1. Cannes Film Festival
The Festival de Cannes has been running every summer since 1946 in the south of France. Considered one of the most exclusive and highly regarded film festivals in the world, the Cannes Film Festival attracts many stars each year along with hordes of paparazzi. Among the prestigious winners at the Cannes Film Festival are “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Apocalypse Now,” and “Inglorious Bastards.” I don’t know maybe because it’s set in high season in the Cote D Azure, or maybe it’s all those rich people and celebrities everywhere, but there is something about the Cannes Film Festival that is like no other.
2. Sundance Film Festival is a close second though. Ahh I remember the first time I went to Sundance and the 13 below zero weather. What memories! No seriously the weather was really 13 below zeros fahrenheit. Set in the mountains of Utah in winter, it’s a bit of a shock, but the films and the cinematic experience is top notch. It has become a huge event for the Hollywood elite. Past Sundance winners include the documentary “Waiting for Superman,” the drama “Precious,” and “American Splendor.” It is a fantastic place for film sales and distribution for filmmakers that want to see their project sold!
3. Another sought after European festival, the Berlin International is becoming one of the larger film festivals in the world. The festival features hundreds of films competing for Golden Bear and Silver Bear awards (that’s what their awards are called, cute isn’t it) Some notable winners from the United States include “12 Angry Men,” “The Messenger,” “There Will Be Blood,” and “The People vs. Larry Flint.
4. This festival in Toronto is a highly regarded event, and actually its gotten so big that it maybe should have been third on this list. Huge celebrities attend every year and tons of media descend in to Canada for this one. Some notable winners from the Toronto International Film Festival are “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “Black Swan,” “American Beauty,” and “The King’s Speech.” All of which ended up being big Oscar darlings.
5. The Tribeca Film Festival is the baby of the bunch. It was created more recently than the others. Launching in 2002 after the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, it had a big economic impact on the Tribeca neighborhood in Manhattan (which is very close to where the twin towers were). Big studios and independent filmmakers have embraced this film festival. Also we had to include at least one NYC festival, keeping it real!