Film Festivals


Film Festivals

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A film festival is the presentation or showcasing of films in one or more movie theaters or screening venues. The films are usually of a recent date and, depending upon the focus of the individual festival, can include major international releases as well as those made outside a country's established film industry. Sometimes there is a focus on a specific genre (e.g. film noir) or subject (e.g. gay and lesbian film festivals). Film Festivals are typically annual events.

History

The world's first major film festival was held in Venice in 1932; the other major film festivals of the world (Berlin, Cannes, Moscow and Karlovy Vary) date back to the 1940s and 1950s.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival in Scotland was established in 1947 and is the longest continually running film festival in the world.

The first North American film festival was the Columbus International Film & Video Festival, also known as The Chris Awards, held in 1953. According the Film Arts Foundation in San Francisco, "The Chris Awards (is) one of the most prestigious documentary, educational, business and informational competitions in the U.S; (it is) the oldest of its kind in North America and celebrating its 54th year".

It was followed shortly thereafter by the San Francisco International Film Festival held in March 1957 whose emphasis was on feature-length dramatic films. The festival played a major role in introducing foreign films to American audiences. Among the films shown in its founding year were Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood and Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali.

Entry fee

Most film festivals require filmmakers to pay an entry fee to have their works considered for screening. This is especially commonplace among larger film festivals, such as the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and even smaller "boutique" festivals such as the Sonoma Valley Film Festival.

However, not all film festivals require an entry fee. Rotterdam Film Festival, for example, does not charge an entry fee to submit work. There are also many smaller film festivals in the United States, such as the Sansevieria Film Festival in Ohio or the Stony Brook Film Festival in Long Island, New York, or the Sicilian Film Festival in Miami which do not charge entry fees, however, acceptance of films is usually more limited, and such film festivals do not necessarily attract big names in their audiences like Sundance and Telluride do. In some cases, such as the Portland Film Festival, there is an entry fee, but it is waived for filmmakers within a certain region, such as the Northwestern United States.

Significant or notable festivals

* "A" Festivals: The festivals in Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Shanghai, Moscow, San Sebastian, Montréal, Locarno (since 2002), Karlovy Vary, Mar del Plata, Cairo and Tokyo are listed as "A festivals", or "category one" by the International Federation of Film Producers Association (FIAPF).

* Experimental films: Ann Arbor Film Festival was started in 1963. It is the oldest continually operated experimental film festival in North America and has become one of the premiere film festivals for independent and, primarily, experimental filmmakers to showcase their work.

* Independent films: In the US, Telluride Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, New York City's Tribeca Film Festival, WorldFest-Houston (founded in 1961), the Sonoma Valley Film Festival, and the Vail Film Festival[citation needed] are all considered significant festivals for independent film. Raindance Film Festival in London, is the largest independent film festival in the UK and is connected to the British Independent Film Awards.

* Latin American significance: The Festival de Gramado (or Gramado Film Festival) Gramado, Brazil along with the Guadalajara International Film Festival in Guadalajara, Mexico are considered to be the most important film festivals of Latin America. It was first held in 1973, awarding Brazilian and Latin American films. While the Expresión en Corto International Film Festival is the largest competitive film festival in Mexico, specializing in emerging talents, and is held each year during the last week of July in the two colonial cities of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato. Among Spanish speaking countries the Valdivia International Film Festival is held annually in the city of aldivia. It is arguable the most important film festival in Chile.

* North American significance: Toronto is internationally renowned for its film festival, The Toronto International Film Festival. Begun in 1976, is now the major North American film festival and the most widely attended worldwide, while Toronto's Hot Docs is the leading North American documentary film festival. Also of significance, the Seattle International Film Festival is the largest film festival in the United States.[citation needed] Meanwhile, the New York Film Festival only show few films in each year, but it still has big impact in the United States.

* Student films: Fresh Film Festival in Karlovy Vary is one of the largest student film festivals in Europe, Ivy Film Festival at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island is the largest student film festival in North America, KAN festivalin Poland the largest film festival in Poland organized by students. (Credit: Wikipedia).

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