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Festivals For Cinephiles You Have To Visit This Summer

Festivals For Cinephiles You Have To Visit This Summer

Hey there, movie buffs! 🌟 Is cinematic wonder, popcorn, and maybe even a few celebrity sightings on your to-do list? From July, the world is your oyster when it comes to film festivals. Whether you’re into indie flicks, horror films, or classic cinema, there’s a festival out there just waiting for you.

So grab your sunscreen and your most stylish sunglasses because we’re about to embark on a global tour of the best cinephile festivals happening this summer. Let’s go!

1. Fantasia International Film Festival – Montreal, Canada

Dates: July 18 – August 4, 2024

Fantasia is the ultimate destination for fans of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi. This festival is known for its eclectic lineup of both premieres and hidden gems. The energy is palpable with Q&A sessions, panel discussions, and a community of film aficionados who are as passionate as you are.

Fantasia often showcases films that are hard to find anywhere else, making it a treasure trove for genre enthusiasts. Plus, Montreal in the summer? Absolutely gorgeous.

World Premieres:

  • “Bookworm” directed by Ant Timpson, highlights its unique storytelling approach.
  • “Rita” by Jayro Bustamante, merges mythical fantasy with real-life tragic events.
  • “Dark Match” features wrestling legend Chris Jericho as a cult leader, directed by Lowell Dean.

Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) – Bucheon, South Korea

Dates: July 4-14, 2024

Known as BIFAN, this festival focuses on fantasy, horror, and sci-fi films from around the world. It’s a hotspot for genre enthusiasts and features a mix of mainstream and indie films. The festival is renowned for its eclectic programming and commitment to innovative storytelling, including VR experiences.

BIFAN has introduced a new section called ‘BIFAN+ AI,’ exploring the intersection of AI technology and film with an AI film competition, an international conference on AI in filmmaking, and a 48-hour AI film production workshop.

World Premieres:

  • “Love Lies Bleeding” directed by Rose Glass, combines psychological thriller elements with intense drama.
  • “Midnight Runner” directed by Kim Joo-hwan, is a gripping action-thriller.
  • “Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In” directed by Soi Cheang, is set in Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City during the 1980s.

3. Jerusalem Film Festival – Jerusalem, Israel

Dates: July 18-28, 2024

This festival features a diverse range of films, from international hits to local Israeli productions. It’s an excellent place to discover new films and enjoy the historic and cultural backdrop of Jerusalem. The festival includes professional workshops, meetings with international artists, premieres, and outdoor screenings.

The festival takes place in the stunning Jerusalem Cinematheque, overlooking the Old City, and kicks off with a special opening night at the Sultan’s Pool, an ancient amphitheater.

World Premieres:

  • “Valley of the Gods” directed by Lech Majewski, combines mythology and modernity.
  • “The Desert Within” directed by Rafi Pitts, explores survival themes in the Negev Desert.

4. Locarno Film Festival – Locarno, Switzerland

Dates: August 7-17, 2024

One of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals, Locarno is known for its artistic and avant-garde selections. It’s a must-visit for serious cinephiles, offering a unique blend of films that push the boundaries of cinema.

The Piazza Grande screenings under the stars provide a unique viewing experience with one of the largest outdoor screens in the world, accommodating up to 8,000 viewers.

World Premieres:

  • “The Swiss” by Ursula Meier explores identity and belonging.
  • “The River’s Voice” by François Dupeyron, captures life along the river Seine.

5. Melbourne International Film Festival – Melbourne, Australia

Dates: August 8-25, 2024

MIFF is Australia’s most significant film event, showcasing the best in international and Australian cinema. It offers over 250 films across various genres and styles, along with industry events for filmmakers and professionals.

MIFF will open with “Memoir of a Snail,” a handmade stop-motion film by Oscar-winning director Adam Elliot, featuring voices from Sarah Snook, Magda Szubanski, and Eric Bana.

World Premieres:

  • “Memoir of a Snail” directed by Adam Elliot, celebrates Melbourne through the eyes of a lonely hoarder.
  • “Left Write Hook” directed by Shannon Owen, a documentary following survivors of childhood sexual abuse on a transformative journey.

Venice International Film Festival – Venice, Italy

Dates: August 28 – September 7, 2024

The Venice International Film Festival, held annually on the picturesque Lido di Venezia, is one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in the world. Renowned for its glamorous setting and star-studded red carpets, this festival showcases a diverse selection of films, including world premieres of highly anticipated titles, independent films, and international cinema.

The Venice Film Festival is part of the “Big Three” film festivals, alongside Cannes and Berlin. It’s also where the highly coveted Golden Lion Award is presented to the best film.

World Premieres:

  • “Blitz” directed by Steve McQueen, a gripping tale set during the Blitz in London.
  • “Queer” by Luca Guadagnino, an adaptation of William S. Burroughs’ novel.
  • “Joker: Folie à Deux” directed by Todd Phillips, the highly anticipated sequel to “Joker”.
  • “The End” by Joshua Oppenheimer, takes a peek at the final days of a tyrannical regime.

Special Events:

  • Venetian Nights: Exclusive screenings and parties on the Lido’s famous beaches, providing a perfect blend of cinematic and social experiences.
  • Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement: This year, the award will be presented to the esteemed Australian filmmaker Peter Weir.

With its blend of historic charm and cutting-edge cinema, the Venice International Film Festival offers an unparalleled experience for film enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to catch the latest indie hits or rub shoulders with industry legends, Venice is the place to be this summer​​.

6. Edinburgh International Film Festival – Edinburgh, UK

Dates: August 15-21, 2024

The world’s oldest continually running film festival, EIFF showcases global films and offers a platform for emerging filmmakers. The festival is renowned for its focus on cinema innovation.

EIFF will open with the UK premiere of “The Outrun” directed by Nora Fingscheidt, starring Saoirse Ronan. The film is based on Amy Liptrot’s best-selling memoir about a woman rebuilding her life on the Scottish islands after a decade of addiction.

World Premieres:

  • “The Outrun” directed by Nora Fingscheidt, explores themes of recovery and resilience.

HollyShorts Film Festival – Hollywood, California, USA

Dates: August 8-17, 2024

HollyShorts is an Oscar-qualifying festival that celebrates short films from around the world, including narrative shorts, animations, and documentaries.

Held in the heart of Hollywood, this festival is a hotspot for networking and discovering new talent in the short film industry.

World Premieres:

  • “The Neighbor’s Window” directed by Marshall Curry, a short film that captures the nuances of urban life.
  • “Hair Love” by Matthew A. Cherry, is an uplifting story about an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair.

New York Asian Film Festival – New York City, USA

Dates: July 12-28, 2024
This festival celebrates the best and boldest in Asian cinema, introducing vibrant voices ranging from explosive blockbusters to eccentric arthouse gems.

Since 2002, NYAFF has been a platform for showcasing unique and diverse Asian films, providing a stage for emerging talent and established filmmakers alike.

World Premieres:

  • “Samurai Marathon” directed by Bernard Rose, combines historical drama with action.
  • “Crazy Thunder Road” by Sogo Ishii, is a cult classic restored and presented in its original glory.

Plan Your Trip

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