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Annual International Film Festivals to look out for in 2023

The Film Industry is a diverse community with an affinity to creative motion pictures. The annual international film festivals offer a platform for the creator to showcase their work of art and spectators get to witness the best creations of the year from around the world. This global gatherings also enables cultural exchanges between different countries.

With an annual occurrence, film festivals anticipate an opportunity for the filmmakers to stage their work to live audiences. It offers them the limelight and helps build influential networks. Apart from these, the subduer is awarded a cash prize that only promotes the industry and the craft in the long run. Here are some of the promising annual international film festivals to look up to in 2023.

Save the dates for these Annual International Film Festivals in 2023

International Film Festival Rotterdam: January 25-February 5

International Film Festival Rotterdam/ Sofy.tv

The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) takes place around the end of January in various locations in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Founded by Hubert Bals, it has maintained a focus on independent and experimental filmmaking by showcasing emerging talents and established auteurs. 

Berlin International Film Festival: February 16-26

Berlin International Film Festival/ Screen Daily

The Berlin International Film Festival,  usually called the Berlinale, is a major film festival held annually in Berlin, Germany. The festival has been held every February since 1978 and is one of the “Big Three” alongside the Venice Film Festival in Italy and the Cannes Film Festival in France. Tens of thousands of visitors attend each year, so gear up to witness some of the celebrated films making a mark on a global stage this year too. 

Dublin International Film Festival: February 23-March

Dublin International Film Festival/ Newstalk

The initial Dublin film Festival started in the 1980s by Michael Dwyer and David McLoughlin was revived and established in 2003. It aimed to present an opportunity for Dublin’s cinema-going audiences to experience the best in Irish and international cinema. The festival has come to be regarded as an important event for the cinema of Ireland, bringing together filmmakers, actors, producers, and other celebrities from Ireland and around the world.

Glasgow Film Festival: March 1-12

Glasgow Film Festival/ Glasgow Times

One of the top three film festivals in the UK, The Glasgow Film Festival began in 2005. By 2015, the festival had seen more than 40,000 attendees for two consecutive years. It focuses on audiences and is renowned for an international program of the world’s best films alongside a dynamic fusion of cross-sector events and artistic commissions. The Festival has a long tradition of championing new talent and ensuring that the very best films from the annual submissions are given a platform in the public program

Miami International Film Festival: March 3-12

Miami International Film Festival/ OnCubaNews

Debuted in February 1984, under the auspices of the Film Society of Miami, The Miami Festival was then known as The International Miami Festival. It was founded by Nat Chediak and Steven Bowles and directed by Mr. Chediak became the City’s premier international cultural event. It has now grown to become a comprehensive global festival with an annual attendance of over 70,000. The stated mission of the Miami Film Festival is to bridge cultural understanding and encourage artistic development. 

Manchester International Festival: March 09-10

Manchester International Festival/ Local Government Association

With a specific focus on original new work, The Manchester International Festival is a biennial international arts festival, held in the English city of Manchester and run by Factory International. It is a BIFA qualifying festival and one of the Top 10 Best Reviewed Festivals on FilmFreeway.

Hong Kong International Film Festival: March 30- April 30

Hong Kong International Film Festival/ Hong Kong Traveller

One of Asia’s oldest international film festivals, the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) was founded in 1976. The festival features different movies, filmmakers from different countries in Hong Kong. HKIFF screens around 230 films from more than 60 countries in different major cultural venues across the territory every year. New films are featured as gala premieres, with the directors and cast presenting on the red carpet and meet-and-greet sessions in theaters.

Mumbai Film Festival: 29 May- 4 June

Mumbai Film Festival

Started in 1990, The Mumbai International Film Festival focuses on documentary, short fiction, and animation films. The festival aims to provide a platform for documentary and short filmmakers from all over the world to meet, exchange ideas and explore possibilities of co-production and marketing of documentary, short, and animation films. The festival is open to the public, although prior registration as a delegate is required. The delegate fee is waived for students of film schools and mass media courses, in a bid to attract youngsters to meet up with masters.

Cannes Film Festival: May 16-27

Cannes Film Festival/ Deccan Chronicle

The International Film Festival as known formerly got a new name after 2003 as the Cannes Film Festival. Founded in 1946, it is an annual event held around the month of May the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. It previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from all around the world. It is one of the “Big Three” major European film festivals as well as one of the “Big Five” major international film festivals. 

Munich International Film Festival: June 22- July 1

Munich International Film Festival/ Wikipedia

The Munich International Film Festival is the largest summer film festival in Germany and second only in size and importance to the Berlinale. It presents feature films and feature-length documentaries. It has a record of discovering talented and innovative young filmmakers. With over 200 feature films and feature-length documentaries on more than 18 screens, Filmfest München attracts approximately 80 000 movie lovers each year

Melbourne International Film Festival: August 3-20

International Film Festivals
Melbourne International Film Festival/ Variety

Founded in 1952, The Melbourne International Film Festival is one of the oldest film festivals in the world. Originally launched at Olinda outside Melbourne in 1952 as the Olinda Film Festival, in 1953, the event was renamed the Melbourne Film Festival. Since 1962, MIFF has staged a short film competition, as well as numerous feature film award categories. It also presents audience popularity awards for feature films and documentaries.

Venice Film Festival:

Venice Film Festival/ CarniFest.com

The world’s oldest film festival founded on 6th August 1932, The Venice Film Festival or Venice International Film Festival is an annual international film festival held in Venice, Italy. It is one of the “Big Six” International film festivals worldwide. It is part of the Venice Biennale, one of the world’s oldest exhibitions of art, created by the Venice City Council on 19 April 1893.

Toronto International Film Festival: September 9-18

Toronto International Film Festival/ Destination Toronto

Founded by Bill Marshall, Dusty Cohl, and Henk Van der Kolk, the inaugural event for the Toronto International Film Festival formerly known as the Toronto Festival of Festivals, took place from October 18 through 24, 1976. It collected the best films from other film festivals around the world and showed them to eager audiences in Toronto. TIFF has grown to become a permanent destination for film culture operating out of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, located in Downtown Toronto. TIFF’s mission is “to transform the way people see the world through film”.

Zurich Film Festival: September 28- October 8

International Film Festivals
Zurich Film Festival/ @zurichfilmfest

Founded back in 2005 by Nadja Schildknecht, Karl Spoerri and Antoine Monot Jr., The Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) is an annual international film festival that has been held in Zürich, Switzerland.The main focus is to promote emerging filmmakers from all over the world. The young Zurich Film Festival took a big leap in 2007 when it was held for the first time over the length of 11 days.

New York Film Festival: September 29-October 15

International Film Festivals
New York Film Festival/Film At Lincoln Center

The New York Film Festival (NYFF) is a film festival held every fall in New York City, presented by Film at Lincoln Center (FLC). It is one of the longest-running and most prestigious film festivals in the United States and was founded in 1963 by Richard Roud and Amos Vogel with the support of Lincoln Center president William Schuman. 

Stockholm International Film Festival: November 8-19

Stockholm International Film Festival/ Cision News

This is an annual international film festival held in Stockholm, Sweden. It was launched in 1990 and has been held every year since then during the second half of November. It has focused on supporting new talents through competitions and scholarships. As many as a third of the films selected for the competition are made by a debuting director and by directors who have made fewer than three films.

Hero and Featured Image: Courtesy Shutterstock

Annual International Film Festivals to look out for in 2023

Divya Sinkar

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