Film festivals serve a great purpose in the modern era of cinematography, bringing independent movies to a broader audience. They are important in diversifying an increasingly polarized world and keeping the art of movie-making alive. If you’re a movie buff, consider attending a film festival to broaden your experiences. After all, many of the best movies premiere in festivals like these. The following are the three best festivals you can attend in the United States.
Sundance Film Festival
The Sundance Film Festival is the largest independent film festival in the United States. Held in three cities across Utah and at the Sundance Resort, the Sundance Film Festival occurs every January. The festival started in 1978 in Salt Lake City. At that time, it was known as the Utah/US Film Festival. The Sundance Institute, created by one of the Utah/US Film Festival founders, took over ownership of the festival in 1985. In 1991, the name of the festival was officially changed to become what we now know as the Sundance Film Festival.
Every year, the Sundance Film Festival receives nearly 10,000 submissions for 200 coveted film slots. Accepted films are documentary, drama, and short film formats. The event draws over 50,000 viewers and guests for the event of a lifetime. Along with the film debuts, attendees can enjoy live music, parties, media events, and panel discussions with filmmakers and others in the industry. This festival is an iconic event that has secured its place in American history.
Tribeca Film Festival
Despite its relative youth, the Tribeca Film Festival has gained stature rapidly. Founded in 2002 as a manner of reviving the area after September 11, 2001, this festival attracted nearly 150,000 attendees in its first year. Attendance essentially doubled in 2003, with people clamoring to see the independent documentaries, short films, and features showcased throughout the festival. With showings on the Hudson River, parties, games, and workshops, the festival makes the most of the area’s natural assets. In subsequent years, the festival’s organizers purchased a recently closed art house that became the Tribeca Cinema. The cinema hosts many film showings throughout the festival as well.
The Tribeca Film Festival chooses close to 270 films each year from a growing number of submissions. As the event has grown, it gained an international reach with a presence in Rome at the Rome Film Fest. The festival’s founders, Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro, and Craig Hatkoff, were named among the world’s top philanthropists for their efforts to revive the New York City area and the economy around the festival. The Tribeca Film Festival quickly became an official business run by Tribeca Enterprises.
Seattle International Film Festival
For over 30 years, the Seattle International Film Festival has drawn visitors from across the Pacific Northwest and beyond. In its first year, the event ran for two weeks and spotlighted less than 20 films. Within the first three years, this grew to over 100 films and extended the event to almost a month. Making a name for itself in innovation, the Seattle Film Festival was also the first festival to show an entire film over the Internet in 1995. The festival draws over 150,000 attendees each year over the 25-day event. The organizers choose over 450 films, all documentaries, short films, and features. The films exhibited at the Seattle International Film Festival represent over 70 different countries.
The Seattle International Film Festival promotes its mission as an organization that aims to bring people together over international films and creativity. They want to help bring awareness, culture, and diversity to communities that it reaches through film. At least five locations in the Seattle area participate, and the festival is still growing. Ticket packages include access to a variety of exclusive screenings based on the ticket level you select. Customize the event to meet your interests and the time you have available by choosing tickets for the showings you want to see instead of event-wide packages. If you plan to attend the entire festival, packages include the opening and closing events, gala showings, and other programs.