Becoming au fait with film festivals

Travel Ideas

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Sam Rockwell in Moon at the Edinburgh film festival
Sam Rockwell in Moon at the Edinburgh film festival
I was reading loads about the Edinburgh International Film Festival over the weekend and I have to say, I’m a little sad I didn’t make it up there this year – it looks like a great programme.

From my outsider’s perspective, highlights seems to be Moon, a sci-fi film starring Sam Rockwell and directed by Duncan Jones (David Bowie’s son), as well as Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank and a French film I hear about called The First Day of the Rest of Your Life. Then there’s also Ice Age 3 screening in 3D – something that really does appeal to the child in me! :) But I’m not too upset, as I think all these films will be out in the cinema before the year is out.

It has got me thinking about other film festivals that I’ve been to and ones that I’d like to go to at some point too. For example, in the UK, we have loads of fantastic film festivals: there’s the Bradford International Film Festival, the Glasgow International Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival – and those are just the major ones. There are also several niche festivals throughout the year, including ones that cover animation, documentary, LGBT films and so much more. I’ve been to a few events at the London film festival, as well as Edinburgh, but I really should make the effort to go to more of our local film festivals as I love the movies.

What’s more, there are so many international film festivals now that I think combining one with a holiday would be just the perfect thing for film fans. A friend of mine works in the film industry and has to go to Cannes every year for marketing reasons – but she always stays back a few days after the festival is over to enjoy a wee holiday in the town. And another friend was in Annecy, in the Rhone-Alps region of France, for the Animated Film Festival a few weeks ago and loved it.

A few years ago I was in Toronto during its annual film festival in September. I didn’t go to any screenings (too late for tickets to films I wanted to see) but I did try to soak up as much of the atmosphere as I could just by hanging around the venues and trying to catch many glimpses of A-list stars as I could (largely unsuccessfully I’m afraid!).

But I do plan to go back there at some point to actually see some things. When I was in Berlin at Easter too, loads of people I met said I should come back in February during Berlinale, the city’s annual film festival. What’s more, I’m considering a trip to Venice in early autumn to catch some of the Venice Biennale art festival this year – the film festival runs for 10 days in September so it would be great to combine the two! I just have to get my travel planning hat on…

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