The film buffs at have picked their favourite silver-screen festivals from around the world.

East End Film Festival – London

One of London’s largest film festivals, in 2013 more than 80 feature films were screened, along with hundreds of shorts, from more than 30 different countries. On 13–25 July dozens of venues will open in East London to screen the latest works – many free – from up-and-coming and seasoned film makers. Plus, there will be plenty of live music, master classes and other special events.

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Cannes International Film Festival

One of the most prestigious festivals, Cannes is the place for big names to show their latest work. This year’s star-studded festival will run from 14 to 25 May. Its location on the beaches of the French Riviera, the sun and sparkling blue sea, adds to the glamorous atmosphere. Attending the festival is by invitation only, but we suggest heading to the Tourist Office and getting passes to the Beach Cinema for free nightly screenings.

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Berlin International Film Festival

Along with Cannes, Berlin is a staple in the film lover’s calendar. Also known as Berlinale, the festival is divided into ten sections, highlighting areas such as experimental and avant-garde, shorts geared towards younger generations, films focused around “film and garden” themes and several others. Next year’s festival will kick off on 5 February and run for ten days. It is expected that visitors from more than 130 countries will be in attendance to view and discuss the international films.

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International Film Festival Rotterdam

Rotterdam’s annual film festival showcases all genres of innovative and thought-provoking cinema. Next year’s event will run from 21 January to 2 February. With 19 screening venues more than 350,000 viewers are expected. Rotterdam attendees are passionate movie-goers, so programme directors make a point of allowing attendees to mix with the film makers.

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Venice International Film Festival

The oldest film festival in the world, the Venice Film Festival started in 1932. The event is held on the island of Lido in the Lagoon City. Unlike similarly large film festivals such as Cannes, attendees are able to purchase passes in advance. This year’s festival will run from 27 August to 6 September. And if the film scene isn’t enticing enough, Venice ranks highly among travellers as one of the cities that have to be visited.

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Rooftop Films – New York

The New York Film Festival and Tribeca are among the most highly rated of silver-screen festivals, but we’re looking to the skyline of the Big Apple for our favourite – Rooftop Films. What started out in 1997 as screenings on the roof of a freshly-graduated film student’s apartment has expanded across Manhattan and Brooklyn. The festival runs on weekends between May and September.

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Sundance Film Festival – Utah

Sundance started in 1978, an event designed to attract filmmakers from the powerful Hollywood scene. Thirty-four years later, Sundance is the largest independent film festival in the United States, showing feature-length films, documentaries, shorts, and animation and building the film enthusiast community. Next year, the festival will run from 22 January to 1 February, showing hundreds of films whittled down from thousands of submissions.

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Guadalajara Film Festival – Mexico

Latin America’s most significant film affair, Guadalajara Film Festival showcases Mexican and Latino talent alongside other international works of cinematic art. Thanks to Guadalajara Film Festival, Latin American film has become a competitor in the global film industry. From 21-29 March, more than 100,000 film-lovers are expected to flood the city, viewing hundreds of films.

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Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival premiered in 1976 as an independent film festival, and has grown to become one of the most important and influential festivals in North America. Every September, works from the Toronto festival have gone on to become Academy Award winners. About 350,000 attendees head to Canada’s largest metropolis in hopes of viewing the next classic piece of cinema.

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Hong Kong International Film Festival

The Hong Kong International Film Festival makes our list for building relationships between Asian cinema and the global film industry. Next year’s event will take place in March, showcasing more than 330 titles, from 50 countries, to an expected audience of 600,000 viewers. Held in several venues around Hong Kong, including the Space Museum and City Hall, visitors get the chance to see the latest works while exploring the city.

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About the author

Oonagh ShielContent Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!

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