Top 10 Oldest Film Festivals

There are film festivals all over the world. In fact, there are thousands that are held in small towns everywhere. This wasn’t always the case. There are some festivals that were created much earlier than the rest.

The Venice Film Festival is by far the oldest still active film festival, followed by Cannes. The age of these festivals and the decades of history make these two of the most important and prestigious film festivals in the world. Like Berlin and Locarno, these festivals tend to show the best of European and American film, though all are open to international submissions.

In 1946, Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), began hosting the oldest film festival behind the (then) Iron Curtain. Even today, this festival celebrates its position as a mid-point between the East and the West. Many of the films come from the Czech Republic and other former Soviet Bloc countries, giving this festival its own style and culture.

In Goa, the International Film Festival of India highlights both Indian and international film. For over 53 years, this festival has been highlighting some of the world’s most prominent filmmakers, actors, and contributors. Their prestigious awards easily rival any of Europe’s best for importance and influence.

South America’s oldest running film festival in Mar del Plata, Venezuela, is the Cannes of the region. The grandfather of all other Latin film festivals, Mar del Plata is an amazing event filled with spectacle and profound art. The people who have stepped to the stage to collect awards rank in the who’s who of Latin American cinema for over 60 years.

The most exciting thing about this list of oldest film festivals is that these represent the longevity of great cinema. From the Hollywood blockbusters to the avant-garde upstarts, these film festivals have been making film careers for over half a century and continue to make movie history.

  1. 1932 – Venice, Italy – Venice Film Festival –

  2. 1946 – Cannes, France –

  3. 1946 – Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic –

  4. 1946 – Locarno, Switzerland –

  5. 1947 – Edinburgh, Scotland –

  6. 1951 – Berlin, Germany –

  7. 1951 – Melbourne, Australia –

  8. 1952 – Mannheim & Heidelberg, Germany –

  9. 1952 – Goa, India –

  10. 1954 – Mar del Plata, Argentina –

Article written by Bob Peryea for The Monthly Film Festival


1 Comment
  • Michael Marlatt

    No Yorkton Film Festival out of Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada? Established in 1947 and first festival taking place in 1950.

    Reply November 9, 2017

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