Film Festivals is the equivalent to music festivals, just indoors and with air condition.

Film festivals give viewers a chance to watch films they probably wouldn’t have access to if they weren’t sold to a major film studio. These films are usually labors of love a filmmaker dedicated their time to. No matter if it is an amateur or a seasoned filmmaker, these films have a different energy. Independent films aren’t bogged down by studios but instead, have much more creative freedom and expression to share their stories. Film festivals give viewers new worlds to explore before they hit the silver screens. Film festivals celebrate true cinephiles around the world.

Here are a list of 9 film festivals you might want to check out this year:

Tribeca Film Festival

One of the most known festivals is the Tribeca Film Festival. It has already begun but will run until May 5, 2019. The prominent film festival is held in New York City. This film festival was founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff. Originally, it was a call to bring life back to the Tribeca area after the September 11 attacks. The Tribeca Film Festival showcases independent films and events for people who love television, games, and virtual reality.  There are panel conversations given by celebrities in the entertainment industry and this year featured Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. This film festival has a little bit of everything for everyone to enjoy.  Tickets can still be bought be at

NYC Independent Film Festival

The NYC Independent Film Festival will be held from May 5-12, 2019, held in New York City. This particular festival focuses on low-budget films and unknown filmmakers, truly highlighting indie filmmakers. Since 2010, this film festival has showcased 1,280 movies from 61 countries. This year they will host a Women in Film Panel and a Creators Panel among others. Tickets can be purchased at

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Chicago Underground Film Festival

The Chicago Underground Film Festival a.k.a CUFF will run from June 5-9, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. It is known as the longest running underground festival in the world. Jay Bliznick, a Columbia College film student decided to go against the lack of inclusivity of existing film festivals. CUFF celebrates films that are radical and cutting-edge; films that are just different. It has become more than a film festival and more of a cultural event. Captivating performances are a unique experience that follows right after the screenings with concerts headlined by Big Chief, The Gaza Stripper, Califone to name a few. Roger Ebert told the Chicago Sun-Times, “what you get for your money is not just admission to the films but admission to a subculture.” Tickets can be purchased at

T.O. WebFest

The T.O. WebFest commences July 11 to July 13, 2019. Since 2014, T.O. WebFest has taken place in Toronto. It is referred to as a digital content festival. The focus is to “support, connect, promote, and celebrate independent content creators from Canada and around the world.”  In addition to screenings, there are panels, networking events, and opportunities to hone pitching skills. Tickets will be available to be purchased at

Black Harvest Film Festival

The Black Harvest Film Festival has no set date yet, but it will be August 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. This film festival is recognized as “a vibrant celebration of independent films that tell the stories and explore the images, heritage, and history of the worldwide Black experience.”  It is a film festival that actually showcases and does it for the culture. This year will be the 25thanniversary, so it is bound to be even more exciting. The Black Harvest Film Festival is held at Chicago’s premier movie theater, Gene Siskel Film Center. More information can be found at

New York Film Festival

The New York Film Festival will run from September 27- October 13, 2019.   This film festival is notably one of the more famous ones. It highlights the work of newcomers as well as seasoned veterans. Many famous actors, producers, and directors have showcased their work during this festival, which has the probability of being picked up for the big screen. Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk premiered last year at the film festival and has now earned actress Regina King her first Oscar win. The film festival includes panels, a gala, and immersive experiences.  For more information, please visit

Nashville Film Festival

The Nashville Film Festival a.k.a NashFilm is one of the first film festivals in the United States and will celebrate its 50thanniversary this October. The film festival will be held October 3-12, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. The short films presented here have Academy Award qualifying status which is quite appealing to many filmmakers. Since Nashville is known as Music City, the music is just as important during this film festival. Collaboration between artists and filmmakers is highly encouraged during NashFilm. Many celebrities have attended NashFilm including Oprah Winfrey, Matthew McConaughey, and Rob Thomas. More information can be found at

AFI Fest

The AFI Fest will be held on November 14-21, 2019 in Hollywood, California. The film festival is present by Audi and is the American Film Institute’s celebration of film. It is the first and only festival of its prominence that is free to the public. It is a true party in Hollywood with red carpet events, screenings, and panel discussions featuring celebrities. The film festival also recognizes emerging filmmakers. AFI Fest has screened many films that have gone on to be blockbuster hits like SelmaLa La Land, and American Sniper to name a few. For more information, please visit

New York City Horror Film Festival

The New York City Horror Film Festival will run from December 5-8, 2019 in NYC. This film festival celebrates the horror and science fiction genre of the movie industry. The film festival includes parties, celebrities, and special screenings. It is the chance to celebrate the gore and fantasy of the entertainment industry. More information can be found at

Whether you are a film lover or just looking to catch a film before it hits the silver screen, this short list is full of film festivals that can appeal to lovers of any genre.

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Evelande Dufrene

Turning my thoughts into words for the culture.

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