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With the approach of the 2012 Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Dungog film festivals, not to mention the annual French, Italian, Israeli, Spanish, German, Canadian, Serbian, Bollywood and Mexican film festivals in Australia, following the world’s biggest short film fests in Flickerfest and Tropfest, the recent Mardi Gras and World of Women fests, the Silent FF and Message Sticks among several others... we might be reaching film festival saturation. But – and Cannes is coming in May - so is the rest of the world. By Andrew L. Urban.

A random sampling, below, illustrates how film festivals have grown from showcases of the best of national and international productions to explorations of niche themes and collections for special interest groups. This tiny sampling is taken from the 6,000-dd recognised festivals around the world each year. No thematic stone is left unturned ...

Hollywood’s 5th Feel Good FF is accepting entries. 

Terror Film Festival 2012 is a bad-ass international film festival that offers cash prizes, a screenwriting competition, and the coveted Claw Awards. And it's all presented by the genre diva fashionista herself, Princess Horror. 

The Creative Arts FF runs online every December. The Barcelona Sports FF is in May.

"to scare the audiences out of their seats"

Organized by The World Mass Media Research Foundation and supported by Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Cankaya Municipality, 23rd. Ankara International Film Festival will take place between 15 - 22nd March. The festival is preparing to scare the audiences out of their seats with its midnight screenings of terrifying films. 

There is the (self explanatory) London Palestine FF, and the first Curacao FF (near Rotterdam) showing recent independent films, documentaries and shorts films from all over the globe. “The event initiated by Gregory Elias of Curaçao-based Fundashon Bon Intenshon and co-organised with the International Film Festival Rotterdam, will expand the range of culture available in Willemstad”.

Don’t know Z-Fest? This is a showcase for 7-minute films shot over 10 days. Now in it’s third year, the Z-Fest Film Festival (hosted by Fischer Edit and Z Systems) “draws some of Minnesota’s most innovative independent filmmakers in a competition for over $8000 in cash and prizes.” 

The Human Rights Watch FF is in London this March, in which 19 films address economic inequality and consequences worldwide. 

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) invite the world’s youth to submit original and creative videos focusing on PLURAL+ themes: migration, diversity and social inclusion. All the winners will be invited to New York, all travel expenses paid, to present their work at PLURAL + 2012 Awards Ceremony at the Paley Center for Media on December 6, 2012. 

Oporto hosts Fantasporto, focus on sci-fi; earlier this March, the German low budget End of the World movie directed by Tim Fehlbaum left Fantasporto with two major prizes: Best Film and Best Actress. 

I Will Tell

I Will Tell is an 11 night international film festival that runs in central London from 30 August to 9 September each year. The theme for this year is Live Your Dream.

The European Independent Film Festival (ECU) 2012 will showcase 100 independent films from 33 countries at the end of March in Paris. 

There is a new call for entries for emerging filmmakers from Southeast Europe to participate in Sarajevo Talent Campus held within the framework of the 18th Sarajevo Film Festival.

"Festivals can be seen as a filter – and thus a platform to focus attention on films"

Holly Shorts, for films up to 30 minutes, takes place in Hollywood in August. (One of about a billion short film fests around the world …)

In July it’s time for MusikFilmTage Oberaudorf, a charming village on the German-Austrian (Tyrol) border. And of course, they have a Facebook page.

There are many movie poster events, and of course, an International Movie Trailer fest, “Connecting indie movie makers with their fans” Entries can be for fiction, non-fiction, web series and even books. There is a grand cash prize of $5,000. On April 1, 2012, it will launch a PhoneFlix competition for movies not yet produced.

Festivals can be seen as a filter – and thus a platform to focus attention on films that get through the subjective filtering process of assorted panels. They can also be seen as platforms for issues and special interests. Some festivals are simply showcases for their chosen country or topic or filmmaking style, but all in their own way offer movie consumers a program of curated films. 

It is now possible to watch films every day of the year at one festival or another, travelling the country and the world, never needing to go home (or to have one), always having a choice of movies to see in any given program. That would be a clear case of film festival fetish …

Published March 29, 2012

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Feel Good Film Festival - in Hollywood

Terror Film Festival - a bad-ass international film festival

Fantasporto - focus on sci-fi

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