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This list of the Top 10 Festivals is based upon the festivals ability to discover emerging talent and provide them with national and/or international media attention. In addition, many of these festivals also function as unofficial film markets, enabling filmmakers to find distribution for their films. 1. Cannes Film Festival Held on the beaches of the French Riviera, the Festival de Cannes is the world's most prestigious film festival. Each year in May, the Cannes Film Festival is host to the top film industry players worldwide from celebrities to media moguls to emerging independents. There is no higher honor in the festival world than to screen at Cannes. 2. Sundance Film Festival Often referred to as "the mother of all independent film festivals in the United States", Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival creates the pulse for the industry. It is frequented not only by film enthusiast's and filmmakers, but also by other film festival directors, as well as several agents and acquisitions executives. 3. Toronto International Film Festival Considered one of the most respected film festivals in the international community, the Toronto International Festival has been known to break new talent and debut the Hollywood versions (nonstudio financed) of independent film. 4. Berlin Film Festival One of Europe's longest running festivals, spanning over 50 years, it is one of Europe's most prestigious events. Held in conjunction with the European Film Market, it affords filmmakers an excellent opportunity to sell the rights to their films to European territories.

5. American Film Institute (AFI) Los Angeles International Film Festival Originally dubbed FILMEX, before the American Film Institute acquired it, FILMEX was the largest film event in the world during the mid 1970's and a cornerstone for alternative film in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Today AFI FEST features a strong line-up of international films, independent faire and features a new alliance with the American Film Market. 6. Los Angeles Film Festival Sponsored Film Independent (Independent Feature Project, west - IFP West), the same organization that hosts the Independent Spirit Awards (The Oscars for Independent Film), the Los Angeles Film Festival is also home to one of the world's largest film festivals prizes: $50,000.00. 7. SXSW: South by Southwest Film Festival Born as an extension of the SXSW Music and Media Conference, this Austin based festival is better known for its informative panels and Austin friendly party oriented hospitality. 8. Tribeca Film Festival Founded by Robert DeNiro and co-chaired by Martin Scorsese, the Tribeca Film Festival has arguably been the fastest growing film festival in history. Celebrities attend the festival en masse. In addition, many Hollywood studios and major independent filmmakers premiering their films at Tribeca. 9. Seattle International Film Festival Lasting for a total of 25 days, the Seattle International Film Festival is one of the longest festivals in the entire world. With a mix of international and American independent films, the festival focuses upon what's cutting edge in current state of cinema. 10. Telluride Film Festival Nestled on the main street of a former miner town, Telluride is known as one of the best vacation festivals. Although the cost of attendance is steep, the festival provides access to celebrities, executives and the like.

Christopher C. Odom is a Director, Writer, Author in Nashville, TN, USA. He loves filmmaking, roller skating, partner dancing and metaphysics. You can see the things that Chris writes about and publishes at

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Top 10 Film Festivals  

One of Europe's longest running festivals, spanning over 50 years, it is one of Europe's most prestigious events. Held in conjunction with t...

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