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Best Film Festival: Ann Arbor Film Festival

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Winners at this film festival can qualify for the Academy Awards

Move over Cannes! The film festival circuit in North America is packed with fantastic events, from heavy hitters like Sundance to up-and-comers screening tomorrow's biggest names in cinema.

  • Ann Arbor Film Festival

    Ann Arbor Film Festival
    Ann Arbor, Mich.

    The Ann Arbor Film Festival, one of a handful of Academy Award-qualifying festivals in the country, got its start showcasing 16mm films. The program has since expanded to include more than 100 screenings in juried competitions, as well as panel discussions, gallery installations and filmmaker retrospectives.
    Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Film Festival

  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival

    Santa Barbara International Film Festival
    Santa Barbara, Calif.

    The reputable Santa Barbara International Film Festival has found its home in Santa Barbara, Calif., since the mid-80s. The 11-day-long event brings hundreds of films from around the world to historical theaters. The more than 85,000 participants also check out panels and educational programs featuring industry leaders. Lucky visitors may even catch glimpse of a star; in the past, this festival has recognized the likes of Cate Blanchett, Martin Scorsese and even Oprah Winfrey.
    Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara International Film Festival

  • Nevada City Film Festival

    Nevada City Film Festival
    Nevada City, Calif.

    This weeklong event in the Sierra Foothills of California has screened more than 2,000 movies over its 19 years. It has grown to become one of the most artist-friendly and fun festivals in the nation, with film topics like Expanding Gender, Late Night Popcorn Shorts and In Pursuit of Dreams. Workshops cover topics like film editing for storytelling and creative distribution.
    Photo courtesy of Kial James / Nevada City Film Festival

  • Austin Film Festival

    Austin Film Festival
    Austin

    The Austin Film Festival comprises four days of panels and workshops and eight nights of film screenings and parties. Films that have screened at this October event include A Hidden Life, Ford V Ferrari, Harriet, and Just Mercy.
    Photo courtesy of Austin Film Festival

  • Washington West Film Festival

    Washington West Film Festival
    Reston, Va.

    Film and philanthropy come together at this Virginia film festival, where all box office proceeds are donated to communities in need. The festival screens films, as well as hosts Q&A sessions and panel discussions with some of the industry’s top names.
    Photo courtesy of Washington West Film Festival

  • Dances With Films

    Dances With Films
    Los Angeles

    “Defiantly independent since 1998,” the Dances with Films Festival in Los Angeles screens some 200 films each year, ranging from narrative features to documentaries, shorts and music videos. This is an 11-day festival of discovery, known for its friendly community and playful programming at the iconic Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
    Photo courtesy of DWF LA

  • Atlanta Film Festival

    Atlanta Film Festival
    Atlanta

    The 10-day Atlanta Film Festival highlights a diverse lineup of creative media, including virtual reality films, episodic content and music videos, alongside more traditional offerings. The 2020 installment will include 40 panel discussions and nearly 200 films from across the globe. It’s also an Academy Award-qualifying festival.
    Photo courtesy of Atlanta Film Festival

  • Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival

    Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival
    Banff, Alberta

    The Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival is more than just a film festival. The nine-day event celebrates the spirit of adventure through film, as well as lectures, guided sunrise hikes in the mountains, gallery hops and family programming. It also includes a book festival.
    Photo courtesy of Jessica Wittman / Banff Centre

  • Nantucket Film Festival

    Nantucket Film Festival
    Nantucket, Mass.

    Founded in 1996, The Nantucket Film Festival honors the best in screenwriting and storytelling in film and beyond. As a premier destination film festivals, visitors flock from all over to experience and enjoy the best films, unique events/programs and standout hospitality on an island rich with history, a friendly atmosphere and beautiful sandy beaches. NFF celebrates 25 years this June.
    Photo courtesy of Nantucket Film Festival

  • Chicago International Film Festival

    Chicago International Film Festival
    Chicago

    Started in 1964, the Chicago International Film Festival highlights the best in international cinema. Festival attendees have a good chance of meeting the directors, producers, writers and actors face to face, as more than half of all screenings each year include discussion sessions.
    Photo courtesy of Chicago International Film Festival

  • Ann Arbor Film Festival
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival
  • Nevada City Film Festival
  • Austin Film Festival
  • Washington West Film Festival
  • Dances With Films
  • Atlanta Film Festival
  • Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival
  • Nantucket Film Festival
  • Chicago International Film Festival

The top 10 winners in the category Best Film Festival are as follows:

  1. Ann Arbor Film Festival - Ann Arbor, Mich.
  2. Santa Barbara International Film Festival - Santa Barbara, Calif.
  3. Nevada City Film Festival - Nevada City, Calif.
  4. Austin Film Festival - Austin
  5. Washington West Film Festival - Reston, Va.
  6. Dances With Films - Los Angeles
  7. Atlanta Film Festival - Atlanta
  8. Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival - Banff, Alberta
  9. Nantucket Film Festival - Nantucket, Mass.
  10. Chicago International Film Festival - Chicago

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning events!

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Gareth Hornberger

Gareth Hornberger

Gareth Hornberger

Barry Kahn

Barry Kahn

Barry Kahn

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

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