The 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World 2022, Presented by FilmFreemethod

Have you ever been to a kind of movie festivals the place all the pieces is going on all of sudden, and there’s that film you want to see and that individual you want to satisfy and that one panel you simply can’t miss, and also you notice that although you’ve been trying ahead to the energy and hustle for months… you aren’t really having fun with your self? That this occasion, which was imagined to be enjoyable and spiritually enriching, is popping out to be a number of work? 

The following festivals are nothing like that.

For our newest record of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World, we turned to a panel of cool consisting of the nice Miriam Bale, Clint Bentley and Greg Kwedar, Jim Cummings, Micah Gottlieb, Noel Taylor and Iman Zawahry. We’re deeply grateful to all of them, and you’ll be taught extra about them right here. They targeted on unforgettable experiences they couldn’t have had wherever else. Yes, the festivals served their careers, getting them publicity and accolades and serving to them for necessary relationships. But they had been additionally cool — enjoyable, affirming, validating. A reminder that by making motion pictures, they had been doing a factor that they really love and can discover endlessly cool.


Aspen Shortsfest

Aspen, Colorado /April 10-15  2023

Earlybird submission deadline: August 16, 2022

I love that this festival focuses on short films and treats short filmmakers like royalty,” says Clint Bentley. “That’s a rarity. The lineup is always incredible but it’s the mentors they bring in that really sets this festival apart. Not to mention, you can ski between screenings.” Adds his moviemaking partner, Greg Kwedar: “The shorts are the marquee event — each block of films plays in the storied Wheeler Opera House in front of a full house and the festival creates several opportunities for the filmmakers to gather and form friendships.” Among their finest reminiscences are meeting friend and mentor Laurence Andries (Superstition) when he served on a jury, and meeting Jason Reitman when he delivered a masterclass and “hung with the filmmakers all weekend,” Kwedar remembers. Lexi Tannenholtz, whose movie “We Should Get Dinner!” screened at this year’s version, in April, says the competition was “beyond fun… Everyone was so kind and generous,” including, “The filmmaker lounge is so friendly. Everyone genuinely wanted to get to know you and your work.” And Olive Nwosu, whose movie “Egúngún (Masquerade)” additionally screened this year, notes that “spending time with other emerging filmmakers in such an intimate space was so important… I’ve made new friends that I’m excited to continue growing with.”

A typical day at Aspen Shortsfest. Photo by Daniel Bayer, courtesy of Aspen ShortsFest

Austin Film Festival

Austin, Texas / October 27-November 3

This year’s submissions are closed. 

No matter how huge it will get — and this competition has gotten very huge — Austin stays cool. 

“This isn’t a controversial choice, but I love this film festival,” says Bentley. “I appreciate the focus they put on writers (of both features and shorts) and they always send out a ‘producer’s packet’ with contact information for all the filmmakers that want to share it. It’s an amazing festival for discovering new filmmakers to collaborate with.” Austin can also be one in every of our 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee and one in every of our 15 Submission-Worthy Screenplay Competitions, so take into account this a triple endorsement. Its laid-back environment makes it one in every of the finest networking festivals on earth.  

Busan International Film Festival

Busan, South Korea / October 5-14

Most of this year’s submissions are closed.

South Korean movie is having a second — a second that’s lasted years and doesn’t look prone to finish any time quickly. You can chalk it up in half to audiences’ indefatigable love of movies and assist for take-no-prisoners filmmaking. Greg Kwedar has loved that zeal firsthand, living out just about each moviemaker’s fantasy: “Our film Transpecos played in the midnight section and arrived directly from the airport to the screening at 11:59 to a packed screening of cinephiles. They were about to watch a marathon of three films back-to-back ALL NIGHT LONG. The audiences there have stamina for movies that I can’t even fathom.” 

Chattanooga Film Festival

Chattanooga, Tennessee / April 20-27 2023

Submissions open August 1.

“The fest formed in 2009 as a double feature presentation of Repo Man and Return of the Living Dead — say no more,” says Noel Taylor. We agree, however let’s perhaps say a little extra — Chattanooga combines a giddy reverence for lost classics with a discerning eye for the subsequent wave of nice filmmakers. Screenings at the newest version in June included 21-year-old Avalon Fast’s hypnotic home made horror debut Honeycomb, in addition to the documentary Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters, a have a look at the comics mastermind behind Hellboy. Other highlights included the resurrection of the delirious and deliciously bizarre Thrilling Bloody Sword, a Taiwanese, very 1981 retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and a Screenplay Pitch Competition with Rustic Films producer David Lawson Jr. (She Dies Tomorrow). “​​The Chattanooga Film Festival is an impressive DIY effort that has grown into a marvelously impressive showcase of inspiring, punk and original programming,” Taylor provides.

Coolest Film Festivals 2022

Filmmaker H. Nelson Tracey buries the hatchet... in a pumpkin.  Photo by Lila Streicher, courtesy of the Eastern Oregon Film Festival

Eastern Oregon Film Festival

La Grande, Oregon / October 20-22 

This year’s submissions are closed.

Every movie competition has movies, however what number of can provide an experience like this? “The programming team took us all out to the woods to drink White Russians and throw hatchets and shoot BB guns,” says Jim Cummings. “We ended up attaching an inflatable canoe to a 4-Wheeler and sledding with all of the filmmakers. There are moments from Eastern Oregon that are seared into my memory as the high-water mark of how fun a festival can be.” This year’s thirteenth annual version goals to open at the historic Liberty Theater and embody digital shows and satellite tv for pc screenings all through the rural Grande Ronde Valley. “This year’s hybrid event will see to it that hot spring huddles, hatchet throwing and Albino Bumblebees are, again, key components for the visiting filmmaker experience.” What’s an Albino Bumblebee? It’s the competition’s signature drink, made with whiskey, uncooked honey, and recent heat goat’s milk. 

Filmfort at Treefort Music Fest

Boise, Idaho / March 22-26, 2023

Earlybird submissions deadline:

“A must if you are a weirdo like me,” says Noel Taylor, who notes that this offshoot of the Treefort Music Fest is well known for “a ton of panels, Q+As and quirky cool junk.” Treefort holds a number of kind of simultaneous occasions like Filmfort, Skatefort, Foodfort and Yogafort, so you may mix your love of movie together with your different passions, getting all of your senses stimulated in one wonderful journey to Boise. Treefort’s newest version this previous March included musical acts like Kim Gordon, Snail Mail and Boise’s personal Magic Sword and Built to Spill, and a Treefort move included all screenings. But people who solely wished to look at motion pictures, for no matter motive, might simply choose up a move for Filmfort. The movie lineup included a daring array of shorts and options, together with the crowd-pleasing doc We Intend to Cause Havoc, which adopted the Nineteen Seventies formation and up to date rediscovery of the psychedelic band, WITCH, a gaggle thought-about The Beatles of Zambia. 

Frameline Film Festival

San Francisco, California / 2023

2023 submissions are usually not but open.

Billed as “the world’s longest-running and largest showcase of queer cinema,” Frameline marked its forty sixth version in June by exhibiting over 125 movies from greater than 30 nations. It celebrated the return of in-person screenings by increasing to a file variety of theaters and venues throughout the Bay Area, together with the famed Castro Theatre. This year’s very cool lineup included Andrew Ahn’s Fire Island, Eva Vitija’s documentary Loving Highsmith, drawn from the diaries of the Carol and Talented Mr. Ripley creator, and Framing Agnes, director Chase Joynt’s deep dive into interviews with transgender people from the Nineteen Fifties that had been found in a rusted-shut UCLA submitting cupboard. “As we return to an in-person festival, we are reminded of the importance of LGBTQ+ cinema to help transform viewpoints, create dialogue, and, most importantly, expand representation of marginalized communities,” stated James Woolley, Frameline Executive Director. “We are excited to share the stories and voices of the LGBTQ+ community that are sure to resonate long after the credits have rolled.”

25 Coolest Film Festival

(L-R) Actors Shannon DeVido and Jimmy Fowlie, director Julian Buchan and producer Jeremy Truong, from the Grindr unique comedy sequence Bridesman. Photo by Barak Shrama, courtesy of Frameline

Il Cinema Ritrovato 

Bologna, Italy / 2023

2023 submissions are usually not but open.

Imagine MoMA’s To Save and Project, but multiplied tenfold,” says Micah Gottlieb, who describes Il Cinema Ritrovato as “a massive festival of preservation that runs the gamut of international cinema: silents, New Hollywood, African, Turkish and Egyptian cinema, and more—with seemingly none of the institutional pressures (i.e. advertising, networking events) that are usually found at film festivals.” The competition is finest identified for the huge outside screenings in the city sq. of Piazza Maggiore, adjoining to the huge Basilica of San Petronio, the place seemingly everybody in city gathers to look at movies starting from the well-known to the obscure. “If anything makes me believe that film history is forever, it’s this festival,” says Gottlieb.  This year’s competition simply concluded.

Key West Film Festival

Key West, Florida / November 16-20

Regular submission deadline: July 31

“What other film festival takes the filmmakers on a sunset sail?” asks Clint Bentley, who additionally praises Key West’s “amazing blend of marquee films of the year and discoveries,” and “great panels.” It’s additionally identified for drawing top-notch movies: Last year’s tenth annual competition, which confirmed greater than 75 movies over 5 days, awarded Best Narrative Film to Pedro Almodovar’s Parallel Mothers, and the KWFF’s Annual Critics Award to Sean Baker’s Red Rocket. Its tagline sums things up properly: “where passion meets paradise.”

Luxembourg City Film Festival

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg / March 2-12, 2023

Submission particulars are here.

One of the most charming film festivals out there,” says Clint Bentley. “The people who run it are so kind and passionate about film. And the people of Luxembourg are just as wonderful. Despite being a small country, it seems to be packed with great filmmakers. Filmmakers who will happily drive you out of the city to a vineyard on your off day. It’s a magical festival.” This year’s twelfth annual competition, held in March, ended with Yuri Ancarani’s Atlantide — a hyper-stylized have a look at younger people and motorboats on the Venetian Lagoon — incomes the Grand Prix. Guests included A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night director Ana Lily Amirpour. The competition has grown quick in latest years, and affords important prizes, together with a €10,000 prize for the finest in worldwide cinema winner. 

Mammoth Lakes Film Festival

Mammoth Lakes, California / May 24-28, 2023 

Earlybird submission deadline:

A daily on our annual record of fifty Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, MLFF welcomes extremely anticipated movies whereas maintaining a powerful dedication to discovering new expertise. You can chalk up its adventurous spirit to competition director Shira Dubrovner and programming director Paul Sbrizzi coming of age in Eighties Los Angeles, the place artwork, music and movie felt thrilling, magical and subversive. In 2015, the pair took their love of risk-taking and provocation to an Eastern Sierra paradise equidistant to L.A. and San Francisco. “A truly curated assemblage of innovative and evocative films seem to make their way to Mammoth Lakes Film Fest every year,” says Noel Taylor. “A tightly packed fest with top-notch weirdness and intrigue nestled in the beautiful northern California town of the same name.” Making the five-hour drive from LAX? The competition simply would possibly pair you up with one other filmmaker doing the identical, so your competition experience can begin with the form of street journey the place lifelong loyalties are born. Past honorees have included John Sayles, Melissa Leo, Joe Dante, and The Groundlings, who had been represented by Cheri Oteri, Ryan Gaul, Jordan Black, Mindy Sterling and Julia Sweeney. The newest version was held this previous Memorial Day weekend. 

Filmmakers in the hot springs at Mammoth Lakes Courtesy of the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival

Enjoying the scorching springs at Mammoth Lakes, courtesy of MLFF.

Marrakech International Film Festival

Marrakech, Morocco / November 11-19

Submission deadline: July 29.

One of the last in-person editions of the Marrakech International Film Festival was an excuse for Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro to celebrate Agnès Varda (a few months before her death) in Moroccan luxury, while an audience including Julian Schnabel was lucky enough to witness,” says Miriam Bale. “With a recent programming staff shift and the new Atlas Workshop (online the last two years), the festival now intends to shift focus on to Arab and African filmmakers rather than on Morocco’s former colonizer.” The newest version, the competition’s nineteenth, will once more be held in individual after the pandemic precluded that risk in 2020 and 2021. The 18th version, held in 2019, closed with Nicolás Rincón Gille’s Valley of Souls receiving the Étoile d’Or from a jury headed by Scottish actress Tilda Swinton. 

New Filmmakers Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California / Monthly

Submissions particulars are here.

Now in its fifteenth year, NFMLA is a year-round affair that highlights a variety of filmmakers from all backgrounds with month-to-month, themed festivals restricted to a small variety of alternatives every month — often lower than 20. The competition’s curation is beautiful, and filmmakers chosen for NFMLA have gone on to spectacular competition runs, distribution offers, Oscar nominations, and an Oscar win: Rayka Zehtabchi’s “Period. End of Sentence” screened at the competition previous to its Oscar win for Best Documentary Short Subject. Each competition contains an InFocus initiative that highlights the contributions of underrepresented filmmakers, with themes like Indigenous, incapacity, LGBTQ+ and navy cinema. The smaller variety of accepted entries means the competition can provide each movie and filmmaker their due, and even host in-depth discussions with the creatives that seem on NFMLA’s vibrant Youtube page and at This year alone, it has dedicated over $250,000 in money grants, partly by way of companions like the Anthony Rhulen Film Fund. And it attracts consideration from the greatest gamers in the trade, together with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Amazon Studios, Showtime, Netflix, Warner Bros., United Talent Agency, NBCUniversal, HBO, NEON, Endeavor, Starz, Bad Robot, Creative Artists Agency, Management 360, AMC Studios, MGM, FilmNation, ICM Partners, Lionsgate, Magnolia Pictures, Paramount, Circle of Confusion, MACRO, Skydance and Blumhouse. 

25 Coolest Film Festivals

Standing, L-R: Filmmakers Mikel Arraiz, Luis Quijano, Rodrigo Espinosa, Christina Santa Cruz, Ana Maria Estrada, Adam Schlachter, Priscila Torres, Marissa Chibas, Aaron Acuña, Anna Salinas, Elvin Herrera and Bosco da Costa. Front: Bettina Fisher, head of academic initiatives for AMPAS, and NFMLA  government director Larry Laboe. Photo credit score: Grant Terzakis, courtesy of NewFilmmakers LA

New Orleans Film Festival 

New Orleans, Louisiana / November 3-13

This year’s submissions are closed. 

Jim Cummings notes that creative director Clint Bowie and his workforce “run an amazing show… the opening night party is such a free and happy love letter to movies and the new south.” He provides: “You feel special at the New Orleans Film Festival.”  Cummings notes that he’s from New Orleans, “so I might be biased,” however we don’t suppose so: The competition has appeared repeatedly on this record, and can also be a daily on our record of fifty Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee. With its breathtaking mix of cultures, music, structure and food, New Orleans is one in every of the coolest locations on earth, even on a sluggish evening. But add an ambitiously curated movie competition and surprises galore (one year included a DJ set by Arcade Fire’s Win Butler) and you’ve got an experience exhausting to rival. Since NOFF began asking filmmakers who submit by way of FilmFreemethod about the inclusivity of their groups and their personal connections to the tales they inform, submission numbers have gone down a bit. And the competition is completely cool with that.

New York Asian Film Festival

New York City, New York / July 15-31

This year’s submissions are at the moment closed since the competition is now underway.

Iman Zawahry says she is “particularly biased to this festival” as a result of it hosted the New York premiere of her movie Americanish at its version final August. “The festival directors made sure they literally rolled out the red carpet particularly during the pandemic,” she says. “They uplift Asian cinema and added Asian-American cinema as well.” This year the competition celebrates its twentieth year, kicking things off by internet hosting the in-person worldwide premiere of Ryoo Seung-wan’s Escape from Mogadishu, starring Kim Yoon-seok, NYAFF’s Star Asia winner in 2018. This year’s competition can also be honoring Hong Kong New Wave filmmaker Ann Hui and display her movies The Story of Woo Viet — starring Chow Yun-fat — and Boat People. In-person screenings are being held at each the SVA Theatre and Film at Lincoln Center, and on-line screenings happen by way of Film at Lincoln Center’s Virtual Cinema.

Nitrate Picture Show

Rochester, New York  / June 1-4, 2023

Submission particulars are here.

“A three-day extravaganza of nitrate film projection at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, with a secret lineup that is never revealed until the first day of the festival,” says Micah Gottlieb. This previous year’s version was held in June, and included a gap evening screening of William Dieterle’s 1948 Portrait of Jennie. Attending the competition is a superb alternative to additionally discover the museum, which preserves and promotes transferring footage starting from the mainstream to the avant-garde. Its treasures embody  the largest assortment of unique Technicolor negatives, together with these of Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, in addition to personal collections from administrators together with Kathryn Bigelow, Ken Burns, Cecil B. DeMille, Norman Jewison, Spike Lee, and Martin Scorsese.

Odessa International Film Festival

Odesa, Ukraine / July 23-30

This year’s submissions are at the moment closed since the competition is nearly underway.

This is one of the wildest and coolest film fest experiences I’ve ever had,” says Jim Cummings. “Their programming was super dark and brutal and the audiences and team were all so supportive and kind and lovely and the screenings were often in giant palaces like the historic Odesa opera house. Every evening we partied at an outdoor nightclub on the Black Sea called Caleton — the dancing started at 10 p.m. and when the sun came up at 5:30, the bouncers turned into lifeguards and the whole dance floor got into their underwear and swam with each other. It was the most free and fun week I’ve spent traveling with cinephiles. Keep Ukraine Free.” As of press time, this competition continues to be occurring, regardless of Russia’s invasion. As you’ll have seen, the people of Ukraine don’t hand over simply. 

Over-The-Rhine International Film Festival

Cincinnati, Ohio / 2023

2023 submissions are usually not but open.

This is a newer festival but it is mighty. Highlighting disability filmmakers and marginalized filmmakers, this festival works hard to promote the films, and had events and amazing accommodations for filmmakers,” says Iman Zawahry. It’s all a part of an effort to advertise not simply movie and moviemakers, but additionally Cincinnati itself, says tt stern-enzi, the creative director of the competition, who makes use of all lower-case letters in his title. “The OTR community in downtown Cincinnati is a diverse and exciting space with a strong and vibrant arts scene,” he says, noting that movie manufacturing has contributed to the scene considerably, and that he’s “honored that the festival has now risen up as a complement to that effort.” He provides: “I believe we are in position to inspire filmmakers to see and appreciate themselves and their work as a necessary part of our arts community.” This year’s version was held earlier this month. 

Coolest Film Festivals

Performer Evan Ruggiero at the Over-the-Rhine launch occasion in May. Photo courtesy of Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival.

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / November 3-November 13 

This year’s submissions are closed. 

Founded in 2008 by Asian Americans who acknowledged the want for extra festivals targeted on Asian and Pacific Islander moviemaking, this competition boosts AAPI creatives year-round. Last year’s competition opened with Americanish, and Iman Zawahry notes that the competition “really did a great job taking care of the filmmakers and the details.” Other highlights included a screening of director Yung Chan’s documentary Wuhan Wuhan, which advised 5 tales of the pandemic lockdown, in addition to an Asian Music Showcase and an interactive screening of Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon entitled “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Memories” in which multimedia artist Chantal Vorobei Thieves invited viewers members to share their very own reminiscences over the movie’s astonishing motion sequences. Its social media accounts are very value following for well-curated movie suggestions.

Philip K. Dick Film Festival

New York City, New York / November 11-13

Regular submission deadline: September 19.

“Celebrating the worlds created by the author, The Philip K. Dick Film Festival is a lovely showcase of works directly inspired by or loosely connected to my favorite writers,” says Noel Taylor, who recommends this to followers of “sci-fi, paranoia and the metaphysical.” Sounds like all of us, right? The creator whose work impressed Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall and A Scanner Darkly — amongst different movie and TV variations — must smile at classes like “The Singularity, The Eschaton and Beyond” and “Isolation in Sci-Fi , Psychological and Supernatural.” This year’s occasion will replicate the ecological, scientific, and technological features of Dick’s writing, coping with topics like UFOs, synthetic intelligence, genetic engineering, and what it means to be human. The founder and director of the competition, Daniel Abella, guarantees an occasion the place “ideas can flourish, and the imagination is unleashed.” He provides: “Science fiction is the science of the future. Reality has caught up with sci-fi and the genre is a sneak preview of what is to come.” 

25 Coolest Film Festivals

Getting prepared to look at movies that predict the future. Photo by Ed Shin, courtesy of the Philip Okay. Dick Film Festival

Prismatic Ground

New York City, New York / 2023

2023 submissions are usually not but open.

The debut online version—almost entirely moderated by Inney Prakash’s smart questions and cool glasses—was the most exciting ‘virtual’ festival of the pandemic, leaning towards innovative rather than strictly experimental new films as well as honoring independent film heroes,” says Miriam Bale. This is a brand new competition, which simply held its second version — and first hybrid version — in May. It’s co-hosted by Maysles Documentary Center (named for Albert and David Maysles, the brothers behind the classics Salesman, Gimme Shelter and Grey Gardens) and media partner Screen Slate. The May fest opened with Charlie Shackleton’s 2021 The Afterlight, a found-footage movie that culls tons of of movies from round the world to assemble a cast of actors with one factor in common: not being alive. As the competition’s notes defined: “The Afterlight itself exists as a single 35mm film print. Further eroding every time it screens, the film is a living document of its life in circulation. Eventually it will disappear entirely.”

Provincetown International Film Festival

Provincetown, Massachusetts / 2023

2023 submissions are usually not but open.

Located on the outermost level of Cape Cod, this cinematic celebration in one in every of the most charming and LGBTQ+-friendly cities in America is persistently progressive and rattling enjoyable, thanks in no small half to resident artist John Waters, who repeatedly hosts daring and pleasant occasions: Earlier this year, he introduced a proper fundraising dinner to be held at the native dump. And we’ll at all times be thankful for the drive-in screening of the preposterous killer-rabbit epic Night of the Lepus that Waters hosted at the Wellfleet Drive-In throughout the summer time of 2020, when enjoyable occasions had been in brief provide because of pandemic lockdowns. Most PIFF occasions, to be clear, are decidedly un-dumpy. The newest version befell in June, with an exceptional lineup that included Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino, who acquired the “Filmmaker on the Edge” Award and chatted with Waters, in addition to “Next Wave” Award recipients Jenny Slate (Marcel the Shell With Shoes On) and Bowen Yang (Fire Island). One of our favourite discoveries was Todd Flaherty’s good and humorous drag platonic love story Chrissy Judy, which premiered at PIFF. This year additionally marked a return to the indoor Waters Edge theater after two lengthy years away from the oceanside venue. It opened with the Emma Thompson sex dramedy Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, and featured a screening of the 4K Criterion restoration of Waters’ astonishing Pink Flamingos, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary.  

Coolest Film Festivals

John Waters and Christine Vachon at the Provincetown International Film Festival. Photo by Mae Gammino, courtesy of PIFF

UCLA Festival of Preservation

Los Angeles, California / 2024

2024 submissions are usually not but open.

UCLA is arguably the most essential archive and a beacon of film history in Los Angeles, whose work is not appreciated nearly enough,” says Micah Gottlieb. “It is not always easy to get a big audience for the latest restorations in L.A., but at the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum, films like Bill Duke’s The Killing Floor and brand new 35mm prints of Frank Borzage’s The Mortal Storm play to packed houses.” This year’s version, held in May, included archived and restored gems starting from Golden Age comedies to movie noir to socially acutely aware documentaries to uncommon TV packages that includes Betty White and Rod Serling. UCLA Film & Television Archive director May Hong HaDuong defined in a welcoming notice that the year’s theme of “See the Bigger Picture” encompassed “what we hope to share collaboratively—a view that art is deepened by being in a collective space. After two years of isolation from these shared spaces, we offer these tremendous programs as a place to gather for community, solace and connection.” And it was all free with an RSVP, because of the generosity of an nameless donor. The competition is held each different year as a biennial celebration, so you’ve got loads of time to make plans for the subsequent one.

Urbanworld Film Festival

New York City, New York / October 26-30

This year’s submissions are closed. 

“Being partnered with Warner Media and HBO this festival really opens doors for filmmakers and truly uplifts the BIPOC voice,” says Iman Zawahry. Founded in 1997 by Stacy Spikes, the competition has drawn a stellar visitor record over the years, together with Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Lopez, Halle Berry, Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Kate Hudson, Viola Davis, and Rosie Perez. Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo, Queen Latifah, Melvin and Mario Van Peebles, Justin Simien, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Larenz Tate, Reginald Hudlin, Kasi Lemmons, and Tyrese Gibson have all served as Festival Ambassadors. It enjoys its popularity as each a filmmakers’ competition and a people’s competition, and notes: “We fight tirelessly to expand the definition of ‘urban’ beyond ethnicity to include sensibility, culture, and proximity, as we highlight undiscovered storytellers.” The competition not too long ago named Sharese Bullock-Bailey, an Emmy-nominated producer and strategist who was beforehand the chief strategist and partnership officer at Ghetto Film School, as its new director and first-ever chief innovation officer. 

Zurich Film Festival

Zurich, Switzerland / September 22-October 2

This year’s submissions are closed. 

Phenomenal programming in a stunning city on the shores of Lake Zurich,” says Greg Kwedar. “If you’re brave enough, go jump in the frigid and magical waters of the lake.” The competition is unfold throughout city, and contains the 1,300-seat conference middle, the largest screening location. The competition’s heart is its three competitors sections: documentary, function and focus. “If Cannes and Venice are the grandmothers of the European festival scene, ZFF is the trendy teenager,” The Guardian not too long ago wrote. Oh, and another factor: “Shout out to the amazing team behind the German film Ich Ich Ich who became my Zurich movie watching buddies,” provides Kwedar. Here’s to discovering new movie-watching buddies, wherever you might be in the world. 



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