12 international film festivals across the globe

12 international film festivals across the globe

Musement takes a look at 12 of the top film festivals across the globe dedicated to the art of cinema.

From Cannes to TriBeCa to the Berlinale to Toronto, film festivals offer you some great cinematic discoveries year after year. Musement takes a look at 12 to follow closely in 2020.

1. Venice International Film Festival

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 and this year marks the 77th edition. 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”).  September 2 – 12

2. The Cannes Film Festival – France

It would be criminal to compile a list of the world’s top film festivals without mentioning the Palme d’Or and the famous Cannes Film Festival. This year brings the 73rd edition of the Cannes Film Festival, the world’s most publicized.  Called the International Film Festival until 2002, this is the place to see and be seen for the ‘who’s who’ of world cinema. Spectators can watch the stars arrive on the red carpet and play traveler while admiring the luxurious yachts along the Croisette or watch outdoor retrospectives on Macé beach, where the festival’s cult films 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!  May 12 – 23 

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. To stay up to date on the Festival, you can download the dedicated app on its official website. April 15 – 26

4. Taormina Film Fest – Sicily

The Taormina Film Fest – 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.  Like previous years, the upcoming 66th edition will include world premieres of both Italian and international films. June 28 – July 4

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5. Sundance Film Festival – Park City, Utah

Sundance, the top American independent film festival and one of the world’s largest, celebrates its 35th 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. January 23 – February 2

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.March 13 – 22

7. Berlin International Film Festival

If you’ve never been to Berlin, 2020 may be the right year to do so and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the world’s leading film festival at the same time 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. Last year, 18 films competed for the prestigious Golden Bear which was ultimately rewarded to Touch Me Not, a Romanian drama directed by Adina Pintilie. February 20 – March 1

8. TIFF, Toronto – Canada

Founded in 1976, this cinematic event is as lively and influential as those of Venice, Cannes and Berlin, and is held every year on the first Thursday of September. 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. September 13 – 19

9. MIFF, Melbourne – Australia

The Melbourne International Film Festival is undoubtedly one of Australia’s most important events, always featuring a selection of auteur films, short films, feature films and documentaries that bring international cinema to the forefront. The opening night usually takes place at Melbourne‘s Regent Theater with the screening of one of the festival’s featured films. The MIFF also welcomes children and families, as the program always includes animated films at a reduced price for the youngest children. August 6 – 23

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. March 24 – April 6

11. Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland

The Locarno International Film Festival in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland is one of the world’s oldest. Founded in 1946, this festival celebrating auteur cinema welcomes festival-goers every year in its seven different cinemas but also in the main square. The Piazza Grande can accommodate up to 8,000 spectators per evening and gives this summer festival a very special atmosphere. Although it is an animal for this festival as well, it is not a Lion or a Bear that the films in competition aspire for, but a Golden Leopard. (August 5 – 15)

12. EIFF, Edinburgh, Scotland

The Edinburgh International Film Festival was founded in 1947, the same year that the popular Edinburgh International Film Festival, held every August, was inaugurated. The Edinburgh International Film Festival has hosted the British premieres of many major films such as Blade Runner, Back to the Future and Taxi Driver. The festival has a particular focus on British and Scottish productions but also welcomes international films from many different categories. June 17 – 28

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