The World’s Coolest Film Festivals

Gianna Marx
The World’s Coolest Film Festivals
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Wanna catch a movie later? Better yet, wanna catch a ton of them?
From star-studded events like Cannes and Sundance to smaller niche showcases like Slamdance, the world’s top film festivals celebrate the coolest flicks and newest talents with a smattering of special presentations, discussion panels, and fanfare to spare.
So whether you’re attending as an accomplished movie buff or you’re just lucky enough to stumble onto a ticket (okay, we’re a little jealous), these fab film festivals will sweep you away with good old-fashioned movie magic.
Tell us which film festivals are on your calendar this year!

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Cannes: Often considered the "masterpiece" of film festivals, Cannes is the most prestigious and highly-publicized of all the festivals. Attracting A-Listers from around the world, this invitation-only festival in the south of France is a place to see and be seen.

Photo: WePaint Entertainment/

Sundance: Every January, the little town of Sundance, Utah is swarmed with tourists and Hollywood honchos eager for a look at some of the most anticipated films in American and international cinema.

Photo: Sundance/

Toronto International Film Festival: Better known as TIFF, this splashy festival is one of the most prestigious in the world. In recent years, it has even become a popular place for Hollywood studios to debut bigger films (and generate a little "Oscar-buzz").

Photo: TIFF/

The Berlin International Film Festival: Also known as Berlinale, Germany's biggest film festival takes place each year just in time for the European Film Market—a film trade fair and major industry meeting. Suffice it to say, it's a couple of weeks.

Photo: PopSugar/

Venice International Film Festival:  The oldest international film festival in the world (and also one of the most glamourous), this star-studded fete comes with splashy premieres, paparazzi and parties galore.

Photo: Ricarda Saleh/
Telluride Film Festival: Nestled in the mountains of Colorado, Telluride offers a unique program of new and classic films. With its low-key social scene and scenic location, Telluride has more of a summer camp vibe than other, larger festivals.
Photo: Merrick Chase/

Tribeca Film Festival: Part of a revitalization project for Lower Manhattan after 9/11, this event has worked to redefine the festival experience and celebrate New York as a major filmmaking center. It also draws an impressive star-studded crowd with panel discussions and a live-music lounge.

Photo: SubwayBlogger/
Nantucket Film Festival: Established in 1996 "to promote the cultural awareness and appreciation of the art of screenwriting," this smaller festival offers preview screenings and other events amid the sandy beaches and laid-back atmosphere of beautiful Nantucket island.
Photo: Nantucket Film Festival/
Austin Film Festival: Originally established to launch new screenwriting talent, this funky Austin festival now offers panels, workshops, and screening events on the art of breaking into the film business. 
Photo: Austin Film Festival/

South by Southwest: Not only is SXSW a pioneering force in the music world, but it is also making a major impact in the film industry. Showcasing works that blur the boundaries between film technology, SXSW offers a unique perspective that could change the future of the movie-making.

Photo: John Rogers/
International Film Festival Rotterdam: The unique atmosphere at the Rotterdam festival encourages filmmakers to engage and build relationship with their audience. IFFR also emphasizes the diversity of its film programming, offering selections from all genres and countries.
Photo: IFFR/
New York Film Festival: With a super-curated selection of domestic and foreign films the
world's top festivals along with picks from emerging
filmmakers, the NYFF—which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year—has become an important American film showcase.
Photo: NYFF/
East End Film Festival: This East London festival is one of the city's largest, offering a lively blend of new talent as well as larger independent releases each year. Selections from independents in the UK as well as Eastern Europe and Asia give the festival a broad, global scope.
Photo: East End Film Festival/

SLAMDANCE: Billed as the "anti-Sundance," Slamdance is meant for truly indie filmmakers. Taking place at the same time and place as the bigger, splashier Sundance, the "by filmmakers, for filmmakers" festival offers a more intimate look at new and emerging talent.

Photo: TIME/

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