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March 04, 2008



Edinburgh moved up their run to June so it won't compete with the 49 other Edinburgh festivals. Hopefully it will work out, but it does mean festival goers miss out on all of the other wonderful activities August has to offer in Edinburgh. Now it drops the same week as Los Angeles and Silverdocs. How do you rate the move?

Sean Farnel

First, think its good that there is more and more open discussion about festivals.

I won't speak to the inclusions (since I work for one of them), but just mention some significant and beautifully curated doc events that should be on everybody's radar. They all take international submissions:

Visions du Reel (Nyon): one of the most rigorously programmed doc festivals in the world.

Yamagata: key event for Asian docs, also nice curatorial vision.

Leipzig: again, sharp, uncompromising programming, most import doc only event in Germany with significant industry component.

Jihlava - one of my faves. held in a small town 100km south of Prague, terrific programming and very engaged student audience who pour in from Prague just for fest.


Great list, very informative. Kinda crushes my dreams though...such negative talk of all the places I want to be someday!

what are your feelings (if any) on Sonoma Film Festival, Santa Fe Film Festival, & Palm Springs Film Festival? I have lumped them together in my mind with a lot of the fests on this list, but I have no experience to speak of!

May Z.

Stay AWAY from the Hoboken 'International' Film Festival. One of the guys that runs it is a crook, big time, and he is ruining his reputation all over town with some of the BS he is spouting off. I won't mention his name for slader reasons, but let's just say he is the moron in the ripped up T-Shirt spouting off BS advice to young filmmakers. He claims to be the #5 film fest in the world, but he screens his films INCORRECTLY (wrong aspect ratio, skipping, sound problems) in some of the dirties venues around town, and I heard a while ago that he is actually suing some filmmaker for the rights to HIS OWN FILM because he wants compensation for allowing him to screen his film at his crappy festival. Not sure of the names involved, but it's some ugly legal thing, but I am friends with one of the major sponsors and they are planning to pull out because of the corruption. It's INSANE. Who would charge a filmmaker a venue rental after the fact? Beware! If you want to submit to a film fest around New York, submit it to an ACTUAL new york festival, not some watered down version across the bridge.

Jeff Ros

San Francisco has a 6 year old documentary festival, now happening every fall. This year's dates are Oct 17-30 at the Roxie Cinema in SF and Oct 31-Nov 6 at Landmark's Shattuck Cinema in Berkeley. Over 60 films from all over the world in this years festival. www.sfindie.com


I had my premiere at Heartland Film Festival this year. What a mistake. I arrived at the theater(with cast) for my premier and the staff had no idea I was having my WORLD PREMIER. The venues are very spread out. The staff aren't very helpful or supportive. A big waste of a premier.

Jes Benstock

I have had great experiences at Sheffield Docfest. We took part in the Meetmarket there and we had great interest in our feature doc "The British Guide to Showing Off" which will be completed this Autumn.
I learnt masses about distribution options internationally and the different flavours of commissioners and funders too - with very solid support from the Sheffield Docfest crew. The merge with Britdoc will undoubtedly raise the bar for the Docfest and I am already looking forward to this years - when I will be testing the water with fingers crossed the completed feature.
Its a great place if you as a filmmaker want to learn about the industry in the UK and internationally.
And its a small town!

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