With “a standout venue in the State Theater, which the festival has restored to movie-palace grandeur,” panelists like Traverse City’s inclusive, inviting programming. Festival founder Michael Moore is “a ubiquitous presence, introducing films and moderating post-show discussions” on the shores of Lake Michigan. Speaking of which, lucky guests enjoy the Movies on a Boat experience, watching films (like this year’s Snowpiercer and The One I Love) on a sailboat that cruises around the bay.
“A hip and trendy place” with a laid-back vibe, our panelist enjoyed “liming [i.e. hanging out] with industry and locals at the bars in Port of Spain after an afternoon and evening of screenings.” Sounds like paradise. The festival “supports the Caribbean filmmaking scene as a whole, as well as individual filmmakers, extending its coolness beyond borders.” Extracurriculars include a workshop on film appreciation, and an industry networking event billed as group speed dating.
No ambivalence here—this doc fest is fun. Our panelists say: “Every film is an event—music to accompany films, food, an opening party that’s also a costume ball.” They also appreciate the “deep, philosophical conversation” and “warmth of the community,” which “help you to forget this fest is set in Columbia, Missouri in the dead of winter.” Between the colorful “March March Parade” and the “Boone Dawdle” (a bike ride and trip up the Missouri river, accompanied by live musicians), the coolest reason to visit may simply be “co-founder David Wilson’s incredible hair.”
The rapidly ascending, ineffably classy Zürich Film Festival “attracts all the ‘cool kids’ in the industry,” according to a panelist. “You have the power of a big festival with the marquee films, stars, guests and events, yet it remains intimate in the cozy confines of Zürich in late September—one of the best settings you can find for a festival in Europe.” Programs include “New World View”, which presents new talent from a specific country each year, as well as an excellent Master Class series and a finance forum. MM
This article appears in MovieMaker‘s Fall issue, hitting newsstands both physical and digital on November 25, 2014. Illustration by Nick Shepherd.
To subscribe to MovieMaker Magazine, click here.