Top 5 Prestigious Film Festivals

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Some filmmakers, lacking a big marketing budget, enter film festivals in hopes of getting their films noticed by critics, the public, and important film industry members. Many classic movies would never have made it to the big screen without the exposure that some film festivals can bring to them. Many cities, schools, and private organizations sponsor their own film festivals. Some have gained international prominence and are now events where filmmakers flock to get their work noticed.

The Top 5 Film Festivals:

  1. Sundance Film Festival: Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival, held in the mountain resort town of Park City, Utah, seems to grow bigger every year. The festival is no longer just for independent filmmakers. It has become a huge event for the Hollywood elite. Past Sundance winners include the documentary "Waiting for Superman," the drama "Precious," and "American Splendor."

  2. Cannes Film Festival: The Festival de Cannes has been running every summer since 1946 in the south of France. Considered one of the most exclusive and highly regarded film festivals in the world, the Cannes Film Festival attracts many stars each year along with hordes of paparazzi. Among the prestigious winners at the Cannes Film Festival are "Fahrenheit 9/11," "Pulp Fiction," "Apocalypse Now," and "Inglourious Basterds."

  3. Berlin International: Another sought after European festival, the Berlin International is possibly one of the largest film festivals in the world. The festival features hundreds of films competing for Golden Bear and Silver Bear awards. Many filmmakers hope to get enough exposure here to then sell the European rights to their films. Some notable winners from the United States include "12 Angry Men," "The Messenger," "There Will Be Blood," and "The People vs. Larry Flint."

  4. Toronto International Film Festival: This festival in Toronto is a highly regarded event, and a highlight in the film industry's year. Rising stars and fresh talent can be found in Toronto each year. Several hundred films are screened each year for the public and industry insiders. Some notable winners from the Toronto International Film Festival are "Slumdog Millionaire," "Hotel Rwanda," "Black Swan," "American Beauty," and "The King's Speech."

  5. Tribeca Film Festival: The Tribeca Film Festival is a newcomer among the festivals on this list. Formed in 2002 after the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, it had a big economic impact on the Tribeca neighborhood in Manhattan. Big studios and independent filmmakers have embraced this film festival, making it one of the largest competitions in the world. Movies like "Let the Right One In," "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," and "Taxi to the Dark Side" are all notable films that debuted at Tribeca.

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