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History of Film Festivals

In the 1960s, as the film industry in European and Asian countries began to expand, Cannes' most prestigious awards were diverted from French films to films produced in Sweden, Italy, Great Britain, and Japan.

It was in the 1970s that the proliferation of film festivals briefly referenced above began to occur. McCarthy (S4) contends that Cannes responded by extending its festival events and transforming itself into "a teeming cinematic bazaar for buyers and sellers, as well as a place for buffs to search for diamonds in the rough." Cannes became much larger and stronger at a time in the early 1970s when Venice, its chief competitor for the title of most prestigious film festival, experienced political and organizational chaos. The Berlin Film Festival, "the other biggest competitive event in Europe, also experienced some bumpy times, leaving Cannes indisputably alone at the top of the heap" (McCarthy S5).

Pratley (S14) maintains that the 1970s also saw renewed political tensions that disrupted the Cannes festival and led some cities, including New York, to create their own competitive film festivals. Florence also holds a film festival as does Tel Aviv, which annually produces the Annual Festival of Student Cinema (Dayan 41).

Toronto, as well as Montreal, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and a number of European and Asian cities also hold annual film festivals (Roman 9). Among the festivals that are still most important are the Berlinae, a film festival held in Berlin that had a cache as a buffer between East and West during the Cold War (Cowie 2 43).

A recent and extremely popular and influential film festival is held under the auspices of Robert Redford in Sundance, Utah. According to Dayan (47), the Sundance is a festival that was designed to highlight the works of independent filmmakers and younger directors and producers who do not work within the mainstream studio tradition. Sundance is seen as a quint...

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History of Film Festivals. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:26, August 17, 2017, from
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