This week we’re announcing our 2013 Coolest Film Festivals in the World results, voted by YOU, two categories per day – leading up to the Top 25 General Festival winners on Friday, 11/15! Today we are announcing our final category – the Top 25 Coolest General Festivals of 2013. For the full article and list of results, pick up a copy of our Fall 2013 issue, hitting stands any day now!
(The following introduction opens the full article in the Fall 2013 issue.)
What makes a film festival the Coolest? Is it a combination of quality cinema, great parties, and free swag? Or is it an alluring mix of hip, alternative venues and shoestring-budget, hyper-indie films you might not get to see anywhere else? What about the opportunity to gawk at celebrities, connect with fellow moviemakers, and take advantage of free travel perks? These are just some of the many factors we pondered before we could even begin to quantify the coolest film festivals on the planet this year. On top of all that, the MovieMaker team couldn’t possibly attend all the festivals in the Los Angeles area, much less the world—the territory this list’s title so ambitiously encompasses. So we decided to solicit a little help from our friends.
It dawned on us that the best way to create this list was to ask our readers to offer up their experience and opinions. After all, we know the collective MovieMaker readership has the goods on almost every festival out there. So instead of choosing 25 festivals ourselves as we’ve done in the past, we asked our readers to nominate and vote for what they see as the coolest. We also broke our list down into categories to reflect the increasing diversity on today’s festival circuit. While still naming 25 coolest “General” Festivals—all-encompassing fests that don’t discern their selections by genre—we also named the five coolest fests in 10 new genre-specific categories. Running the gamut from “Horror/Sci-Fi” to “Documentary” and “Shorts” and the smorgasbord that became the “Other” category (including animation fests, sports fests, 3D fests, you name it), just about every conceivable kind of festival is represented. Over four months, we received more than 15,000 votes and enlisted the help of Hone, a visual survey platform that simplified our crowd-sourcing efforts (check them out at gohone.com). It’s important to note that the following 76 festivals are presented without any particular hierarchy or order—if you made it in, you made it in!
See the first category winners (Documentary and Horror/Sci-Fi Festivals) here, the second (Short Film and Comedy Festivals) here, the third (Environmental/Social Cause and Women’s Film Festivals) here, the fourth (LGBT and Ethnic/National Film Festivals) here, and the fifth (Experimental/Underground and Out of the Box) here.
Ashland, OR / April 3-7, 2014
There’s a reason they call springtime in Southern Oregon “a dream you’ll never want to leave.”
Palatine, IL / Late July 2014
The Blue Whiskey Cinema Series offers beer, 50-cent wings, and a great independent film every first Wednesday of the month. Oh, and their festival is pretty cool, too.
Charleston, SC / April 9-13, 2014
CIFF’s tag line is “five days of fun and film.” Cinema and alliteration at their best.
Bellmore, NY / July 9-14, 2014
Steve Buscemi, Billy Baldwin, and Edward Burns have attended past closing night awards ceremonies.
Santa Fe, NM / October 16-20, 2013
Previous guests of honor have included as unlikely a pairing as Wes Studi and Judy Blume.
Traverse City, MI / Late July to Early August 2014
Traverse City presents classic movies free of charge on a giant, inflatable outdoor screen overlooking Grand Traverse Bay in the Open Space Park at dusk.
New York, NY/ April 16-27, 2014
Moviemakers can now compete at Tribeca with films they shot on Vine. Talk about a short story!
St. Louis Park, MN / October 17-26, 2013
TCFF hosted comedic actor Justin Long at its closing festivities in 2012.
Sincerest thanks from the MovieMaker team to everyone who participated in the compilation of this list. To the runners up that didn’t make the final five in each category, we send our condolences, and thank you for your voting. There’s always next year. Glad to see your favorite film festival on this year’s list? Think you have a cooler festival than these up your sleeve? Tweet at @moviemakermag, tag us on Facebook (MovieMaker Magazine) or leave a comment! MM
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