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Perhaps the most well-known top film festivals on the list, the Cannes Film Festival is known for attracting A-list stars.

If you are a fan of movies, and not just a fan, but a huge fan of them, consider attending a film festival during your next holiday. Throughout the world, there are countless celebrations that acknowledge and give credit where credit is due to mainstream and more unknown producers, directors, investors and actors on their most recent works. You’ll get to see stars up close and personal, and if you are able to sit in on a viewing, you’ll be months ahead of the curve for the upcoming awards season. If a film festival sounds like your ideal holiday, read on for information about five of the top film festivals you can attend.

Sundance Film Festival: Utah, USA

The Sundance Film Festival began back in 1978 as an event that would draw filmmakers to Utah, and away from the intense scene they’d be greeted by in Hollywood. Now, 34 years later, the Sundance Film Festival is the largest independent film festival in the entire United States. They show full-length films, shorts, documentaries, and animation and host a number of events that allows fans, film enthusiasts and the teams responsible for the films to start conversations and talk about their process.

International Film Festival: Rotterdam, Netherlands

While Rotterdam is often passed over for its large and more tourist-attracting neighbour Amsterdam, it is also a fantastic representation of Dutch culture. As its film festival presents, the International Film Festival is making a way for all genres of cinema to get recognition. Every year close to 350,000 people attend, and they tend to be seriously passionate movie-goers. To appeal to the crowds, directors are sure to strip away the excess parts of film (think trailers, commercials, and more) to ensure a true and pure viewing experience for their fans.

Cannes Film Festival: Cannes, France

Perhaps the most famous of the film festivals on this list, the Cannes Film Festival continuously sets the trend for the up-and-coming films every year. Cannes is the place to see and be seen, as it draws many A-list celebrities to showcase their most recent work. The French Riviera is an utterly brilliant location to enjoy a week of cinema history being made and since it runs through the middle of May, the warm temperatures and scenic spaces only add to this film festival’s appeal. While it takes an invitation to officially attend, the Tourist Office does offer passes for free nightly viewings at the Beach Cinema.

British Film Institute, London Film Festival: London, England

One could say that the London Film Festival was created so British greats could join the film festival celebrations. Back in 1956, the film critic Dilys Powell had the idea to create the festival after deciding that London needed their own cinematic party. He worked with the British Film Institute’s director, James Quinn, and together they had cinematic greats like Ingmar Berman and Luchino Visconti walk their red carpet. Since the first year, the London Film Festival has grown to include participants from over 50 countries. The British Film Institute, London Film Festival attracts all sorts of cinema-buffs from film fans, directors, writers, and producers, making up a 150,000 strong audience to take in the small documentaries and experimental films being previewed.

Movie buffs from around world will rejoice in the experience of attending a film festival where appreciation is spread throughout the full team of people working on movies, where small production companies get their foot in the door and where famous celebrities get to flex their acting chops. Pick your favourite and protect your investment in movie history with an essentials travel insurance plan from Cover-More New Zealand.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Ambrose Heron