Travel Picks: World's top 10 film festivals

Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:41am EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - With the Sundance Film Festival starting next Thursday and the Oscars not too far off, the movie buffs at online travel adviser Cheapflights (http:/// have compiled a top 10 list of their favorite film festivals across the globe. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. Sundance Film Festival - Park City, Utah, United States

Sundance Film Festival started out in 1978 as an event designed to attract more filmmakers to Utah while staying away from the overpowering Hollywood scene. Thirty-four years later, Sundance is the largest independent film festival in the United States, exhibiting feature-length films, documentaries, shorts, and animation while fostering dialogues among film enthusiasts. This year, the festival will run from Jan 19-29 in Park City, Utah, showcasing 200 films whittled down from nearly 9,000 submissions. Can't make it to the big event? On Jan 26, nine movie theaters across the United States will be hosting a filmmaker and his or her work as part of Sundance Film Festival USA, so you may be able to participate in the festivities wherever you are.

2. International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Though it receives less tourist traffic than its neighboring city, Amsterdam, Rotterdam is a modern representation of Dutch culture, and its annual film festival is constantly paving the way for all genres of innovative and thought-provoking cinema. This year's event will run from Jan 25 to Feb 5, and will encompass 19 screening venues - upwards of 350,000 viewers are expected to attend. Rotterdam attendees are passionate movie-goers, so program directors make a point of stripping down the superfluous aspects of film, like commercials and trailers, for an untarnished viewing experience.

3. Cannes International Film Festival - Cannes, France

The highly esteemed Cannes Film Festival sets the trend for up-and-coming cinema every year while boosting the film industry's caliber worldwide. As one of the most prominent film events recognized internationally, Cannes is the place for big names in cinema to show their latest work. Set along the pristine beaches of the French Riviera, warm temperatures and bright sunshine only add to the exciting atmosphere of the event. This year's star-studded festival will run from May 16-27. Attending the festival is by invitation only, but we suggest heading to the Tourist Office and getting passes to the Beach Cinema for free nightly screenings.

4. Guadalajara Film Festival - Guadalajara, Mexico

Considered the most significant film affair in Latin America, Guadalajara Film Festival is an important cultural event, showcasing Mexican and Latino talent alongside other international works of cinematic art. Thanks to Guadalajara Film Festival, Latin American film has become a competitor in the global film industry. From March 2-12, over 100,000 film lovers are expected to flood the streets and theaters of Guadalajara, viewing close to 200 films. While not as chaotic as Mexico City, Guadalajara is a destination perfect for exploring colonial history, enjoying the Mexican culture, shopping street markets and savoring traditional regional cuisine.   Continued...

<p>The Egyptian Theatre is seen during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 21, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>