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Coolest Film Festivals: Vote In Our Final Category, Experimental/Underground Fests!

Coolest Film Festivals: Vote In Our Final Category, Experimental/Underground Fests!


For the past few months, MovieMaker has been running the “Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals” contest, asking our readers to nominate and vote for the festivals they think are the coolest in the world. Vote for the coolest Experimental/Underground fests below!

This year, we divided the 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 documentary to shorts. Now tiny genre fests and larger, more well-funded organizations alike can compete on their own terms.

This week MovieMaker presents the final categories to vote in, Ethnic/National and Experimental/Underground. Scroll down to the bottom of this article to begin voting for your favorite Experimental/Underground fests right away!

Here’s how it works: Vote for the best of the best of the Experimental/Underground film festivals (that also happen to be the coolest of cool) in each of five pools. The cool fest with the most votes in each pool will win a spot on our “Top 5 Coolest Experimental/Underground Film Festivals” list. All the festivals that make our final list will appear in print in the Fall issue of MovieMaker. This round will end Wednesday, September 4 at 4pm, so make sure to get your vote in before then!

How do you ensure that your favorite festival makes the top 5? Tell your family, friends, co-workers, anyone and everyone to vote, vote, vote!

To browse all 20 of this week’s Experimental/Underground film 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.

Voting for the Experimental/Underground category has concluded. Thank you for participating in the last Coolest Festival contest!

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 saying goes, patience is a virtue. Below is a list of the festivals that competed in the Experimental/Underground category.

Pool 1:
Detroit Underground Film Festival
Oakland Underground Film Festival
Pollygrind Underground Film Festival
flEXiff 2002-2022 The Eleventh and the Last Experimental International Film Festival

Pool 2:
Calgary Underground Film Festival
South Texas Underground Film Festival
Boston Underground Film Festival
Leamington Underground Cinema Festival

Pool 3:
Chicago Underground Film Festival
Melbourne Underground Film Festival
San Francisco Underground Short Film Festival
Arizona Underground Film Festival

Pool 4:
Images Festival
Minneapolis Underground Film Festival
Sydney Underground Film Festival
Experiments in Cinema

Pool 5:
Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival
Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival
Australian International Experimental Film Festival
Experimental Film Festival Portland

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  1. Phil says:

    Any “contest” in this category that doesn’t include Ann Arbor is a fucking joke. Do you people even like films?

    • Phil, our readers nominated the festivals competing in this contest. And I think we can say with some certainty, yes, they do like films.

      • ExpCine says:

        What’s most obvious about this list is that MovieMaker doesn’t really care about experimental/underground festivals. I run a festival & have been screening at experimental film fests for nearly 20 years. The festivals that you allow us to vote for just mostly aren’t real (important, international) festivals. CUFF is. Images is. Experiments in Cinema is. The rest are probably charming local events, but you should really feel a responsibility to do better (and include real fests like Ann Arbor, FLEXfest (Gainesville, FL), EFF (the successor to PDX in Portland), Migrating Forms (the successor to NY Underground), Crossroads (in San Francisco), Onion City (Chicago), Media City (Windsor, ON), Antimatter (Victoria, BC), etc., etc. etc. But I guess we should be thankful that a magazine that focuses on “the art and business of making movies” even bothers to have an experimental/underground category? Hopefully someone there will decide to stop hiding behind the excuse that these choices were all nominated by your readers and take the time to expose your readers to some of these important (often long-standing–Ann Arbor has been around for 51 years) festivals.

  2. Jax Crow says:

    Best festival in Vegas!

  3. theo says:

    I tried to vote for minneapolis underground but the voting process is glitchey. Too bad.

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