How to sit with George Clooney: Best Film Festivals

Written by  Kat Mackintosh

Whether you’re an out and proud cinemaphile, a film fan or a movie go-er, you can’t have failed to notice the glamorous photos of film stars lounging casually on their yachts at Cannes, and thought ‘Well that looks like a nice life, doesn’t it.’.

I’m sure they slog it out behind the scenes somewhere, under the harsh lights of the set, delving deep for the scripted emotional response, as directors tear their hair out, scriptwriters cower and editors, in their dark little rooms slowly go blind over a seconds worth of footage; but by the time the press and then the public get to them their blood sweat and tears have been reduced to an ‘Oh, he/she was an absolute pleasure to work with’ gush of poise and warmth all round. The international film festivals are where some of the best performances have to take place, as in front of the gnashing jaws of the press and public, the pressure is on and the big guns make their decisions about what we’ll be watching at our local cinemas in the following year. For as well as an opportunity for a big love-in about how great everyone is, a film festival is also a place to see the best new film making talent, ask some difficult questions of some big names, and see some films which aren’t quite there yet, while hamming it up and swaning round town pretending you’re the next big thing.

Each festival has its own angle. Cannes dazzles in the chic, sun bronzed glamour or the French Riviera, Toronto and Berlin showcase their own national industries, but with a global view, you love our films, we’ll love yours, and Sundance, struggles to retain it’s edge as the promoter of new and documentary talent, despite the encroaching fat wallets of Hollywood. If you can’t get tickets for the big ones, Lapland’s Midnight Sun Film Festival, held over 120 consecutive hours in the height of summer, is one of the new kids on the festival circuit, but quickly attracting a star studded crowd looking for the next big thing.

The London Film Festival treads the fine line between red carpet splendour and art house intelligentsia, and is on in October, so there is still time to get tickets if you’re inspired by the idea of sharing some popcorn with the icons of your screen.

If you can't make it to a festival what about a film location?

Comments by other travellers

This year the chocolate and water attendees have come to expect at the gala screenings has been better organised. There have also been so WONDERFUL suprise visits from Directors willing to do Q&As.

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