These days’ film aficionados everywhere are finding it a whole lot easier to get a flick fix. The burgeoning business of film festivals has fans flocking to screening venues in hopes of an opportunity to preview the next big blockbuster before anyone knows that it will even be a blockbuster.
Film festivals have been around for over eighty years. The Venice Film Festival held in 1932, is the first major film festival on record. Cult classic, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was the first movie premiered at the historic event and it was also the first horror movie to be recognized with an Academy Award. Ever since film festivals have been synonymous as generators of “Oscar-buzz.”
Following suit after the success of Venice, several festivals began to emerge worldwide. The famed Cannes International Film Festival was founded in 1946 as a way to show the artistic quality of European films. Today the exclusive invitation only event draws an audience of celebrities, studio distributers and industry professionals from across the globe.
The widely-renowned Sundance Film Festival ranks high on the list of influential film fests. It has definitely secured a spot as one of the largest and most anticipated independent film festivals in the United States. Sundance is held annually in January inundating venues in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden as well as the Sundance Resort. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival was recently held, January 17 to January 27th. It will be interesting to see just how many of the films showcased this year will be acknowledged at next year’s Oscars.
Sundance 2012 saw a big boon in “Oscar-buzz.” Eight of the films screened received nods from the Academy, including sleeper film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” which received four nominations but unfortunately won no awards. Additionally five documentaries that were screened at Sundance 2012 were also recognized with nominations.
I could go on and on about filmmakers, actors and films that got their big break at Sundance. The list just seems to never end, starting back in 1978 with the first Sundance that featured films such as “Deliverance” and “A Street Car Named Desire.” Subsequent films that saw Sundance success include the dark and disturbing 2009 drama, “Precious.” The film launched newcomer, Gabourey Sidibe’s career with a best actress nomination her very first time out the box or rather at the box office. The film was able to procure funding from both Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey because of the massive buzz it received after its Sundance premiere.
Other notable films that premiered at Sundance include “Little Miss Sunshine”, “Winter’s Bone”, “The Blair Witch Project”, “Napolean Dynamite”, recognize any of those titles? And that’s just the tip of the Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.
With such a high potential for fame and fortune from film festivals it’s a no brainer that every city would want at least one of their own. Here in Sacramento, California’s Capital, we have more film festivals than you can count on one hand. They’re staggered throughout the year so there is never a shortage of these selective screenings.
The Sacramento International Film Festival is up next on the calendar with an 8-day film festival scheduled from April 20, to April 28, 2013. http://www.sacramentofilmfestival.com/
Film festivals are a great way for local talent to come together and create movie magic while representing their region.
48 Hours Sacramento is a competition held as part of the Sacramento International Film Festival that is designed for aspiring film artist. The cast and crew call takes place Sunday, March 24th and once cast and crew are determined for each team they are given a timeframe of 48 hours to submit a completed project that will be premiered on the first day of the festival. Talk about a whirlwind I’m breathless just thinking about it.
If you haven’t done so already, check out the film festivals in your area. Or if you’re really ambitious go to some of the publically attended famous festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival. Founded in 1976, the TIFF was noted by Time in 2007 as having “grown from its place as the most influential fall film festival to the most influential film festival, period.” Good luck getting a ticket but I bet it would be worth a try.
If you want to do some Hollywood hobnobbing, you’re in luck. For the first time ever, this summer, Sundance fans can attend a 4-day festival in Los Angeles at the Sundance Sunset Cinema in West Hollywood. I can’t wait to see the hype that surrounds that star-studded shindig. And who knows, maybe I’ll see you there?