Renowned competitions attract creators, the film community and crowds of enthusiasts of new trends in world cinema. For the love of cinema, film festivals are held every year—real feasts for movie fans. Let's look again at the most important and interesting ones.
Berlinale – The Berlin International Film Festival
Prestigious gold and silver statuettes depicting an intimidating bear are presented every year in February. The first festival took place in 1951 and although it is a European festival, the audience has the chance to see the most outstanding films not only from Europe, but also from all over the world. Awards are granted for Best Motion Picture and Best Short Film (Golden Bear) and for Lifetime Achievement (Honorary Golden Bear), which was presented to, among others, Andrzej Wajda. Among the “silver” awards, the most important is the Jury Grand Prix awarded to the the director for the best feature film in the main competition.
The BFI London Film Festival
The largest film festival in the UK with more than 300 feature, documentary and short films from 50 countries each year. The screenings are accompanied by lectures, industry and educational events, discussions and workshops. The festival differs from other events of this kind in the fact that no prize is awarded for winning the competition. The jury of the British Film Institute distinguishes only the best film works. Perhaps it is the lack of the main prize that takes the burden of rivalry away from the creations, and allows the viewers to evaluate and choose the best proposals individually.
The Academy Awards – the Oscars
The famous Oscar statuette weighs almost four kilograms and is about 35 cm tall. The statuette depicts a knight holding a crusader's sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes signifying the five original branches of the Academy (actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers). The Academy Awards were presented for the first time in 1929 in 13 categories, now there are 24 of them. Each category announces 2 to 5 nominations, except from the Best Film category in which 10 films have been nominated since 2009. The Oscars are considered to be the most prestigious film awards, despite the fact that the festival concerns mainly American cinema.
Sundance Film Festival
The largest independent film festival in the USA, held in Sundance, Utah, since 1978. The festival gained momentum thanks to the involvement of Robert Redford, who founded a non-profit organization in 1981 to support artists through grants, development programs and creating space for creativity. The name of the festival comes from The Sundance Kid, a character played in one of the films by Redford. Many notable filmmakers received their big break at Sundance, including the Cohen brothers, Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino and Jim Jarmusch.
The Toronto International Film Festival – TIFF
Called the first North American film festival, TIFF was founded in 1976. The September festival of cinema in Toronto takes the form of an overview, though prizes are awarded. As an indicator of success emerged the People’s Choice Award based on audience balloting. Award may also be granted by journalists, city authorities or an international association of critics. The first year, 127 films were showed, today the number reaches 350. The festival is a trampoline for Oscars. The films that premiered at the Canadian festival included “Chariots of Fire” (1981), “Hotel Rwanda” (2004), “Whale Rider” (2002), Strictly Ballroom (1992).
Cannes Film Festival
The red carpet and breathtaking views of the Côte d’Azur in the May sun are the circumstances in which the world film industry meets every year. One of the most famous film festivals in the world was founded in 1946. Every year, 20 selected films take part in the competition. Palme d’Or is awarded to the director of the best film. The unquestionable winner of the last 72nd International Film Festival in Cannes was the film “Parasite” by Korean director Bong Joon-ho.