Previously: #25. Ashland
There's a bunch of other great American film festivals that do good work for documentaries and filmmakers. And if our Top 25 Film Festivals list was completely US-centric, the following ten film festivals would all make the list.
Here's an alphabetical list of 10 more American festivals that matter, with comments from filmmakers and industry who've attended:AFI Fest
Selection of US films screened at 2009 festival: THE ART OF THE STEAL, BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO, LA DANSE: THE PARIS OPERA BALLET, NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW, REPORTER, SWEETGRASS
Our coverage of AFI Fest here.
Filmmaker: "awesome people. didn't get to attend, but heard good things. have budget to fly and house filmmakers"
Filmmaker: "Lots of glitz but not much substance, particularly for weighty films."
Industry: "I was really
impressed with the way they remade themselves this year. I'm definitely
interested in returning. And yes, they paid for my flight and room."
Industry: "Major film showcase with more than a passing nod to docs. Range of activity, organizing and facilities (up until this year). John Wildman and has staff are first rate. The many questions surrounding AFI Fest's "up-in-the-air" status the past year left attendees -- regulars, new and potential -- in a quandry: Is it or isn't it happening? The shortened program. Overall disorganization. The seeming lack of support from the institute."
Industry: "A good screening opportunity in LA - don’t get much bang but if you can get a few journalists in to see the film, always helpful. To be fair, the film selection gets better and better and I respect that they tried new things this year. Don’t know how it panned out with the free public tickets, but liked the idea. They were very accommodating in trying to travel an international filmmaker. They offered vouchers but only out of European hubs – but appreciated the effort. Not a lot of business happening but another good screening opportunity for those who need people (acad members) to see films on the big screen."
Industry: "it's no longer a discovery or missed gems festival - it's just a best of the fests. They only screen one program of short films and very few docs and independent films now."
Industry: "Can be valuable depending on the slot. Also, the festival is changing and they seem to primarily be programming best of other festivals and less films for sale so it's a question mark going forward."
Our coverage of Birmingham Sidewalk Festival here.
Filmmaker: "You wouldn't think anything happens in Birmingham, and maybe it
doesn't, but for one outstanding weekend it seems like the town was built for
you. Great hospitality. There were field trips for filmmakers and
the after parties were delightfully strange (80s hair rock bands, rappers,
rooftop dance parties, arcade games…) Leisurely atmosphere with eclectic
programming. A very nice and unique regional weekend film festival."