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The Most Prominent and Famous Film Festivals Around the World

Famous Film Festivals Around the World
The place that film enthusiasts love apart from the cinema theaters are the film festivals. These high-profile film festivals not only showcase the works of well-known filmmakers, but also that of the new and budding ones.
Bindu swetha
Last Updated: Jul 14, 2017
The Big Three
Director Krzysztof Kieslowski's The Three Colors trilogy (two in French and one is Polish) was made for the three most popular film festivals. Three Colors: Blue was made for Venice, Three Colors: White for Berlin, and Three Colors: Red for Cannes.
Every big city in the world has one film festival dedicated to its name that is held annually. The lights, fans, and the paparazzi that the film festivals involve is a sight to watch out for. The hosting city leaves no stone unturned in making the event a success. These festivals give new entrants a global platform to showcase their talent. Regional language films are showcased here. These festivals also offer an opportunity to learn the art of filmmaking from filmmakers around the world. Watching talented people gather together at one place to celebrate the essence of cinema is an amazing sight in itself.

We, at Buzzle, have put forth a consolidated list of film festivals that are held to celebrate cinema around the world.

* Note: The festivals are written in the order of months that they are held.
Most Prestigious Film Festivals
Sundance Film Festival
Held In: January
Held At: Park City, Utah
How it Started?
The festival was founded in the Salt Lake City in 1978 by Sterling Van Wagenen, John Earle, and Cirina Hampton Catania. It was their way of attracting filmmakers to Utah, thus helping the film industry to grow. Later on, Redford's Sundance Institute took over the festival in 1985.
Festival Bytes
The festival's mission is to look for independent artists and feature unknown works. There have been a lot of films which premiered at the festival that later, went on to become huge box-office successes. Reservoir Dogs, which was premiered in 1992 at the festival, made more than $2 million at the box office.

This year, there were 12,146 films which premiered at the festival. Out of the films that were premiered, half were made by men and half by women.
U. S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic
U. S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary
International Film Festival Rotterdam
Held In: January/February
Held At: Rotterdam, Netherlands
How it Started?
This film festival, earlier called "Film International", was started in the year 1972 by Huub Bals. The festival founded CineMart that helped producers find co-producers for funding their films. After the founder's sudden death, the festival started a fund (Hubert Bals Fund) to help filmmakers from developing countries.
Festival Bytes
The festival's current director is Rutger Wolfson. There are Tiger Awards that are held every year to acknowledge the work of artists from all over the world. The festival promotes young film producers in its training lab at Rotterdam.

2013's IFFR is the 42nd festival to be held. This year, the festival saw about 28,000 visitors! The opening film this year was De wederopstanding van een klootzak (The Resurrection of a Bastard) by Guido van Driel.
Hivos Tiger Awards Competition
Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films
The Big Screen Award
UPC Audience Award
Berlin Film Festival
Held In: February
Held At: Berlin, Germany
How it Started?
The festival was started in 1951 by the U.S. Film Officer Oscar Martay. The festival first opened at the historic Titania Palast movie theater where the first film to be screened was Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca. The famous "Golden Bear" awards were introduced since the opening year. However, it was only in 1956 that the festival could convene its first international jury.
Festival Bytes
Also called Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin or Berlinale, this is the largest publicly attended film festival worldwide. Since 2001, the festival's director is Dieter Kosslick. Berlinale Talent Campus is a lecture and workshop series, which is attended by young filmmakers from all over the world.

This year, the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival was held between 7 to 17 February. The Grandmaster was the film that opened at this year's festival.
Golden Bear
Jury Grand Prix (Silver Bear)
Best First Feature
International Short Film
The Berlinale Camera
Hong Kong International Film Festival
Held In: March/April
Held At: Hong Kong, China
How it Started?
The festival started in the year 1977 and was established by Hong Kong Urban Council. The now-famous bilingual publications of the festival were started in 1978. From 2002 to 2004, Hong Kong Arts Development Council operated the festival. However, after its 28th edition, the festival is operating independently.
Festival Bytes
The festival screens over 330 titles from about 50 countries and reaches an audience base of about 600,000. Apart from film screenings, the festival also conducts panel discussions, seminars, exhibitions, live music performances, parties, and more for the festival goers.

This year, the festival was held between 17 March to 2 April and is the 37th Hong Kong International Film Festival. Ip Man: The Final Fight by Herman Yau (Hong Kong) was premiered as the opening film at this year's festival.
Young Cinema Competition
Documentary Competition
Short Film Competition
Cannes Film Festival
Held In: May
Held At: Cannes, France
How it Started?
One of the oldest film festivals, its first edition was held in the year 1939 when Louis Lumière was its President. The International Film Festival was an initiative by Jean Zay, Minister for Education and Fine Arts. The early editions of the festival were open to all; however today, it has become an invitation-only event.
Festival Bytes
The festival recently completed 60 years in 2007, and as a mark of its celebration, they invited 33 directors from 5 different continents to participate in their 3-minute anniversary film. Thierry Frémaux was appointed General Delegate by the Board of Directors in 2007.

Steven Spielberg was the President of Jury this year. The opening film this year was The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann.
Palme d'Or
Grand Prix
Prix du Jury
Venice International Film Festival
Held In: August/September
Held At: Venice, Italy
How it Started?
The first film festival was held in 1932, and the opening film was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. There were no official prizes awarded that year, and the winners were selected by the audience. The Venice Film Festival was founded by Giuseppe Volpi (1st Count of Misurata) and was known as "Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica".
Festival Bytes
The main awards of the festival are Leone d'Oro (Golden Lion) for the Best Film, the Leone d'Argento (Silver Lion) for the Best Director, and the Coppa Volpi (Volpi Cup), for the Best Actor and Actress. This year's festival is the 70th one. It is scheduled to be held from 28th August to 7th September and is organized by La Biennale di Venezia.
Golden Lion
Special Jury Prize
Volpi Cup
Golden Osella
Silver Lion
Toronto International Film Festival
Held In: September
Held At: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
How it Started?
The festival, originally known as "The Festival of Festivals", was founded in the year 1976. The first festival that was held at Toronto had an attendance of 35,000. In 1994, the festival was named as "Toronto International Film Festival Group" (TIFFG), and it was only after 2004 that the festival got its current name.
Festival Bytes
The festival does not have the regular awards, like "Best Actress" or "Best Film". Instead, it has the People's Choice Award, which is handed over to feature films that are selected by the voting process at the festival. The Bell Lightbox, whose construction began in 2007, is a destination for film-related exhibitions and moving image artworks.
Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award
International Critics' Prize (FIPRESCI Prize)
The SKYY Vodka Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film
City of Toronto & Canada Goose Award
London Film Festival
Held In: October
Held At: London, United Kingdom
How it Started?
The festival, officially known as the "BFI London Film Festival", was initiated due to a thought by a group of film critics, who wanted a festival like the Cannes for London. The first festival was conceived by BFI (British Film Institute) director James Quinn. It is considered to be the foremost public festival.
Festival Bytes
The festival showcases films in different areas of interest. There are grand opening and closing galas that are major red-carpet events during the festival. There are Q&A sessions held for many film screenings.
The Grierson Award
The Sutherland Trophy
FIPRESCI International Critics Award
Annual Satyajit Ray Award
The Alfred Dunhill UK Film Talent Award
The film festivals are major attractions for film lovers, and you surely don't want to miss your favorite movie screenings, do you? Book your seats for the public film festivals and have a different film experience altogether. See you at the festivals!