Make Your Voice Heard: Vote Now for the Second Round of Coolest Film Festivals!
by Lara Colocino

You’re probably aware that every fall, for the better part of a decade, we’ve published a list of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals”—the sister list to our “50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.” After a lot of debate and consideration, we decided to kick the “Coolest” list up a notch this year and let our readers nominate and vote on their favorite film festivals.

Welcome to the second round of general voting!

Coolest Film Festivals

Here’s how it works: The 80 festivals in the general category that receive the most nominations will compete for the top 25 slots. The 20 festivals with the most nominations in each of the sub categories, similarly, will go on to compete for the top five slots. Each week we’ll be running one or two vote-offs to find the festivals that our readers think are the coolest. All the festivals that make our final list will appear in print in the Fall issue of MovieMaker.

The other really great thing is that we’ve divided this year’s list into categories, to recognize the ever-expanding variety of festivals in today’s circuit. So while we’ll still be ranking the “25 Coolest Festivals” in the general category, we’ll also be ranking the top five festivals in 10 other categories, ranging from horror to comedy, from ethnic to LGBT, in upcoming weeks. Now tiny genre fests and larger, more well-funded organizations alike can compete on their own terms – so if you don’t see your favorite festival here this week, look for it in the next 10 weeks.

About general voting: The first 40 festivals in the general category have already competed. The second 40 festivals are available to vote for below from now until next Tuesday! These two weeks of voting will create our top 20 festivals, leaving five remaining slots on our list to be hashed out amongst 20 runner-up festivals (the top ranking festivals that came close to, but did not win, their category) next week. Vote for the runners-up here.

How do you ensure that your favorite festival makes the top 25? Tell your family, friends, co-workers, anyone and everyone to vote, vote, vote!

To browse all 40 of this week’s competing festivals and vote, click on the arrows to the right or left of the voting bar (you’ll need to hover your cursor over the edge of the bar until the translucent arrows appear).

For more information on each fest (including MovieMaker fun facts), click on its picture, or the magnifying glass icon. To visit the festival websites, click the shopping cart icon.

Happy voting!

The second round of voting has concluded. Thank you for participating!

MovieMaker will be releasing the official list of Coolest Festivals as the fall issue hits stands October 21. We know it’s a long time to wait, but as the old says goes, patience is a virtue. Meanwhile, make sure to vote in categories ranging from environmental to experimental over the next two months. Below is a list of the festivals that competed in this round of voting. To see which fests competed in the first round, click here. Vote for the runners-up (the top ranking festivals that came close to, but did not win in the first two rounds of voting) here.

Pool 1:
Phoenix Film Festival
Bare Bones International Film & Music Festival
San Luis Obispo International Film Festival
Los Angeles Film Festival

Pool 2:
Julien Dubuque International Film Festival
Woodstock Film Festival
Philadelphia Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival

Pool 3:
Lewiston Auburn Film Festival
Trail Dance Film Festival
Pennine Film Festival
Telluride Film Festival

Pool 4:
Macon Film Festival
Big Apple Film Festival
Midwest Independent Film Festival
AFI Fest

Pool 5:
Offshoot Film Festival
Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival
Las Vegas Film Festival
FirstGlance Film Festival

Pool 6:
Omaha Film Festival
Traverse City Film Festival
Miami International Film Festival
Action On Film International Film Festival

Pool 7:
Tallgrass Film Festival
Festival du Nouveau Cinéma
Lagniappe Film and Music Festival
Albuquerque Film & Media Experience

Pool 8:
Sidewalk Film Festival
Indie Grits
Key West Film Festival
Seattle International Film Festival

Pool 9:
Florida Film Festival
Charleston International Film Festival
Hill Country Film Fest
South by Southwest

Pool 10:
Eastern Oregon Film Festival
Dances with Films
Film North
Vail Film Festival

Make sure to visit us later this week to vote for the runners-up!

To subscribe to MovieMaker Magazine, click here.

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34 Responses to “Make Your Voice Heard: Vote Now for the Second Round of Coolest Film Festivals!
by Lara Colocino

  1. Steve Cypert

    Bare Bones International Film Festival

  2. Jose Feliciano

    I vote Orlando Film Festival all the way!!

  3. Shamaine G

    I vote for the Albuquerque Film and Media Experience!

  4. CJRichards

    As a volunteer and patron of the Phoenix Film Festival, I have to say the Phoenix Film Festival!

  5. Chel White

    In Portland, Oregon – The Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival (now in its 40th year). Along with the Northwest Film Center, a regional treasure.

  6. Jennnn

    LOVE the Florida Film Festival! It’s one of the most hospitable and chill film fests you’ll find!

  7. Jonas

    How can you pass up Surf, Sun and great wine at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival!

  8. James Choi


  9. jo lynne

    Hopefully figured out the voting…?… Kept kicking me out before i could confirm the vote…?… ~ But for our first official year we did great! ~ with Albuquerque Film & Media Experience ~ AFME ~ i did interviews of several of the film makers and several said we were the best! ~ and a few just finished the Cannes Festival! We want this festival to go all the way! ~

  10. Carol Mills

    Dubuque’s Festival offers cozy venues you can walk to and comfortable spaces that allow viewers to be ‘up close and personal’ with the various movie personnel. It’s a great week end!

  11. Joshua

    If you have no great stake in the others against us, the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival would appreciate your vote.

  12. Laura Lee Bahr

    Talgrass film Festival, all the way!

  13. Sarah Walker

    Charleston International Film Festival definitely deserves it — Pool #19

  14. Sarah Walker

    Charleston International Film Festival – Pool 19

  15. Kathy

    Try as you might, you won’t find a better film festival than the Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita, KS in October. Be there or be square (and sad.)

  16. Ron Weisberg

    It was AFME’s first year, attracting acclaim from a world wide audience, educating viewers through thought provoking films, prime industry panels, and intimate conversations with amazing people like Robert Redford. It is simply amazing how they put this together in 4 months! Simply Amazing!

  17. lb

    There are alot of cool film festivals in many different towns and cities across the world…many differ by execution, film quality, filmmaker and writer involvement beyond films, speakers, etc….but Charleston holds a special place among cities to visit for a film festival…The CHARLESTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL hosted in a beautiful coastal city, known for it’s deep rooted American history, succulent cuisine, architecture, friendly faces and this is an overall excellent event…Plus Charleston was just voted #1 city in the world by Conde’ Naste Magazine for whatever that is worth…if you are submitting a film or screenplay…def check out Chs International Film Festival.

  18. jo lynne

    tried to vote for AFME ~ Albuquere Film and Media Experience ~ and it kicked me out before i could vote… and now won’t let me go to the AFME logo to vote ~ :( ~

  19. Mark

    The Charleston Film Festival is interactive, scenic and has one of the finest and diversified selections of thought provoking pieces each and every year. Not to mention, the city is amazing.


    Dubuque is the best! Trying to cast my vote but the system won’t display the vote icon for JDIFF!!!

  21. Cynthia Nelms-Byrne

    Dubuque has the best place for a festival – every venue can be walked, and we’re surrounded by great places to eat and lots to do before and after viewing. Lots of great bars too! Each year it gets even better, so don’t miss it!

  22. Ashley Alysa

    It’s always a good time at the Midwest Independent Film Festival(Pool 14)! Between networking, panels and great films, it is an event unlike any other!

  23. john crews

    you can not beat the atmosphere here in Dubuque. It is perfect for an international film festival.

  24. Shari K. Green

    The Phoenix Film Festival is very well organized and a joy to attend.

  25. Dinesh Aryald

    I vote for Pool#1, Orlando Film festival

  26. rajan bhattarai

    MY Vote For Orlando Film Festival in “Pool #1″

  27. Rez

    Cucalorus Film Festival
    Orlando Film Festival
    Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival
    San Antonio Film Festival

  28. Craig Whitney

    There’s a coding error on the voting form that makes it nearly impossible to vote for the films in the rightmost slot. The translucent arrow is blocking the vote button.

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