Top film festivals in 2018 January-March

If a fan of films then don’t miss a city break with this occasion. I put up a list of film festivals that I found online and I would love to see at least the big Europeans one, like Berlinale.

Some of the dates are approximate, according to where I found this list. So just check the website of the festival to be sure.

It is a once in a lifetime experience to attend a festival so be sure to programme it in advance, for expenses related reasons.


Palm Springs International Film Festival

2nd – 15th January 2018
The Palm Springs Film Society organises two festivals every year, the well-known ShortFest and the Feature edition in January. Well followed in North America, the festival regroups mostly the best festival circuit films of the previous year, with a programme of films that generally lean towards the end of their travel, and reaching out to Oscar nominees.

Website Twitter


Rendez Vous with French Cinema Paris

18th- 22nd January 2018
For 13 years Unifrance has run the Paris Screenings private market screenings in Paris attracting about 400 international distributors and screening almost 100 films. This isn’t to be mistaken with the identically titled public RDV public screenings in New York in March and London in June also funded by Unifrance. RDV represents one of the best opportunities for buyers to discover the line-ups ahead of Berlinale.

Website | Twitter

International Film Festival Rotterdam

24th January – 4th February 2018
Rotterdam Film Festival is one of the most important film festivals in the world focusing predominantly on world and international premieres with a large art-house and experimental focus. This normally sleepy town offers massive support to the festival, which in 2010 welcomed over 335,000 visitors far outshining its mainstream rivals. The festival also runs one of the most interesting grant programs the Hubert Bals Fund.

Website | Twitter

Gotterburg International Film Festival

26th January- 5th February 2018
One of the largest festivals in Scandinavia, Gothenburg screens almost 450 films and welcomes the Nordic Film Market. Each year the festival selects an ambiguously theme that dictates its programming and seminar choices. You’ll notice a large number of films hopping from Rotterdam, to Gotterburg to Berlin’s EFM.

Website | Twitter | Facebook


19th – 25th January 2018
Running in parallel with the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Slamdance’s self-proclaimed ‘anarchic’ festival aims to bring the underdog independent films to Park City. Increasingly the festival is being recognized as the ‘indie-er’ festival of the two.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Sundance Film Festival

18th- 28th January 2018
Known until 1991 as the Utah/US Film Festival, Sundance is the leading festival for discovering directorial newcomers. Despite freezing temperatures, huge queues and phenomenally expensive accreditation and hotel costs, it attracts a huge number of buyers, particularly those interested in American indies, and was behind the launch of films like ‘Sex Lies and Videotapes’ and ‘The Blair Witch Project’. Sundance is discussing documentary London screenings at the O2 Centre in the fall.

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International Short Film Festival Clermont Ferrand

2nd- 10th February 2018
This small city in the picturesque Massif Central in France hosts one of short films most important dates in the calendar. Commissioners, film students and short film buyers swarm every year to what is essentially a film market, conveniently squeezed between Rotterdam and Berlin which makes it part of the 3 stop business holiday for most international and down-under film agencies.

Website | Twitter

Berlinale – Berlin Film Festival

15th- 25th February 2018
Berlin Film Festival has become probably Europe’s best-respected film festival. Awards handed out include the incredibly obscure Panorama Award, the new Generation Crystal Bear and the cute Teddy [bear] Award for LGBT.

Website | Facebook


European Film Market

15th- 23rd February 2018
The EFM rose to prominence in 2002 after AFM’s campaign to replace MIFED left a hole in the market calendar and alongside Cannes’s Marché Du Film is now included as one of the most important film markets in the world.

Berlin’s blizzard February cold deters the networking masses that attend Cannes, which makes this a phenomenally more productive market. The festival also hosts the Berlin Talent Campus and Co-Production Market.



Berlin Talent Campus

17th- 22nd February 2018
Berlin’s Talent Campus is a 5 day forum of seminars and masterclasses aimed at new-coming or student filmmakers from around the world. Participation is fairly strict and in recent years the Talent Campus has expanded to Guadalajara, Buenos Aires, Durban and Sarajevo.

Website | Twitter


World Content Market Prague

29th – 31st May 2018
Specifically targeted at Television, Video and New Media, the World Content Market in Prague attracts a large delegation of film sellers and buyers, mostly from the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The WCM is an informal affair specifically targeted at acquisitions.

The participation form for this event can be found here.



February- March 2018 (TBC)
The Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou held biannually in Burkina Faso is one of the largest festivals on the African continent focusing mainly only African films and filmmakers and comprising the MICA (African International Film and Television Market).


True/False Film Festival

1st – 4th March 2018
One of the fastest growing documentary festivals in America, True/False has slowly pushed its dates away from mid-February/Sundance and has turned a few heads with its impressive curate.

Website | Twitter


South by Southwest (Film), 11th – 20th Film, Music and Interactive Conferences

9th- 18th March 2018
In recent years SXSW film strand has become one of the most important film events in the world. Combining 250 films, over 2,000 meticulously selected gigs, and the interactive conference which launched Twitter in 2007, South By’s selection focuses on north American indies, music docs and anything out of the ordinary.

Website | Twitter


Sofia International Film Festival

8th- 29th March 2018 (TBC)
Since 1997 Sofia has hosted what’s grown into one of the cultural highlights in Bulgaria. It programmes a large number of European films which has promised it continued EU funding support. You’re certain to catch an above average number of Cannes selections at the festival.



One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival

5th- 14th March 2018
The longest titled festival in the list, the Jeden Svét Festival Documentarnich Filmu O Lidskych Pravech, One World in Prague has turned a few heads with its bold and sometimes hard-hitting documentary selection and is very well closely followed by documentary buyers from around the world.


Website | Twitter


Tampere Film Festival

7th – 11th March 2018
One of the world’s oldest short film festivals, Finland’s inland city of Tampere hosts over 500 short film screenings every March as well as the Trash Film Festival aimed at low budget Finnish films.

Website | Twitter


Hong Kong Film Festival

19th March- 5th April 2018

A must stop for Asian film acquisitions, the HKIFF sees over 5000 industry representatives and over half a million cinephiles every year. Despite running the ever-popular Filmart (film market), and despite heavily subsidized international delegations, foreign attendants regularly comment on language barrier stalling deals.


Website | Twitter


Ann Arbor Film Festival

20th – 25th March 2018
The artiest festival on the list, the Ann Arbor specializes in experimental and avant-garde films. In 2006-2007 the festival came under attack by a group which considered its programming offensive and led to a fall in state funding. The festival not only launched a very successful fundraise campaign, but took the case to court over First Amendment violations and won.

Website | Twitter


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