As flowers bloom, celebrities and cinema lovers come out in cities around the world to celebrate films both large and small. Here is a guide to the biggest and brightest and a few just beginning to make a splash.
Cannes, France, May 12 to 23
It’s synonymous with every A-list celebrity from Hollywood to Bollywood, and no red carpet gleams brighter than the one in Cannes. Events take place in the expanded “Palais des Festivals et des Congrès de Cannes,” the main one being the competition between about 20 films for the coveted Palme d’or. Screenings are limited to those “in the biz,” but if you’re lucky enough to have a hotel during the event, there’ll be plenty of stargazing. festival-cannes.com
PARIS, March 12 to 14
Begun in 2006 by Academy Award-honored Scott Hillier as a place where brilliant yet often underfunded European storytellers can showcase their films, the ÉCU, as it’s referred to, is all about celebrating the power of filmmaking in its most fundamental form. Best of all: You actually have a chance to score tickets and see some astonishing films. Tickets are available at ecufilmfestival.com. Those who book their tickets in advance will be entered into a drawing for prizes, including Mac computers.
Independent Film Festival boston
Boston, April 21to 28
With big-name guests (previous attendees include Ben Kingsley, Steve Buscemi, and Mary Stuart Masterson), this seven-day festival is the perfect excuse for visitors to go star spotting and explore historic Boston. One of the New England city’s most multicultural events, the purpose is to spotlight films that might otherwise fall under the radar. Tickets are available online beginning in April. iffboston.org
New York City, April 21 to May 2
Cofounders Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro, and Craig Hatkoff unveiled the Tribeca Film Festival as a means of bringing vibrancy to this NYC neighborhood and of supporting artistic talent. Today, the world-renowned gathering draws hundreds of thousands to this now-thriving area. Tickets are sold online, by telephone, and at the box office. Tickets for award winners are sold in advance — before they are named — and those films are shown on the last weekend of the festival, so think ahead and you’ll get a chance to see the film everyone is talking about. tribecafilm.com
Madison, Wisconsin, April 15 to 18
You might not think of the heartland when your mind turns to the silver screen, but the University of Wisconsin Madison Arts Institute takes full advantage of the town’s vibrant student body and educated residents to put on a festival chock-full of world-class films. The best aspect of small-town festivals such as this one: You can almost always score tickets the day of the screenings. You can also get tickets online starting March 20. wifilmfest.org