Film festivals are events for those that are in the business (actors, directors, writers) or the truly serious film goers. These events are where films are premiered, as well as where film deals get done. Film festivals are also wonderful for the sincerely starstruck, as all the big names show up to hang out and promote their latest works.
Sundance Film Festival – Actor Robert Redford started the Sundance Film Festival. It takes place every year in the scenic resort Park City, Utah. Although it began as an independent filmmakers' festival, it's grown into an A-list Hollywood event. It can also be an Academy Award predictor, as the award-winning film "Precious" was first a big winner at Sundance. Who would have guessed that a '70s heartthrob like Redford would one day be such a cinematic mover and shaker? Well, believe it because he is now.
Cannes Film Festival - The Festival de Cannes, as it is officially called, has been a top tier movie showcase since 1946. It takes place every summer in the scenic south of France. Every summer, there are many Hollywood stars trying to remember thei high school French, as well as the paparazzi snapping shots of them wherever they go. Many crictical film favorites first gained attention there, ranging from "Pulp Fiction" to "Apocalypse Now". It makes perfect sense to mount a film festival in France, as this country also has its own legendary movie history.
Berlin International – What it may lake in prestige, the Berlin International film festival more than makes up for with size. It sports literally hundreds of movies competing each year for the Golden Bear and Silver Bear awards. One of the goals for showing films at this festival is to sell the European rights for films. Many familiar movies have done quite well at this film festival. These range for "12 Angry Men" to the relatively new "The People vs. Larry Flint".
Toronto International Film Festival – Canadians love good films, too, as this film festival attests. It screens multiple hundreds of films each year. Academy Award winners, including "Slumdog MIllionaire", "Black Swan", and "The King's Speech" have all done well. Not a bad list, eh?
Tribeca Film Festival - Compared to Cannes, which got its start way back in the '40s, the Tribeca Film festival is a bit of a young pup. It has been going since 2002. It's centered in the U.S., the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan, to be specific. It's been embraced by both the big studios and independent filmmakers. Notable Tribeca debuts include "Let the Right One In" and "Pray the Devil Back to Hell." Having such a fine film festival right there in Manhattan must make Woody Allen proud. After all, so many of his films are set right there in his home territory.