Florida Film FestivalMany U.S. destinations can deliver a taste of Hollywood at film festivals, along film trails and on film locations

By Josephine Matyas

The lure of the Silver Screen can be irresistible. For those mesmerized by the glitz and glam of films and television, many U.S. destinations can deliver a taste of Hollywood at film festivals, along film trails and on film locations immortalized on the big screen. So, without further ado, “the envelope, please…”

You’d expect that the nation’s centre of film production would offer events year-round (and you’d be right!).
San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF), April 21 to May 5
For 54 years, the SFIFF has been an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation (to date: almost 7,000 films from more than 120 countries to nearly two million filmgoers). www.sffs.org
Another Hole in the Head Film Festival, June 3 to 16
An entire festival dedicated to bizarre and underground horror movies: three weeks of celluloid mayhem! www.sfindie.com
San Francisco Documentary Film Festival (DocFest), October
These documentaries, while exploring fun and lighthearted subject matter, often uncover serious truths. www.sfindie.com
San Francisco Independent Film Festival, February 2012
The 13th annual film festival screens the best of independent films and videos from the Bay Area and beyond. www.sfindie.com
The 12th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival, April 28 to May 5
Spotlighting more than 300 films from around the world, including feature length narrative, documentary, short, animated and student films. www.newportbeachfilmfest.com
Southern California Gray Line offers The ‘OC’ Experience sightseeing tour, highlighting Newport Beach, the crown jewel of the California Riviera, famous for its harbour, incredible beachfront mansions and world class shopping. Newport Beach is the “on location” site for the hit television series The OC. www.graylineanaheim.com

Who knew that Oregon was the location for so many movies? Get a guide to the homes and sites around the coastal town of Astoria used in films like Kindergarten Cop, Short Circuit and Free Willy. www.oldoregon.com/visitor-info/entry/movie-tours/
The da Vinci Film Festival, July 15 to 17
A juried screening of more than 30 short films in multiple genres including documentary, animation, narrative and experimental. www.davincidays.org/

Florida Film Festival, April 8 to 17
Showcasing the best in cutting-edge current cinema with a mix of industry parties and special events. More than 25,000 guests attend each year, including more than 100 visiting directors, producers and award-winning talent. www.floridafilmfestival.com

Las Vegas Film Festival, June 10 to 12
Las Vegas’ premiere film event dedicated to showcasing the finest in American and international cinema, and to bridging the gap between independent film audiences and filmmakers. The festival showcases feature films, shorts, foreign films, documentaries, animation, music videos, television pilots and hosts a screenplay competition. www.lvfilmfest.com

South Carolina
Myrtle Beach International Film Festival, April 19 to 23
A truly independent film festival for independent artists. www.myrtlebeachfilmfestival.com

The Chicago Film Tour hits more than 30 sites where over 50 movies were shot, from Hollywood blockbusters like The Dark Knight and The Fugitive to Chicago favourites like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Blues Brothers, and movie classics like North by Northwest and The Sting. At each location, watch scenes come to life on multiple video screens while getting up close and personal with memorable locations. www.chicagofilmtour.com
Chicago International Film Festival, October 6 to 20
Last year, the CIFF presented more than 150 films from 50 countries, including over 40 films by first-time directors. What new films, experiences and stories will the 47th Chicago International Film Festival bring? www.chicagofilmfestival.com

Little Rock Film Festival, June 1 to 5
The stage is set in downtown Little Rock for the best in narrative, documentary and short films from around the world. Guests can view over 100 films in multiple categories. Movie Maker Magazine named the festival one of the “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” and many refer to it as the “Best Little Film Festival in the South.” www.littlerockfilmfestival.org

For more great film festivals, trails and events check online at www.canadiantraveller.net and www.discoveramericacanada.org

To find out more about the Discover America - Canada Committee, attend a meeting or receive the bi-monthly newsletter, contact them by fax at (416) 352-5567, by e-mail at admin@seeamerica.ca or visit www.discoveramericacanada.org

Web Extras

San Francisco Silent Film Festival, July 14 to 17
This festival promotes silent film as art and historical record. www.silentfilm.org

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 21 to August 8
Films from American and international filmmakers showcase the diversity and vitality of Jewish culture. www.sfjff.org

Fantastic Fest, Sept. 22 to 29
The Austin, TX festival is the place to release sci-fi, horror, fantasy or action films in a community that truly embraces the art of cinema.

Anaheim International Film Festival, September
Filmmakers representing 30 different countries attended as well in an effort to highlight the local, national and international film industry. www.anaheimfilm.org

The Salem Film Festival, Oct. 14 to 21
Venues in Salem, Oregon include restored 1920s historic theatres, a small town drive-in theatre and a new 3-D facility. The festival holds competitions for local filmmakers. www.salemfilmfestival.com/2010/index.html

Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, October 21 to 30
The largest annual festival of films for children in the world, programming 250 films and videos from 40 countries. www.cicff.org

Berlin and Beyond Film Festival, October
This unique German language film festival provides highlights of recent European cinema. www.goethe.de/sanfrincisco

American Indian Film Festival, November 4 to 12
The world’s oldest festival dedicated to films by and about Native Americans showcases new and exciting work. www.aifisf.com

Noir City 9: San Francisco Film Noir Festival, January 2012
Dedicated to noir philosophy, attitude and style in films, books, art and music, the festival is the largest of its kind in the U.S. and promises “ultra rare films and very special guests.” www.noircity.com