be at the festival, and book your hotel room on the site. There's also an updated list of guest speakers on the homepage.
For children's film festivals ...
The New York International Children's Film Festival
has grown to be one of the largest movie events for kids and teens in North America. Since 2000, all screenings have sold out in advance. Buy tickets early online, learn who the film jury is comprised of, fill out entry forms, and apply for an internship on the site.
The Coalition for Qality Children's Media
sponsors Kids First!, which is said to be the largest film festival for kids in the world. Both new and classic films are showcased, and the festival travels to over 100 venues every year. You can sign up to host the festival at a nearby location, submit a film title, and read updated news and information about the festival.
Online film festivals are film festivals which are held entirely online. Usually, films are shown ... read more »
There are plenty of sites online where you can submit your films to competitions, contests, and ... read more »
Although official film festival sites provide plenty of information, sometimes it can be more fun ... read more »
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