Cannes Film Festival is as chic and sophisticated as the beautiful city where it’s held. Berlin is the perfect market for film-making entrepreneurs and Venice is fascinating Italian design and art applied to cinematography.Very cool film festivals we all, film lovers and not, should attend at least once in a lifetime, but they are not the only ones in the world deserving our attention.
Emerging film festivals can take almost any possible form and be held anywhere on our globe. By the shores of Lake Michigan in North America, controversial film director Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11 or Bowling for Columbine) found a nest for independent films, Traverse City Film Festival. At the end of July, the city known for its Cherry Festival, drops a giant floatable screen at the beach to show films that are excluded from mainstream distribution and also the kind of politically incorrect documentaries Michael loves.
He doesn’t seem to be the only one to like Traverse City Film Festival because among thousands of viewers, celebrities from very diverse art fields such as singer Madonna, actor Mathew Modine or poet Thomas Lynch have been spotted enjoying the festival.
One of the coolest though most exclusive film festivals we can find nowadays is Zero Film Festival. It was founded in 2007 by a couple of independent film-makers at Los Angeles community. It’s cool because of its underground taste at choosing the right location for each tape and the kind of folks you’ll find attending it. Its founders are so independent that they didn’t borrow any money for making movies and that’s what Zero is about: a festival only for self-financed filmmakers.
An American buffalo was the symbol chosen to represent the free spirit at ZEF and it has not only wandered and conquered the Great Plains of the USA (ZEF holds editions in LA, NY, and Miami) but also travelled internationally to Toronto and London. As any emerging film festival worth this name they’re growing and this 2013 Peruvian self-financed filmmakers will have their own ZEF in Lima in October.
India’s film industry is growing as fast as the rest of their economy, spreading its craft to nearby countries and Indian communities among the world, but also conquering Western viewers. Bollywood films are produced in a large bunch of languages (India has more than 20 official ones) and this produces a corresponding amount of film festivals, which are usually endorsed by official administrations.
Bollywood is a recent discovery for a great deal of Western viewers but whether out of the colors, the dance or the shy loving stories we seem to really enjoy it and Indian film festivals can be found anywhere. Have a look at the ones taking place in Los Angeles, The Hague or London but if you want to see some, Google it because there are hundreds of Bollywood film festivals outside India.
We may be the kind that only watches Hollywood blockbusters in theatres but there are many good independent films waiting for us at cool film festivals where to keep up to date with film trends and meet interesting people. Let’s not punish ourselves for having been so ignorant and let’s celebrate and enjoy all these diverse forms of film art expression. We know optimism is going to make us live longer and better, so don’t think too much about it; it’s a clear call.