The Toronto International Film Festiva is back with screenings, red carpets and...

The Toronto International Film Festiva is back with screenings, red carpets and celebrities attending after being 100% virtual due to the covid-19 pandemic. Credit: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images/SOPA Images

Put a film festival on your travel wish list for a chance to preview the latest releases, learn from emerging and experienced filmmakers, and discover new destinations. Here are five to consider.

Telluride Film Festival

Every year, this picturesque mountain town triples in size when movie lovers flock to this high mountain enclave to experience the launch of the season’s celebrated films. Over the years, Telluride attendees were among the earliest screeners of "Juno," "Brokeback Mountain," "The Crying Game" and "The Civil War." Attend and expect to be motivated by artist tributes, discussion panels, filmmaker conversations and plenty of surprises – including each year’s film roster. During the four-day event young audiences might be inspired to climb Everest, become an animator or to turn their talents toward movie-making. Telluride is also host to the annual Mountain Film festival, featuring top-notch documentaries. Make time to troll through the scenic town, fly fish, hike, mountain bike and sample tasty bites in locally owned and operated eateries. Check websites to confirm 2023 dates.


Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Set on the stunning California coast, a stretch often referred to as the American Riviera, this celebration of cinematic art attracts more than 100,000 people eager to choose from more than 200 films. One of the leading festivals in the United States, the 11-day event includes celebrity tributes during which a moderator and the honoree discussing the latter’s career, complete with clips and montages from their body of work. When not focused on the silver screen, enjoy time shopping, biking, playing volleyball on the beach or hike to a waterfall in the nearby Santa Ynez Mountains.


Toronto Film Festival

This Canadian celebration of cinematic art has launched many Oscar winners during its September festival. The 10-day showcase screens more than 300 films from around the world, attracting as many as 250,000 enthusiasts each year. Of particular note is a focus on Canadian shorts and the debut of Canadian filmmakers. Much of the excitement takes place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, a five-story complex featuring cinemas and galleries. Later, explore Toronto via streetcar, visit the zoo, the Ontario Science Center and the Hockey Hall of Fame.


Venice International Film Festival

Considered the world’s oldest film festival, and one of the “big three,” along with Cannes and Berlin, Italy’s Venice Film Festival is a part of the Venice Biennale, one of the world's oldest exhibitions of art. Created by the Venice City Council in the 1893, the Biennale now covers Italian and international art, architecture, dance, music, theater and cinema. Typically held in late August or early September on Lido, an island in the Venice Lagoon, the festival continues to gain in popularity in one of the world’s most appealing tourism destinations. (The 79th Venice International Film Festival begins 31 Aug. 31.) Stay in the palatial, waterfront Hotel Danielle, built at the end of the 14th century, for a preferred location, a dose of history, and spectacular views.


New York International Children’s Film Festival

Established in 1997, the NYICCF encourages the creation of intelligent films for young people through their annual, Oscar-qualifying film festival as well as a national touring program and a media arts and literacy program. The organization’s efforts are designed to celebrate the power of film and to spark the inherent capacity of children to connect with complex art and diverse perspectives. This year’s spring festival included 20 features and more than 60 shorts from around the world, including the festival’s first film from Kyrgyzstan. Programming offers titles that will engage children as young as 3. Check the website for trailers and other opportunities from the 2022 festival as well as dates for 2023.

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