10 Top Film Festivals Around the World

May 10, 2016 - By: Sarah Hovis

If you asked most cinephiles to name a major film festival, chances are they would say Sundance, Tribeca, Cannes, or Toronto. But just a cursory glance at the
New York Film Academy’s film festival database and it becomes clear there are many more festivals flying under the radar or not getting the attention they deserve. Here are 10 to put on your viewing schedule.


Seattle International Film Festival
May 19 – June 12, 2016
Over 25 days, one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious film festivals fest infiltrates every corner of the city, from the Cinerama downtown to SIFF Cinema Uptown, with an enormous program of more than 450 films (features, shorts, and documentaries) from all over the world.

Annecy International Animated Film Festival
June 13 – 18, 2016
Founded over 50 years ago, this festival held in Annecy, France, showcases various techniques of animated films, be it modelling clay or cut-out papers or animated drawings.

Il Cinema Ritrovato
June 25 – July 2, 2016
This festival in Bologna, Italy is for those who truly appreciate newly restored classics. Now in its 29th year, 427 films, ranging from 1895 up to the present day, all in their original version and with subtitles will be presented. And every night one film is screened in central Piazza Maggiore, adjacent to the massive Basilica of San Petronio.

Traverse City Film Festival
July 26 – 31, 2016 Founded by Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore, this festival is a charitable, educational, nonprofit organization committed to the idea that “One Great Movie Can Change You: Just Great Movies.” Additionally, an affordable film school runs throughout the festival, offering twice daily classes for film students and film lovers.

Locarno Film Festival
August 3 – 13, 2016 If you’re a fan of
Cinema Paradiso, you’ll be a fan of this festival’s eclectic mix of international features. Held in the breathtaking Swiss-Italian town’s Renaissance square, this al fresco fest packs in up to 8,000 moviegoers per screening for 11 days straight, using state-of-the-art projection and sound equipment to ensure that nothing gets lost in translation.

Sidewalk Film Festival
August 26 – 28, 2016
For almost 20 years this festival has been celebrating new, independent cinema in multiple venues located within Birmingham, Alabama’s historic Theatre District. The atmosphere at Sidewalk is electric with creativity and collaboration as filmmakers and film-lovers mix and mingle between screenings or participate in panel discussions.

Telluride Film Festival
September 2 –5, 2016
Love surprises? Then this festival is for you! Set in Colorado’s famed mountain town, festivalgoers have no clue what the movie lineup entails or who is on the guest list. But given that it’s sandwiched between Cannes and Toronto, there’s a good chance there will be lots of North American premieres to see.

Raindance Film Festival
September 21 – October 2, 2016
Considered the largest and most important independent film festival in the UK, this festival showcases features, shorts and music videos by filmmakers from the UK and around the world to an audience of film executives and buyers, journalists, film fans, and filmmakers. Along with screenings, there are seminars, workshops, and parties to allow everyone the chance to share our passion for film.

Cucalorus Film Festival
November 9 – 13, 2016
Experience true southern hospitality in Wilmington, North Carolina. It’s not unusual for Cucalorus attendees to brunch on boats (at midnight), drink moonshine, and view more than 200 films over five days.

Dubai International Film Festival
December 7 – 14, 2016
With temperatures hovering around 80 degrees, spending December in Dubai sounds very appealing. Expect lavish post-screening parties and a chance to see Arab cinema, most of which you wouldn't have a chance to see elsewhere.

Tell us in the comments which film festival most appeals to you.

Photo via: YouTube