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10 international film festivals across the globe

10 international film festivals across the globe

In honor of the 90th edition of the Oscars, Musement takes a look at ten top festivals across the globe dedicated to the art of cinema.

From Venice to New York to Melbourne to Hong Kong, here are ten international film festivals that span the globe.

1. Venice International Film Festival, Venice, Italy

It should come as no surprise that this post begins with the famous Venice Film Festival, held each year in the illustrious Palazzo del Cinema di Venezia in Venice Lido as part of the broader context of the Venice Biennale’s cultural contemporary art festival. Founded in 1932, the Venice International Film Festival is the world’s oldest film’s festival! The atmosphere is characterized by the lagoon’s singular charm and glamour and offers an opportunity to discover or rediscover la Serenissima, (the city’s sobriquet, which means the “most serene”).  The seventy-fourth edition was held from 30 August to 19 September in a “spirit of freedom and dialogue”, and Guillermo del Toro won the coveted Golden Lion award for his Oscar-winning film The Shape of the Water.

2. The Cannes Film Festival, France

We could not list the best film festivals without mentioning the Palme d’Or and the famous Cannes Film Festival,  the world’s most publicized film festival that just completed its 70th edition. Called the International Film Festival until 2002, this is where the ‘who’s who’ of world cinema meet, as well as an opportunity for simple movie fans like us to approach the dream of cinema even if our names don’t appear in the credits. Going to the Cannes Film Festival, you can watch the stars arrive on the red carpet, play tourist while admiring the luxury yachts along the Croisette or watch outdoor retrospectives on Macé beach, where the cult films of the Festival are screened. But Cannes is not just for the festival! On the contrary, if you visit Cannes and the splendors of the French Riviera outside of the festival, you could even walk on the famous red carpet!  (9 – 20 May 2018) 


The 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. Photo credit: plb06 via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

3. TriBeCa Film Festival, New York

The Tribeca Film Festival is an American independent film festival held every year in New York. Founded by Robert De Niro, Craig Hatkoff and Jane Rosenthal, the festival’s aim was to revitalize the economy and the city’s cultural life after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The concept behind the festival is to reach the widest possible audience to convey the power of cinema to the largest number of people, as well as for New York to be recognized as a major cinema hub. The theme of the festival’s sixteenth edition was to “See Yourself In Others“, and encouraged insight through a set of mirrors that prompted people to see themselves through the eyes of others. It dedicated itself to highlighting the power of stories and films that have made it possible to invoke empathy and reveal the humanity within everyone that pushes us towards unity.

4. Taormina Film Fest, Sicily

The Taormina Film Festival – which began under the name of Rassegna Cinematografica Internazionale di Messina e Taormina – takes place in this stunning city’s ancient Greek theater, perched on a natural terrace over the Ionian Sea and famous for its view of Mount Etna.  A true reference for Italy’s film culture, the film selection for the recent 63rd edition focused on the quality as well as the social and cultural commitment of the directors who were presented to the panel on opening night: a Night Blanche of Cinema with film screenings, concerts and presentations of books and their authors.


The ancient theatre in Taormina

5. Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah

Sundance, the top American independent film festival and one of the world’s largest, celebrated its thirty-fourth edition this year. Established by the Sundance Institute, a cultural nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford, the festival showcases the most innovative American and international filmmakers. It presents films made outside the mainstream Hollywood circuit and reveals the talent of many famous and acclaimed directors such as Quentin Tarantino. 

6. SXSW Film Festival, Austin, Texas

South by Southwest Film is part of a series of festivals (music, film and interactive media) held in Austin, Texas, a city that has become such a hub for new technology that is has garnered the nickname “Silicon Hills”. The festival, a marathon of films, presents many categories, from competitions between state high schools to highly anticipated big-budget Hollywood comedies. In the evenings, attendees merrymake at the cinema bar where independent filmmakers and big industry names happily mingle with the crowd.

7. Berlin International Film Festival

The sixty-eighth edition o the famous Berlin International Film Festival, the Berlinale, takes place this month. Founded in 1951 by the Western Allies in order to create a showcase of the free world, the Berlinale is one of the world’s top three festivals film festivals alongside Venice and Cannes. For two weeks, the vibrant German capital lives off the frenetic pace of the festival and the parties that surround it. The prestigious Golden Bear was awarded to the Romanian film Touch Me Not by Adina Pintillie.


The red carpet of Berlinale

8. TIFF, Toronto, Canada

Founded in 1976, this cinematic event is as lively and influential as the Venice, Cannes and Berlin festivals, and is held every year on the first Thursday of September after Labor Day. Considered by some to be a trial run for the awards season, the Toronto International Film Festival indeed often serves as a springboard for an Oscar. More than 300 films are screened during this festival that gets most of its inspiration from the cultural diversity of Toronto.

9. MIFF, Melbourne, Australia

The Melbourne International Film Festival is undoubtedly very important for Australian cinema. The festival always showcases a selection of auteur-style films, short and long works, and documentaries that bring international cinema to the forefront. Last year’s edition included a screening of the Australian film Jungle, directed by Greg McLean and starring Daniel Radcliffe and Alex Russell as well as a screening of the animated feature Rock Dog with a reduced price of $12.50 for the little ones.

10. HKIFF, Hong Kong, China

The Hong Kong International Film Festival is organized every year by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, a nonprofit and nongovernmental organization committed to promoting the arts and the undertaking of film production with an international dimension. This wide panorama of Asian and international production showcases work from more than 50 countries. The Society aims to introduce international cinema to an Asian audience while simultaneously revealing the new dimensions of Hong Kong’s film production.

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