9 Bustling North American Film Festivals

Film festivals provide excellent opportunities for audiences to experience the diversity of cinema, and for emerging filmmakers to get their work seen and picked up by distributors. If you can't make it to the historic movie celebrations in Cannes or Venice, check out the equally worthwhile North American fests listed here, which present an exciting range of films along with local and international talent. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

9 Buzzy Film Festivals in North America

Festival Mission
Beloit International Film Festival Harness the power of film to improve our community and ourselves
Hamptons Doc Fest Champion and celebrate the rich, diverse, and challenging world of documentary film
True/False Film Fest Forge a supportive, celebratory refuge for filmmakers and amplify the possibilities of creative nonfiction
Mirror Mountain Film Festival Bring the best in independent and alternative cinema to Canada’s capital
Chattanooga Film Festival Curate and share the best of cinema’s past and present while educating and inspiring future generations to create films of their own
Bushwick Film Festival Build community, empower underrepresented storytellers, and increase diversity in film and other forms of media through year-round programming
Beyond Fest Serve the genre community of Los Angeles, and raise funds for the non-profit American Cinematheque
Boston Science Fiction Film Festival Emphasize emerging directors with distinct visions from around the globe
The Method Fest Independent Film Festival Help launch the works of young fresh filmmakers and discover breakthrough performances by bold new actors

In Wisconsin With Beloit International Film Festival

5 Reasons To Watch Independent Films

  1. Check out up & coming filmmakers
  2. See unique stories
  3. Enjoy the artist's undiluted vision
  4. Gain a new perspective
  5. Support the local community

Equipment That All Aspiring Filmmakers Should Own

Bushwick Film Festival's Unique Programming

In Depth

If you are a lover of movies, you most likely know that festivals are a great place to experience the joy and history of cinema. Whether you are looking for a dose of culture, to learn something new, or simply to be entertained, be sure to check out some of these wonderful movie-centric celebrations listed below in no particular order.

First up at #1 is The Beloit International Film Festival. The BIFF is a ten-day tribute to the power of film and the excitement of independent cinema from around the world. Local Wisconsinites and visitors from across the nation fill venues, ranging in size from 40 to 400 seats to view more than 100 films, and to meet scores of filmmakers who come from throughout the U.S. and as far away as Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The BIFF celebrates filmmakers of genres including but not limited to fictional features, documentaries and shorts. The BIFF is known by locals as an exciting time filled with music, movies, discussions and passionate engagement with independent filmmaking.

The BIFF is known by locals as an exciting time filled with music, movies, discussions and passionate engagement with independent filmmaking.

Moving on to #2, The Hamptons Doc Fest is a nonprofit organization founded by filmmakers to champion and celebrate the rich, diverse and challenging world of documentary film. Their mission is to recognize and honor movies and filmmakers who deserve a closer look. Founder & Executive Director Jacqui Lofaro started the festival in 2007 and is an award-winning documentarian whose work focuses on social and criminal justice issues.

The Hamptons Doc Fest introduces the best of the documentary genre to audiences on the east end of Long Island for five days each December in the historic village of Sag Harbor, New York. The festival has expanded beyond its signature December film festival to become a year-round arts organization that provides a platform for emerging and established filmmakers, and offers screenings for local communities and schools to experience the art of visual storytelling.

Next up at #3 is the True/False festival in Columbia, Missouri. T/F offers a heightened four-day weekend of creative placemaking in which filmmakers, artists and musicians remake the mid-sized college town of Columbia, Missouri into a one-of-a-kind artistic utopia. The transformative, rambunctious, ecstatic experience of T/F creates a cathartic journey that forces participants to do nothing less than to re-imagine reality. Their goal is to forge a supportive, celebratory refuge for filmmakers and amplify the possibilities of creative nonfiction.

The transformative, rambunctious, ecstatic experience of T/F creates a cathartic journey that forces participants to do nothing less than to re-imagine reality.

Creative placemaking means the festival develops the talents and focuses the energy of the region. The organizers enlist creative, energetic people and then give them the tools to transform the downtown core of Columbia, both indoors and out. When the festival remakes ordinary spaces into magical, temporary spots, it inspires attendees and townies. T/F showcases downtown Columbia and its potential.

Onwards to #4, Mirror Mountain Film Festival's goal is to exhibit original cinema from the world's most unique creative minds. Held annually, The MMFF brings the best in contemporary independent and alternative cinema to Canada's capital city of Ottawa, Ontario. It is an inclusive festival that welcomes all types of movies and all types of people to share in the collective cinematic experience.

Mirror Mountain relies on a diverse group of friendly, dedicated volunteers that come together each year and help make the festival possible. In addition to film screenings, the festival features performances, parties, Q&A sessions and more. The event takes place over the course of two days.

The event takes place over the course of two days.

Over to #5 on our list, Tennessee's Chattanooga Film Festival seeks to curate and share the best of cinema's past and present while educating and inspiring future generations to create movies of their own. The CFF began on a snowy February evening in 2009, with a pop-up double feature screening of Repo Man and Return of the Living Dead in a building that had formerly been a fire hall. Intended as an occasional event, the founders of the CFF had no idea this screening was the start of a proper festival.

As the attendances of their screenings grew larger, the only logical course of action was to create the non-profit Chattanooga Film Festival. Every dollar that is raised through donations, grant support and ticket sales goes directly into keeping the CFF going. All of the classes and workshops offered are free to attend. Each year, the festival attracts many unique, profound, educational and entertaining films and presenters for locals and visitors to enjoy.

#6 on our list is The Bushwick Film Festival. Located in Brooklyn, New York, this annual event attracts over 3500 attendees, as well as more than 1500 submissions from 60 countries around the world. It is a successful contributor to Brooklyn's cultural and economic growth. The festival is committed to community building, empowering underrepresented storytellers, and increasing diversity in film and other forms of media through year-round programming.

The festival is committed to community building, empowering underrepresented storytellers, and increasing diversity in film and other forms of media through year-round programming.

The BFF is one of Bushwick's most exciting cultural attractions. Each fall, the festival produces nearly 40 special events and screenings and showcases movies by the best and most diverse emerging filmmakers in Brooklyn and Worldwide. In addition to screenings and conversations, the festival includes free hands-on film production workshops, and career training for young adults so that they have the tools to enter a successful career in the media industry.

Let's head over to Los Angeles where #7 on our list takes place. Beyond Fest is the highest attended genre film festival in the U.S and exists to serve the genre community in Los Angeles. The festival mostly focuses on screening cult classics, horror and thrillers.

Beyond Fest is built in partnership with American Cinematheque and Death Waltz Recording Co. It is a not-for-profit entity, instead focusing on raising funds to support and uphold the tradition of cinema. According to the founders, the festival's favorite film is Jaws.

According to the founders, the festival's favorite film is Jaws.

Up next at #8 we have The Boston Science Fiction Film Festival. This is an 11-day cinematic event held at the historic Somerville Theatre. The event is the longest running science fiction genre fest in America.

The first nine days consist of features, shorts, webisodes, workshops, parties or new films that emphasize emerging directors with distinct visions from around the globe. The Festival concludes with a 24-hour motion picture endurance test called The Marathon. It involves a 'round-the-clock screening of everything from classic movies to soon to be cult favorites and the occasional flop.

Last but not least, #9 on our list is The Method Fest. Named after the "Stanislavski Method", which brought truth and realism to the world of acting, it is the only major film festival in the U.S. that pays homage to the craft of acting. The festival is held annually in Los Angeles, California.

The festival is held annually in Los Angeles, California.

The Method Fest is a festival of discovery, seeking breakout acting performances of emerging stars and established actors in story-driven independent films. The organizers take great pride in helping to launch the works of fresh filmmakers and to discover breakthrough work by bold new actors. The festival has also taken great delight in sharing career-defining performances of established professionals and in showcasing a few chosen well-known directors.