My Top 5 Favorite Film Festivals!
What is the best film festival out there? Where can one see the latest, greatest genre films before they are released to the general public?
As both a filmmaker and a genre festival director myself, I’ve been asked these questions many times.
There are so many quality film festivals out there that I love, but only a handful of them take the gold. Here are my top 5 favorites:
Held each January in Park City, Utah, Sundance Film Festival showcases some of the very best film premieres from around the world including superb films in their Midnight programs. If you have a chance to attend in person, it’s common to see celebrities, filmmakers, distributors, and some of the greatest minds in the industry convene all in one place.
Although SXSW is widely known for its music programming, it also showcases one of the absolute best film festivals in the world. I’ve had the privilege of attending many times and have witnessed some of the hottest new horror, thriller, and sci-fi films to hit the big screen before showing anywhere else. Austin itself is also the perfect setting for a festival with its fun and festive atmosphere, but if you’re attending, book super early if you want to stay anywhere near downtown! Hotels sell out months in advance.
Held in September in Toronto, Canada, this festival typically paves the way for many distribution deals and premieres for elite programming. If you’re lucky enough to attend, the genre film scene is mind-blowing.
4. Fantastic Fest
Yet another quality film festival in Austin, Texas, Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the United States. It specializes in horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and action films from around the world. I highly recommend this festival for anyone who wishes to see the best independent genre film programming.
Held in Sitges, Spain each fall, this festival also has a reputation for playing the absolute best genre films from around the world. The festival is over 50-years-old and is known for its strong horror and fantasy film programming.
I highly recommend any of these festivals. From the perspective of a film programmer and a fan, I can confidently say that they play the best of the best when it comes to independent genre films.