Film festival

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A film festival is an organised, extended presentation of films in one or more movie theaters or screening venues, usually in a single locality. The films may be of recent date and, depending upon the focus of the individual festival, can include international releases as well as films produced by the organisers' domestic film industry. Sometimes there is a focus on a specific film-maker or genre (e.g., film noir) or subject matter (e.g., gay and lesbian film festivals). A number of film festivals specialise in short films, each with its defined maximum length. Film festivals are typically annual events.



The first major film festival was held in Venice in 1932; the other major and oldest film festivals of the world are: Festival del film Locarno (1946), Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (1946), Edinburgh International Film Festival (1947), Cannes Film Festival (1947) and Berlin International Film Festival (1951).[1]

The Edinburgh International Film Festival in the UK was established in 1947 and is the longest continually running film festival in the world. Raindance Film Festival is the UK's largest celebration of independent film-making and is taking place in London in October.[2]

The first North American high film festival was the Columbus International Film & Video Festival, also known as The Chris Awards, held in 1953. According to the Film Arts Foundation in San Francisco, "The Chris Awards (is) one of the most prestigious documentary, educational, business and informational competitions in the U.S; (it is) the oldest of its kind in North America and celebrating its 54th year."

It was followed four years later by the San Francisco International Film Festival held in March 1957 whose emphasis was on feature-length dramatic films. The festival played a major role in introducing foreign films to American audiences. Among the films shown in its founding year were Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood and Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali.

Today there are thousands of film festivals around the world, ranging from high profile festivals such as Sundance Film Festival (Park City, UT) to horror festivals such as Terror Film Festival (Philadelphia, PA).

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