Scorsese, Coppola, Lucas – All of these legendary directors were once students, learning their craft from experienced teachers. They created films that even today show the genius that would soon be evident in their feature works. To see the works of the next generation of great directors, here is a short list of some of the best student film festivals (besides our festival, of course). They feature works that long, short, live action, animated films and more.
Estonia – Sleepwalkers – This festival features short and medium length films, documentaries, and animations up to 45 mins long. The Grand Prixs are for Best Student Film, Best Short, Best Estonian Short, and special mentions. There is no fee to enter a film.
France – Angers Premiers Plans Film Festival – This fast features new films of various lengths. Not strictly student films, this festival gives students a platform to promote their films. They can even win a bit of money with their prizes.
Israel – Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival – Fiction, documentary, animation, and experimental films are all viewed at this festival that welcomes films from around the world. There are many prizes, including cash.
Poland – Festiwal Polskich Filmow Fabularnych – Presenting features, independents and students films, this festivals shows the finest works from throughout Poland, a nation with a long history of innovative and fascinating cinema.
Turkey – International Izmir Short Film Festival – Featuring shorts and students films, this Turkish film festival provides a platform to show films to an audience that is as international as the films themselves.
Thailand – World Film Festival of Bangkok – More than just students films, young directors can show their works alongside feature films, documentaries, and shorts from throughout the world. Unlike many festivals, this isn’t a competition, but is a showcase that highlights the global state of cinema.
Malta – Golden Knight Malta International Short Film Festival – Offering awards in many classes, this festival features shorts from amateurs, students, and more. Increasingly recognized for the quality of the entries, this festival is one of the new important festivals for upcoming directors.
Canada – Calgary International Film Festival’s Youth By Youth Cinema Program – Exclusively for students shorts, this is one of North America’s premier Canadian student film festivals.
Argentina – Festivale Internacional de Escualas de Cine (FIEC) International Students Film Festival – An international film festival, this fest is one of the most prominent and important Spanish language festivals in the world. This is a short film fest that showcases many of the world’s finest up and coming directors.
Russia – St. Petersburg International Festival of Debut and Student Film Beginning – Thirty to 45 minute films that feature first films, documentaries, animation, and even a 5-minute fiction film competition.
Students can get a head start on a shining career by submitting early work to film festivals all over the world. Every continent and every major nation has one or several of these festivals to submit to. Those of us who are huge fans of film, particularly innovative film, can see the future on the screen through the work of young people.