Want to add a little extra cool factor to your next trip? Plan it to coincide with a film festival! Not only is the destination going to hum with added activity and extra cool things to do, but there’s the heightened possibility of celebrity spotting, and, of course, a chance to see and learn more about the art and business of cinema.

For movie buffs with a love for travel, here’s a look at the five coolest film festivals screening the biggest hits and best indie flicks around the planet.

1.) Festival de Cannes

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The grand dame of the film festival circuit and the ultimate see-and-be-seen celebrity elbow rub event of the year, Festival de Cannes is without a doubt the biggest and most revered of the many cinema-centered events filling the calendar. For a taste of the hottest trends in cinema and fashion,the latest rising stars, and the best new must-see films, paying attention to Cannes is essential for any movie buff.

Celebrating its 69th year, Festival de Cannes 2016 will take place from the 11th to the 22nd of May. For an actual, in-person piece of that action, you’d best book flights and rooms now – and sharpen your blagging skills for jumping VIP lines and inserting your name onto exclusive guest lists! It certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea to brush on your French either.

2.) Sundance Film Festival

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Kicking off the year in film with a breath of fresh Rocky Mountain air, the Sundance Film Festival brings Hollywood glamour to small town Utah. The event is a must for fans of independent film and offers a unique cultural curve when added onto the itinerary of a ski vacation.

Just wrapped up at the end of January, another Sundance festival is behind us. Check out the website for a look at this year’s winners and to start dreaming about your 2017 trip.

3.) Toronto International Film Festival

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Another bright star of the film festival circuit is TIFF – the Toronto International Film Festival – held every September in (yep, you guessed it) Toronto, Canada. Entering its 41st year, TIFF is widely recognized as one of the world’s most highly regarded launching pads for the best of international, Hollywood, and Canadian cinema, with many in the film industry ranking it as second only to Cannes in importance. The festival is also one that’s especially public friendly, with plenty of screenings and related events happening across town.

If you like going to the movies and urban exploration, keep TIFF in mind and make a note of its 2016 dates: September 8 to 18.

4.) SXSW Film Festival

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Austin, Texas is a great place to visit anytime of the year. Come March though, and the fun loving city goes from awesome to epically awesome with the South by Southwest mega fest. The music, films, and emerging technologies event of the year, SXSW is a must-attend festival no matter what your interest are. The film festival portion of the larger SXSW festival is growing strength to strength, and this year’s theme is “New Perspectives” promising an exciting lineup of screenings and events.

5.) Venice Film Festival

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One of the oldest and most highly esteemed film festivals is the Venice Film Festival, which will see its 73rd anniversary in 2016, from the 31st of August to the 10th of September. The festival’s aim is to “raise awareness and promote the various aspects of international cinema in all its forms” and to honor “major figures” in the industry by organizing retrospectives and tributes. The festival adds a touch of glamour and an air of La Dolce Vita to the already atmospheric allure of this elegant and historic Italian city of islands and canals.

Which of these awesome film festivals would you most like to attend? Let us know in the comments!

 

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