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Film festivals


Film festivals

Cannes Film Festival | Venice Film Festival

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A film festival is a festival in one or more movie theaters with a special program showcasing many films. The films are usually of a recent date; sometimes there is a focus on a specific genre (e.g. animation) or subject (e.g. gay and lesbian film festivals). These are typically annual events.


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 know 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 the major role in introducing foreign films to American audiences. Among the films were Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon and Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali.

The Toronto festival in Canada, begun in 1976, is now the major North American film festival and the most widely attended worldwide.

The Raindance Film Festival in London, is the largest independent film festival in the UK. It also the founder of the British Independent Film Awards.

The Ivy Film Festival at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island is the largest student film festival in North America and the only student-run film festival in the world.

The festivals in Toronto, Venice, Sundance, Cannes, Rotterdam, Berlin, Moscow, (since 2002) Locarno and Karlovy Vary are listed as so-called "A festivals", or the most prestigious in the world. New films may be screened at only one of these festivals.


  • Turan, Kenneth, Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made, Los Angeles, University of California Press, 2002, hardback, ISBN 0520218671.
  • Talking Pictures website The Sense and Sensationalism of Film Festivals by Nigel Watson

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.