Top international film festivals of 2011

Of the many hundreds of film festivals around the world, the following are recognized for offering a superior program, attracting stars, drawing big crowds, being accredited by the industry and presenting credible awards to filmmakers.

26th Sundance Film Festival
January 20-30
Park City, Utah

Founded by Robert Redford, Sundance is a premier showcase for independent films. Up to 200 dramatic and documentary films are screened, from experimental to low-budget, in competitive and non-competitive sections. It attracts 40,000 attendees including Hollywood stars and execs seeking tomorrow's Oscar wins.
http://www.sundance.org


61st Berlin International Film Festival

February 10-20
Berlin, Germany

A premiere European cinematic event attracting 19,000 professionals and one of the largest audiences of any film festival with 300,000 tickets sold. The Berlinale screens 350 films, most of them world or European premieres, from 120 countries. International and independent films compete for the coveted Golden Bear.
http://www.berlinale.de


35th Hong Kong International Film Festival
March 20 - April 5
Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong's largest cultural event - annually attracting an audience of around 600,000 - the festival screens more than 290 titles from 50 countries at 11 venues across the city. Along with annual events in Busan (South Korea), Tokyo (Japan) and Shanghai, this is one of the "big four" cinematic events in Asia.
http://www.hkiff.org


10th Tribeca Film Festival
April 20 - May 1
New York City, New York

Co-founded by Robert DeNiro, this event screens 135 narrative, documentary and short films from American and international filmmakers in venues around town, as well as streaming and video-on-demand reaching beyond the 410,000 attendees. With galas and awards, this spring event has eclipsed Lincoln Center's New York Film Festival in fall.
http://www.tribecafilmfestival.org


64th Cannes International Film Festival
May 11-22
Cannes, France

The most prestigious of film festivals, Festival de Cannes is a star-studded iconic cinematic event, drawing 30,000 attendees including high-profile industry executives at its 150 selective screenings as well as galas and film market. There is a competition for the esteemed Palme d'Or and other awards led by a prominent jury president.
http://www.festival-cannes.com/


14th Shanghai International Film Festival
June 11-19
Shanghai, China

Reflecting China's exploding film industry, the Shanghai International Film Festival is the country's largest, showcasing the latest work from Chinese directors and new talent and presenting international cinema to a mainland Chinese audience of approximately 200,000. With 300 screenings, stars of Asian, Hollywood and world cinema attend.
http://www.siff.com


60th Melbourne International Film Festival
July 21 - August 7
Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne's festival is regarded as the most significant film event in Australia, attracting 170,000 attendees. It screens 385 films from more than 50 countries and features local filmmakers' work. Sydney also hosts a sizable film festival in June.
http://www.melbournefilmfestival.com.au


68th Venice International Film Festival
August 31 - September 10
Venice, Italy

The world's oldest film festival is part of a comprehensive schedule of cultural arts events, from architecture and dance to music and theater. The film portion attracts 50,000 attendees for 275 screenings in the Official Selection, Italian films, and a competitive program for the Golden Lion Award.
http://www.labiennale.org


36th Toronto International Film Festival

September 4-13
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

A premiere North American cinema event, timed prior to awards season, this festival launches some of the top international, Hollywood and Canadian films. Now located in the Entertainment District, the event draws a half-million attendees to screen 336 films from 64 countries, along with panel discussions and workshops.
http://www.tiff.net


16th Pusan International Film Festival
October
Pusan, South Korea

Asia's largest film festival, PIFF is also fast becoming one of the world's biggest cinema events, with 300 movies from 60 countries attracting an audience of 200,000. With an emphasis on the expanding Asian film world as well as films from about the world, it is scheduled concurrently with the Asian Film Market, an academy of workshops and panels.
http://www.piff.org


24th Tokyo International Film Festival
October
Tokyo, Japan

One of the twelve largest international film festivals, this annual event attracts an audience of 80,000 and screens 200 films, including dramas, documentaries and shorts. Besides the competition, the program spotlights Japanese filmmakers and trends with a film market, panel discussions and gala events.
http://www.tiff-jp.net


42nd International Film Festival of India
November/December
Goa, India

One of the oldest film festivals in Asia, the event draws an audience of 18,000 to screen 170 films. The program includes a competition for the Silver Peacock Awards, a focus on Cinema of the World and Indian films, plus a retrospective, panels and a film market.
http://iffi.gov.in

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