Norah Bradford Picks Her Favorites

Industry watchers set your calendars – While there are over 2,000 annual film festivals in the world, only a handful are truly renowned.
Attendees have the opportunity to critique each film and gain insight on the latest developments in the industry. These elite festivals also provide access to financing, professional advice, and access to some of the world’s most famed celebrities and celebrations as well.
Here are ten of the best to consider as destinations in 2014/2015.

71st Venice Film Festival “La Biennale di Venezia“
(August 27 – September 6, 2014)

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The Venice Film Festival was originally created to raise awareness and promote all aspects of the film industry – offering retrospectives and reverence to major players throughout the history of cinema. This year’s event indicates the beginning of the festival season and awards calendar. It will include screenings, ceremonies and celebrations with a 20-strong competition line-up that includes Iranian-American director Ramin Bahrani’s drama 99 Homes and Alejandro Gonzelez Inarritu’s Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance. On the final day a jury led by composer Alexandre Desplat will award the Golden Lion for best film along with seven other prizes.
For more information:
labiennale.org

41st Telluride Film Festival
(August 29 – September 1, 2014)

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A short but prestigious film festival set in a tiny village in America’s Rocky Mountains, Telluride showcases some of the best in the industry. The bulk of the program is made up of new films, which has led to Telluride being associated with the discovery of a number of important new films and directors. Last year’s festival was attended by some 4,000 film enthusiasts who enjoyed a 100 film program, representing 25 countries. Organizers do not reveal the program until everyone lands onsite – yet regular attendees trust that a unique experience will unfold.
For more information:
telluridefilmfestival.org

Sundance Film Festival, Hong Kong
(September 19 – 28, 2014)

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The famed Sundance Film Festival is expanding its global reach to Hong Kong this year, offering the premieres of eight new films from the 2014 Festival in Park City, Utah. The program will be announced in mid-August, followed by the commencement of ticket sales near the end of the month. The eight films, accompanied by a delegation of filmmakers and f estival organizers, will be screened at The Metroplex, a newly opened cineplex in Hong Kong’s Kowloon Bay.
For more information:
sundance.org

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
(September 4 – 14, 2014)

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The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Canada is among the most successful public film festivals in the world. World premieres, galas and parties comprise this illustrious event where stars, directors and industry supremos make the rounds. If you are a cinephile or simply just love to experience new and innovative films, TIFF is the event to attend. In this year’s festival, look out for crowd favorites like Wild, directed by Jean-Marc Vallee and starring Reese Witherspoon, and The Equalizer by Antoine Fuqua and starring Denzel Washington.
For more information:
tiff.net

South by Southwest Festival (SXSW Film), Austin, Texas
(March 13 – 21, 2015)

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Every March, creatives of all stripes gather in Austin to witness, inspire, and share the vision thet will galvanize the filmmakers and of tomorrow. Nearly 30,000 industry and media delegates, as well as thousands of fans attend the SXSW Film Festival to see bug-budger film premieres like last year’s Neighbors and Veronika Mars.

For more information:
sxsw.com

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