There are over 1,000 film festivals happening worldwide. At any given time, you could travel to the far reaches of the planet and see film. However, only a handful of these are important enough to the industry to take note of.
Before you book that flight, you’re going to want to know which lesser known film festivals are worth attending. Part two of this series covers the best international film festivals that you probably don’t know about.
Dubai International Film Festival
According to Variety, the Dubai International Film Festival has matured from its unfocused origins to become a real contender in Arab film. It still has a luxurious and architecturally beautiful setting. So, plenty of big names are drawn to the glitzy desert setting. The Muhr Awards that are given at DIFF serve to celebrate Arab filmmakers. They also give them worldwide recognition since attendees from around the globe are present at the festival. Recently, the festival announced that it would now run every two years instead of annually.
Raindance Film Festival, London
Held in London after the end of the English summer, Raindance is in some ways the start of the autumn film season. It specializes in independent film and has produced some outstanding movies based around rock n’ roll. Both British and international movies are welcomed. It has solid support from the film industry, with people in the know taking the accolades given here very seriously. For an aspiring gritty filmmaker, Raindance is the ultimate ticket.
London Film Festival
Another British festival, the London Film Festival by the British Film Institute is held in the same city and around the same time. Yet, Raindance and LFF hardly acknowledge the other’s existence. There’s no such thing as too much film, though, so if a more mainstream and glamorous festival takes your fancy, LFF is the place to be. There’s plenty of galas and special presentations to attend.
Due to London’s prestige, a good showing of international films is usually on the roster. However, the best of British talent is definitely displayed. In general, those with the bigger budgets are seen at this richer end of the film industry spectrum. Like Raindance, it’s at the start of awards season. Go here to find out who will win the accolades in the coming months.
Mise-en-scène Short Film Festival
Entirely devoted to short films, the Korean Mise-en-scène Festival is supposed to support upcoming filmmakers. There are many high-profile Korean directors and actors in attendance and there are international entrants too. If you feel short films should be taken seriously, at Mise-en-scène you’ll be among like-minded people.
Cape Town International Film Market & Festival
Cape Town is another place where short films shine. It’s listed as one of the top film festivals for short films. This festival also encompasses a market, so there’s buying and selling going on. If you’re interested in new African cinema, this festival will not disappoint. There’s plenty of international attendees to keep you company as well.