Top 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World To Attend in 2024

Film festivals are more than just a showcase for the latest movies; they are vibrant celebrations of culture, creativity, and cinematic innovation. As 2024 approaches, movie enthusiasts, filmmakers, and industry professionals are gearing up for another thrilling festival season.

From the glamorous red carpets of Cannes to the indie charm of Sundance, there’s something for everyone. Let’s explore the top 10 biggest movie festivals you won’t want to miss in 2024.

1. Cannes Film Festival

cannes movie festival

Location: Cannes, France

Established: 1946

Festival Dates: May 14 – May 25, 2024

Submissions Open: December 2023

Imagine the epitome of glamour and prestige, and you’ve got the Cannes Film Festival. Since it started in 1946, this event has become the highlight of the film industry calendar. Every year, the biggest stars and filmmakers head to the French Riviera to show off their latest creations.

With its lavish parties, stunning premieres, and the sought-after Palme d’Or award, Cannes remains the top dog of movie festivals. It celebrates the best in international cinema and serves as a major networking and business hub. The beautiful setting and exclusive vibe make it an experience you won’t forget.

2. Venice International Film Festival

Location: Venice, Italy

Established: 1936

Festival Dates: August 28–September 7, 2024

Submissions Open: February 2024

As the oldest movie festival in the world, the Venice International Film Festival is a big deal in cinematic history. Picture Venice as the backdrop – it’s a mix of art, culture, and stunning locations. This festival is famous for premiering critically acclaimed films, and filmmakers dream of winning the prestigious Golden Lion award.

Held on the Venice Lido, the festival’s historic venues create a magical atmosphere that’s hard to beat. The blend of classic elegance and cutting-edge cinema makes Venice a must-visit for any film lover.

3. Sundance

sundance fest

Location: Park City, Utah, USA

Festival Dates: January 18 – January 28, 2024

Submissions Open: August 11, 2024

If you’re into indie cinema, the Sundance Film Festival is you’re go-to. Founded by Robert Redford, Sundance has kickstarted countless filmmakers’ careers. Nestled in the snowy mountains of Utah, the festival is known for its relaxed vibe and groundbreaking films.

It’s the perfect spot to find the next big thing in indie film. Sundance offers more than just screenings; it hosts panels, workshops, and discussions that foster creativity and collaboration. Its focus on independent voices and innovative storytelling makes it a key event in the movie world.

4. Toronto International Film Festival

Location: Toronto, Canada

Established: 1976

Festival Dates: September 2024

Submissions Open: March 2024

TIFF is one of the most influential movie festivals in North America, and it’s known for its diverse selection of films. Whether you’re an established filmmaker or a rising star, TIFF is a crucial platform. It’s also a big player in the awards season, often predicting the Academy Award winners.

The festival’s vibrant atmosphere and enthusiastic audiences make it a favorite for filmmakers and movie fans alike. TIFF’s industry events, like the TIFF Industry Conference, offer great opportunities for networking and professional development.

5. Berlin International Film Festival

Location: Berlin, Germany

Established: 1951

Festival Dates: February 15 – February 25, 2024

The Berlinale is famous for its political and socially conscious films. Held in the lively city of Berlin, the festival draws a diverse crowd from all over the globe. The Golden Bear award is a prestigious honor in the movie industry, and the eclectic program makes it a must-attend event.

Berlinale’s focus on films that challenge and provoke thought sets it apart from other festivals. Its inclusive and progressive spirit mirrors Berlin’s dynamic cultural scene, offering a unique platform for filmmakers and audiences.

6. South by Southwest (SXSW)

SXSW 2024 Daily Highlights_ Volume I

Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Festival Dates: March 8 – March 16, 2024

Submissions Open: August 29, 2023

SXSW is this awesome mix of film, music, and tech that takes over Austin, Texas. It’s not just a movie festival; it’s where art and technology meet, sparking fresh ideas and trends. You get to dive into the latest in digital media and tech, giving you a peek into the future of entertainment.

The vibe at SXSW is super dynamic and inclusive, making it a perfect spot for creativity and collaboration across all sorts of fields. If you’re into innovation and creativity, this festival is a must.

7. Tribeca

Location: New York, USA

Established: 2002

Festival Dates: June 5 – June 16, 2024

Submissions Open: September 18, 2023

Robert De Niro kicked off the Tribeca Film Festival after 9/11, and it has since become a huge cultural event in New York City. It features a wide range of films, from documentaries to narrative stories, and also includes talks, panels, and interactive experiences. Tribeca is all about storytelling and innovation, providing a crucial platform for filmmakers.

The urban setting of New York adds a unique flair, making it a vibrant place for both screenings and industry events. If you love films and the bustling energy of NYC, Tribeca is the place to be.

8. Austin Film Festival

Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Festival Dates: October 2024

Submissions Open: March 2024

Known as the “Writers Festival,” the Austin Film Festival is a haven for screenwriters. It’s got this relaxed vibe and a vibrant community, making it a favorite among filmmakers and writers. The focus here is on the craft of writing, and the festival’s supportive environment is incredibly inspiring.

With panels and workshops that offer valuable insights, it’s a must for anyone passionate about storytelling. If writing is your thing, you’ll feel right at home here.

9. New York Film Festival

New York

Location: New York, USA

Festival Dates: October 2024

Submissions Open: February 2024

NYFF is one of the oldest film festivals in the US, famous for its carefully selected films that prioritize quality over quantity. Held at the Lincoln Center, it provides a classy and elegant setting for movie lovers. The festival is known for showcasing the best in world cinema in intimate screening venues, making it a favorite among serious cinephiles.

With its rich history and focus on excellence, NYFF continues to attract top filmmakers and discerning audiences. If you’re a true movie buff, you’ll appreciate the sophistication and quality of NYFF.

10. BFI London Film Festival

Location: London, UK

Festival Dates: October 2024

Final Deadlines: June 2024

The BFI London Film Festival is the UK’s top movie event, held in the lively City of London. It features the best of British and international cinema, with a wide range of films and events. The diverse programming and vibrant atmosphere make it a standout on the movie calendar.

The festival mixes well-known and up-and-coming talents, offering a comprehensive and exciting look at contemporary cinema. If you’re a movie enthusiast, the BFI London Film Festival is a must-attend event that will keep you entertained and inspired.

In summary

Movie festivals are the lifeblood of the movie world, where diverse voices and groundbreaking stories come together for unforgettable experiences. You can meet industry legends, discover the next big director, and immerse yourself in the magic of the movies. So, grab your calendar, save those dates, and get ready to be blown away.