Tips for Attending a Film Festival

by Akhil Kalepu

Jul 10, 2015

Outdoor Screening at the Cannes Film Festival © Tatouata | Dreamstime

Tips / Travel

Whether it’s a local festival or one of the brand-name events, be sure to follow these tips to get the most of your film festival experience.


Plan Ahead

With simultaneous screenings being held at multiple venues, you’re going to have to pick and choose which ones you want to see the most. With minimal time between screenings, get a map to calculate the logistics of running from theater to theater. Some festivals will have shuttles available, but be cautious of third party busses and taxis unless you can confirm the schedule/destination.


Be Friendly

There are plenty of volunteers happy to give advice and direct you to the correct venue. You’re probably going to have to wait in line, which is a great chance to meet some fellow cinephiles, trade festival tips and hear about screenings that you missed.


Don’t Miss Out

Getting on a waitlist might grant you access to that screening everyone wants to see. Also, don’t be afraid to catch a matinee flick, which is more enjoyable if you like smaller crowds.


Go Obscure

It’s not uncommon to see big blockbusters premier at independent film festivals, so if you’re buying individual tickets, go outside the box and find something that isn’t going to get on Netflix for a while. Boyhood was one of the late submissions for 2014’s Sundance Film Festival, and it was never sold out despite being one of the year’s best films.


Get Out of the Box

If you have a ticket package, be sure to make time for non-theater events like writer panels, musical performances, swag showcases and more.



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