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Film Festivals that Thrive in the Dog Days of Summer; A Preview of July & August Events

Film Festivals that Thrive in the Dog Days of Summer; A Preview of July & August Events

The height of summer (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere) is sometimes considered a lighter period of the year in terms of the general festival circuit, a relative “calm before the storm,” ahead of the major late-summer/early-fall events in Venice, Telluride and Toronto. But July and August are nevertheless teaming with festivals in North America and around the world, including gay festivals in LA, New York and Philadelphia, a bounty of regional events including Indianapolis and Stony Brook (Long Island, NY) and larger fests in Melbourne, Australia and Comic-Con in San Diego.

For a further lowdown on upcoming festivals, check out indieWIRE’s Festival Directory, which will be expanded over the summer.

NY Asian Film Festival–New York, NY–July 1 – 14 [link, iW’s review of films in the festival.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema’s 2011 NYAFF, turning 10 this year, will includes 45 features and one short film from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Among the world premieres are Takashi Miike’s “Ninja Kids!!!” and Eiji Uchida’s “The Last Days of the World.” American premieres include the fest opener, Yoshimasa Ishibashi’s “Milocrorze: A Love Story. ” This year’s Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award is going to Hong Kong auteur Tsui Hark (Peking Opera Blues); the Rising Star Award goes to Japanese actor Takayuki Yamadass.

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival–Czech Republic–July 1 – 9

 [link]; iW’s coverage of the festival.

In its 46th year, this fest is screening 179 features, including 21 world premieres and 54 debuts. Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” and Cary Fukunaga’s “Jane Eyre” are among the out-of-competition films. Fest highlights will include tributes to Denis Villeneuve and Samuel Fuller and special focuses and retrospectives; “Young Greek Cinema,” “2011: A Musical Odyssey” and “Out of the Past.”

Outfest–Los Angeles, CA–July 7 – 17 [link]; An interview with Outfest 2011 honoree, Gregg Araki.

The 29th annual Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian fest will feature gala screenings of “Gun Hill Road,” “Circumstance,” “Weekend,” “Hit So Hard,” and “The Perfect Family.” The fest boasts 67 features and 96 shorts from 25 countries, as well as over a dozen panels and special events through the City of Angels. Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato will receive the fest’s 15th annual Outfest Achievement Award.

Picton Picturefest–Picton, Prince Edward County, Ontario–July 7 – 10 [link]

This inaugural fest and “cinephile retreat” will include films, workshops, youth education and camping. It all kicks off with a tribute to Tilda Swinton and Mark Cousin’s 2009 event, “A Pilgrimage,” which brought together 50 people, including co-founder (and iW writer) Peter Knegt, who aided them in moving a mobile movie theater across the Scottish Highlands. The event is part of the inspiration behind Picturefest. “Littlerock,” “The Arbor,” “The Canal Street Madam” and award winning international shorts are included in the eclectic lineup.

Philadelphia Q Fest–Philadelphia, PA–July 7 – 18 

The 17th edition of this fest, which has “taken the filmic temperature of LGBT filmmaking today and the patient is thriving,” will – among its 43 features, 9 docs and 55 shorts – feature lesbians from another planet, a little girl who wants to be a little boy, a gay couple under the attack of zombies and lots more. The fest will kick off with “Judas Kiss” and “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same,” and close with “Going Down in La-La Land.” Centerpiece screenings include “eCupid,” “Circumstance” and “Mangus!”

Indianapolis International Film Festival–Indianapolis, IN–July 14 – 24 [link]

This independent film fest has been growing since its inception in 2004, having featured films from almost every US state and some 50 countries. “Gun Hill Road,” “Little Rock,” “Natural Selection,” “Another Earth” (opening night) and “Cinema Komunisto” are among this year’s highlights.

Fantasia International Film Festival–Montreal, QC–July 14 – August 7 [a href=”http://www.fantasiafestival.com/2011/en/”>link]

One of the most important genre festivals in North America welcomes Kevin Smith’s “Red State” and the Guillermo del Toro-backed “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” to this year’s edition. The fest also will see world premieres like “The Wicker Tree” (Robin Hardy’s follow-up to “The Wicker Man”), “The Theatre Bizarre,” and “Retreat.” The fest will also honor John Landis (“An American Werewolf in London” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”) with its lifetime achievement award.

Odessa International Film Festival–Odessa, Ukraine–July 15 – 23 [link]

“The Artist”, directed by Michel Hazanavicius, will open the festival, which takes place in Odessa, situated on the Black Sea. The fest’s competition programs will feature 14 international titles (including “Submarine,” “Love in a Puff” and “Tomboy”), while the galas include the world premiere of “A Pregnant Man” from Dmitry Djuzhev, Alyona Zvantsova’s “Heavenly Court,” Jodie Foster’s “The Beaver,” Tom Hanks’ “Larry Crowne,” Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia” and Wim Wenders’ “PINA.”

Rushes Soho Shorts Festival–London, England–July 20 – 29

In its 13th year, this SoHo and London West End fest is a non-profit event featuring the best shorts from new and emerging talents. “POM Wonderful presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” (Morgan Spurlock) will open the fest, set to showcase 148 new short films from 27 countries. They will compete for Long Form, International, Newcomer, Short Film, Documentary, Animation, Music Video and Broadcast Design category awards.

Newfest–New York, NY–July 21 – 27 [link]

The Film Society of Lincoln Center and NewFest are co-presenting the opening and closing nights this annual New York LGBT Film Festival at Lincoln Center, in its 23rd year. David Weissman’s documentary film “We Were Here,” will open the fest, and producer Christine Vachon (“Velvet Goldmine,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Party Monster”) will be the first ever recipient of the Newfest Visionary Award.

Stony Brook Film Festival–Stony Brook, NY–July 21 – 30 

This international festival, in its 16th year, will open with the US premiere of Denmark’s “Sonny Boy” and close with the East Coast premiere of Germany’s “Almanya.” This year’s fest features the growing voice of women directors in film.

LA Shorts Fest–Los Angeles, CA–July 21 – 29 
Official selections for the 15th edition of this fest, housed at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood, are announced July 7.

Comic-Con–San Diego, CA–July 21 – 24 [link]

This comic festival turns twelve and features many screenings, panels and parties for genre-enthusiasts. Film sections include Action/Adventure, Animation, Comics-Oriented, Humor, Horror-Suspense, Documentary and Science Fiction/Fantasy.

Tulsa United Film Festival–Tulsa, OK–July 21 – 25 [link]

In its 9th year, this fest screens new independent films and classics. This year the fest kicks off with an homage to Tulsa with Blake Edwards’ “The Pink Panther” and “10” and closes with Gary Busey classics “The Buddy Holly Story” and “Big Wednesday.” Dozens of Tulsa premieres include docs “Cleanfix” and “Eat the Sun” as well as “Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians” and “Living Downstream.”

Manhattan Film Festival–NYC–July 22 – 31 [link]

This fest’s mission is to find new ways of helping filmmakers pursue their careers. Taking place at the Peter Norton Symphony Space Center, John Cray’s “White Irish Drinkers” will open the festival. Programs include the Children & Family Series, Manhattan Documentary, Dramatic Shorts, Student Film, Variety Shorts, International Shorts, Comedic Shorts and Doc Shorts.

Sarajevo Film Festival–Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina–July 22 – 30

This fest’s focus in on the region of Southeast Europe, with its selected filmmakers competing in several feature, documentary and short film categories. Among the fest’s 17th year highlights are screenings of Aki Kaurismäki’s “Le Havre” (opening night), Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia,” Phillip Le Guay’s “Service Entrance” and Susanne Bier presenting “In A Better World” (closing night), plus Charlotte Rampling, as guest curator of the Katrin Cartlidge Foundation Award for 2011.

International Film Festival Locarno–Switzerland–August 3 – 13 [link]

This 64 year old festival, situated on the idyllic Lake Maggiore at the foot of the Alps in the medieval town of Locarno, boasts its audience as the soul of the fest. Like the Venice and Cannes festivals, this is one of the oldest and most diverse feasts in the world. The fest features competitions for features and shorts, as well as the usual retrospectives, independent showcases, special awards and tributes. Both “Un amour de jeunesse” from Mia Hansen-Løve (in its international premiere) and “Sette opere di misericordia,” the debut from Italian brothers Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, have been announced as part of the 2011 lineup. The fest’s Pardo d’onore Swisscom (Leopard of Honour) award will go to American filmmaker Abel Ferrara.

Rhode Island International Film Festival–Providence, RI–August 9 – 14

Fifteen years in, this is New England’s largest festival, with features, docs and shorts. Highlights this year include the opening night premiere of “Behind the Hedgerow: Eileen Slocum and the Meaning of Newport Society,” a salute to the World of Disney Animation including the premiere of “Waking Sleeping Beauty,” a GLBT Video Lounge and a special Music Docuemntart showcase.

Odense International Film Festival–Odense, Denmark–August 22 – 27 [link]

This free Danish shorts festival started in 1975 and strives to be “the cosiest, most courageous and adventurous short film festival.” Their program is varied and experimental, and includes debates, workshops, concerts and more.

The World Film Festival of Montreal–Montreal, Canada–August 26 – September 6 [link]

For 35 years the fest has offered film lovers a selection focused on cultural diversity, independence, creativity and innovation. The festival includes the competition categories World, First Films, Focus on World Cinema, Documenaries of the World, as well as the Cinema Under the Stars program (among this year’s free screenings are “The Shining,” “Blue Velvet” and “Cyrano de Dergerac”), Tributes and the Canadian Student Film Festival.

Cinefantasy Film Festival–São Paulo, Brazil–August 30 – September 11 [link]

This international fest specializes in “The fantastic movie,” which they describe as films that are “part real and part unreal. Meaning horror, science fiction and fantasy are subgenders that integrate the fantastic.” Since 2006, this fest has included screenings, panels, retrospectives, workshops and more.

Traverse City Film Festival–Traverse City, Michigan–July 26 – 31 [link]

Founded by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, and only six years in the making, this festival has grown to become one of the largest film festivals in the Midwest. Last year, there were over 106,000 admissions to 135 screenings, a number of them U.S. or world premieres.

Maine International Film Festival–Waterville, Maine–July 15 – 24 [link]

Highlights from the 14th annual film festival include a Mid-Life Achievement Award for Malcolm McDowell, screenings of newly restored prints of “Taxi Driver” and “The Conformist,” as well as the world premiere of documentary “In Good Time, the Piano Jazz of Marian McPartland.” “The Athlete” will open the fest and “Another Earth” will close it.

Las Vegas Film Festival–Las Vegas, Nevada–July 15 – 17 [link]
The fest will showcase Feature Films, Shorts, Foreign Films, Documentaries, Animation, Music Videos, Television Pilots, a Nevada Filmmakers Showcase, Experimental Films, a Screenplay Competition and more. The opening night premiere will be “The Story” and “The Encore of Tony Duran” will close the fest.

Jerusalem International Film Festival–Jerusalem, Israel–July 7 – 16 [link]

Screening between 150-200 films in a number of programs: Panorama, showcasing the best of international feature films; Documentary Films, dedicated to international documentary film-making, The Jewish Experience, dealing with issues of Jewish identity and history, In the Spirit of Freedom, concerned with questions of freedom and human rights, Television Dramas, New Directors, and of course, Israeli Film. “Super 8” will be featured as the 28th annual film festival’s Gala Opening.

Melbourne International Film Festival–Melbourne, Australia–July 21 – August 7 [link]

With “The Fairy” opening the fest, other highlights include: the festival’s largest program, International Panorama, which will spotlight almost 60 films including MIFF guest Mike Mills’ “Beginners,” festival guest Pia Marais’ “At Ellen’s Age,” and Mike Cahill’s “Another Earth.” Other highlights include a program of 12 films dubbed “Festival Scope,” featuring “acclaimed new filmmaking out of the European Union.” Among the films screening are “Finnesterrae,” and “The Solitude of Prime Numbers.”

American Black Film Festival–Miami, Florida–July 6 – 9 [link]

The world premiere of “In the Hive” is set to open the 15th edition of the festival, which will feature over 20 other screenings and programs.

Boston French Film Festival–Boston, Massachusetts–July 7 – 24 [link]

Dedicated to the hybrid cinephile/francophiles, this year’s festival will open with “The Women on the Sixth Floor” and will feature its first Video Art Program. Highlights also include a restored print of Truffaut’s “The Soft Skin,” Godard’s polemic “Film Socialisme” and the late Alain Corneau’s “Love Crime.”

Pan African Film Festival/National Black Arts Festival–Atlanta, Georgia–July 13 – 14 [link]

The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) is once again partnering with the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) to bring two days of award-winning Pan African Films to Atlanta, Georgia, July 13 &14. All films will be screened at the beautiful Realto Center for the Arts. The event kicks off with Andrew Stone’s “Stormy Weather” (1943, 78 min.)

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