Sunday, April 25, 2010

Festive Fun

Depending on the town or city you live in there are hopefully a number of cinephiles who have gathered together to share and enjoy new and old films.

In Canada, the Toronto Film Festival has blossomed into a mix of commercial fare and the small and obscure. Opening around mid September, it trails after Venice, Cannes and the Berlin Festival and is probably the closest gauge of what a North American audience prefers. I'll admit it's grown too large for my liking, the long lines, traffic, and mediocre theatre facilities have dampened my enthusiasm for many of the headliners.

I've been to the Halifax film Festival (very good), Vancouver Film Festivals, and a Calgary Film Festival. Unfortunately Halifax and Vancouver are plagued with bad timing, most filmmakers are only capable of submitting to a select few in the fall... and Toronto is the place to be. I've been greatly disappointed with the selection in Vancouver in the past few years, many of the most exciting films (ones that I would happily wait in line for) tend to move from Toronto to New York (New York timed to begin about a week after Toronto wraps up).

What many locals overlook are the smaller, less publicized, and specialized festivals that should always be given a chance.

Here are a few all across map (linked):

BFI London Film Festival (Oct 13-28, 2010)


TIFF (Toronto Film Festival - Sept 9 - 25, 2010)
Hot Docs (Best of Documentaries April 29 - May 9, 2010)
Sprockets (Children's Film Festival April 17-23, 2010)
Reel Asian (Asia's best internation releases November 9-14, 2010)

Atlantic Film Festival (Sept 16-25,2010)

New York City
New York Film Festival (The big one, early October, usuall 18 days)

Chicago International Film Festival (Great! Oct 7-21, 2010)
Latino Film Festival (April 16-29, 2010)

Independent Film Festival (April 21-28, 2010)


Los Angeles
Newport Beach Film Festival (Apr 22-29, 2010)
Palm Springs International Film Festival (Short films, June 22-28, 2010)

San Francisco