For actors, filmmakers, screenwriters, producers, directors, and movie fans alike, film festivals are not only widely anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed, but they also present important opportunities for key figures in the industry. While attendees enjoy the events and their related festivities, industry hopefuls are getting noticed, stars are being discovered, and lives are being changed, possibly forever. These festivals gather people from across the globe and showcase all types of movies but usually focus on independent, non-mainstream, and lesser-known films.

Film festivals are ideal platforms for displaying movies from a vast spectrum of different countries, cultures, and creators. Depending on the location of the particular event, the multiple film collection, which encompasses all genres, can be viewed at a variety of theaters and locations, and many are even projected outdoors. Some are open to the public, and others are private and require invitations.

No matter the purpose or manner of attendance, festivals greet their guests with exciting and unique experiences. The list below includes some of the most popular film festivals to date, and luckily, a plethora of additional information is always readily available online.

Berlin International Film Festival
One of the top three of all time, the Berlin International Film Festival was founded in 1951 and has been held every February since 1978.

Cannes Film Festival
This exclusive, invitation-only celebration first started in 1946 in Cannes, France, and remains one of the top three to this day.

Sundance Film Festival
The largest independent film festival in America, Sundance, originated in Utah in 1978 and since then has evolved tremendously in its variety of film collections over the years.

Venice International Film Festival
The Venice International Film Festival in Italy holds the title of the oldest film festival in the world and ranks as the final of the top three.