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Search CinemaSpot or Google |   Great Must-See sites   |   Read Articles and Lists | Find answers | Did you know?  
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Film Festivals

When most people think of film festivals, they envision celebrity-studded fetes. There is more to the world of film festivals than Cannes. Scores of festivals around the globe showcase the best new films in every category.

At most fests, screenings are followed by panel discussions and Q&A sessions. These events offer the moviegoer an opportunity to interact with filmmakers on an intimate level, says Kathleen McInnis, former vice president of festival and film relations for FilmFestivals.com.

They also amplify voices that might otherwise go unheard. "Festivals continue to push the boundaries of filmmaking by making screens available for the most unique of film voices, by forcing conventional movie storytelling to wait in the shadows while celebrating ground-breaking film artists, and by giving light to images unexpected by audiences," McInnis said.

Countless festivals have a significant presence on the Web. Here are a select few:

Right in the heart of the movie-making business, the Hollywood Film Festival takes place in late October. Aside from screenings, events include a gala reception and panel discussions offering advice for aspiring filmmakers.




Among the most well respected fests is the Sundance Film Festival, which you can read all about in another CinemaSpot feature. Another, the Seattle International Film Festival, is open to the public and draws famous attendees regularly. For new independent films in a mountain setting, try the Aspen FilmFest and the Aspen Shortsfest . Also in Colorado, the Telluride Film Festival, taking place in late summer, is considered one of the best.

In the Midwest, Chicago International Film Festival takes place in the fall. On the East Coast, New York's New York Film Festival is a 17-day festival in the fall, while the famed Tribeca Film Festival is in the spring. Across the border, the Toronto International Film Festival in September regularly draws many celebrities and high-profile films. "Leaving Las Vegas," "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and "Boogie Nights" are among the movies that premiered there. The site of the Vancouver International Film Festival, beginning late September, offers entry forms and film previews.

Film fests aren't only found in these major cities. This year's Woodstock Film Festival focuses on music in film. The Sidewalk Film Festival takes place in Birmingham, Alabama's historic Theatre District, and SilverDocs is a documentary film festival taking place annually in Silver Spring, Maryland..

For more information on film festivals, see our film festival page.




   --- S. Twetten

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