It's a showcase! A showplace! The zenith of see and be seen. But red carpets notwithstanding, choosing the right film festival strategy can define the future of a producer's movie. So budgeting and submitting---as well as attending---the right ones is increasingly important.
The reality of the right film festival formula is that buyers, distributors and sales agents focus on a number of different festivals for a number of different purposes. Although exhibitors and other attendees may crave the glamour of major festivals, the smart ones align their choices with those of the aforementioned group, zeroing in on their business, geographical or political positions in the world.
Probably the best-known film festival in the world is held at Cannes. The other two of what is known as the prestigious "Big Three" are held in Berlin and the oldest, in Venice.
From May 15th through May 26th, the seaside town of Cannes becomes the epicenter of filmdom and the awards---although important---take a back seat to the busiest movie market in the world.
Master classes, producer's networks and of course, the exhibitions, make Cannes a "must" destination for serious denizens of filmdom.
Founded in 1951 at the initiative of the US Film Office, the Berlin Film Festival---known as the Berlinale--- is a major industry meeting for the international film circuit that attracts approximately 20,000 professionals from over 130 countries. The film competitions garner winners a Gold, Silver or Crystal Bear Award.
More cosmopolitan and sophisticated than the all-out glitz of Cannes, the Berlinale's red carpet attracts its fair share of major movie stars and celebrities. The festival has established a character that integrates art, glamor, commerce and global media attention.
The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest in the world. Founded in 1932, the festival takes place annually from August 29th through September 8th on the Venetian island of the Lido. It is one of the world's most prestigious film festivals and is part of the Venice Biennale, for over a century one of the world's leading cultural institutions.
Coveted Golden Lions Awards are presented in several categories for films, actors, producers, directors. The Venice Film Festival presents a cinematic panorama of works with a wider view towards emerging trends. It is a magnet for the "crema pasticcera" of filmdom who strut their stuff against the magical Venetian background. Think Al Pacino...Spike Lee...Sylvester Stallone.