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      Film Festivals

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Film festivals are a great place for unknown talent to showcase their films. Although it can be quite difficult to get a very low budget independent film accepted into the major film festivals like Cannes, Toronto or the Sundance Film Festival due to the fact that the Hollywood scene has its grip on them now, it is still possible. These festivals still operate with the idea in mind that all films are welcome to be submitted regardless of their budget size.

If your small film is incredibly unique and your talent outshines your lack of film production value, then you just may be invited to one of the big dances with the big films. If this happens, you and everyone involved with your independent film will get a lot of free publicity, which is the fuel that powers a filmmaker's career. It should help you secure a decent distribution deal for your independent film in the very least.

While it is a bit tough to get a very low budget independent film accepted into the larger film festivals, there are plenty of smaller ones that give you a much better chance.

Whether you are looking to make the transition to the mainstream film industry for employment, looking for a distribution deal or you just want some people to see your independent film, film festivals are a great place to showcase your film production talent.



The following festivals are the largest and most publicized film festivals in the world.

Sundance Film Festival-

Location: Park, City, Utah.                               

Time of year: January                                  

Contact: Sundance Institute, Salt Lake City, UT 84111                                                        


The Cannes Film Festival-

Location: Cannes, France                                 

Time of year: May                                        

Contact: Cannes Film Festival, 71 Rue du Faubourg St. Honore, 75008 Paris, France                


Toronto International Film Festival-

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada                 

Time of year: beginning of September.         

Contact: Festival of Festivals, 69 Yorkville, Suite 205, Toronto, ON. M5R 1B8, Canada       


Seattle Film Festival-

Location: Seattle, Washington                           

Time of year: May-June                               

Contact: Seattle Film Festival, 801 E. Pine Street, Seattle, Washington 98122                         


Santa Barbara Film Festival-

Location: Santa Barbara, California                   

Time of year: January 23rd- February 4th                                   

Contact: Santa Barbara Film Festival, 1528 Chapala Street, #203, Santa Barbara, CA 93101  (805) 963-0023                                                           


Telluride Film Festival-

Location: Telluride, Colorado                           

Time of year: beginning of September             

Contact: The National Film Preserve. Ltd., 379 State Street, #3, Portsmouth, New Hampshire  03801  (603) 433-9202                                 



San Francisco Film Festival-

Location: San Francisco, California                   

Time of year: April                                       

Contact: San Francisco Film Festival, 1650 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115               


New York Film Festival-

Location: New York, New York                      

Time of year: middle of September               

Contact: Film Society of Lincoln Center, 140 W. 65th Street, New York, NY                       


Los Angeles Film Festival-

Location: Los Angeles, California                      

Time of year: April                                      

Contact: Los Angeles Film Festival, Film Independent, 9911 W. Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035  (866) 345-6337 (310) 432-1240                                                              



Chicago Film Festival-

Location: Chicago, Illinois                                 

Time of year: October                                  

Contact: Chicago Film Festival, 415 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60610                           


Berlin International Film Festival-

Location: Berlin, Germany                                

Time of year: February                                

Contact: Berlin International Film Festival, Potsdamer Straße 5, D-10785, Berlin, Germany

Phone: +49 · 30 · 259 20 · 0                             

Fax: +49 · 30 · 259 20 · 299                           



Sydney Film Festival-

Location: Sydney, Australia                               

Time of year: middle of June                         

Contact: Sydney Film Festival, P.O. Box 25, Glebe, New South Wales 2037, Australia              


Tokyo International Film Festival-

Location: Tokyo, Japan                                    

Time of year: September                             

Contact: Tokyo Film Festival, No.3, Asano Daisan Building, 2-4-19 Ginza Chou-ku, Tokyo 104, Japan




There are literally hundreds of smaller film festivals that take place around the world every year. Here are a few that welcome unknown film production talent and non-mainstream independent films.

Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival

Location: Houston, Texas                                 

Time of year: April                                      

Contact: Team Worldfest-Houston, 9898 Bissonnet, Suite# 650, Houston, Texas  (713) 965-9955 



Slamdance Film Festival-

Location: Park City, Utah                                 

Time of year: middle of January Contact: Slamdance, Inc., 5634 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038  (323) 466-1786                                 



Austin Film Festival-

Location: Austin, Texas                                    

Time of year: middle of October                  

Contact: Austin Film Festival, 1145 W 5th Street, Suite 210, Austin, TX 78703 (512) 478-6205  (800) 310-3378                                             




If you do a Google search with the keyword phrase "film festivals" you will get  a lot of information about many, many film festivals all around the world. Just ad the name of a city or state to that phrase if you want to find a film festival close to where you live.

The following websites offer the latest news and information about film festivals:

The following website offers a service that allows you to submit films to multiple film festivals at the same time:


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