The Venice Film Festival is Italy's most important film festival but several other international film festivals are held in Italy, too. Here are Italy's major international film festivals. Even if you're not going to the film festival, it's a great chance for celebrity spotting.
Venice International Film Festival, La Biennale di Venezia, starts in early September at Venice Lido. The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in Italy and 2018 marked its 75th year. Each year top filmmakers compete for the coveted Golden Lion award. Screenings are restricted to those ages 18 and over and discount passes are available for those under 26 or over 60. Find out about passes and individual tickets on the festival website.
The Salento Film Festival, held in early September, is a top southern Italy film fest and addresses current topics such as peace and multi-cultural issues. Categories include world cinema, independent Italian cinema, and special sections. The Salento film fest takes place in Tricase in the Lecce province of Puglia, the toe of the boot. In June, they hold the Salento Fear Fest for those who enjoy scary movies.
Milano Film Fest, following the Venice festival, takes place for 10 days in September. Competitions include short films and feature films and there are special film categories each year. A pass good for all festival events can be bought on the website.
Next in line is the Rome Film Fest, a relatively new festival that starts in mid-October. The festival includes international film premieres, best independent cinema, and films for and by young people.
The Torino, or Turin, film festival takes place in late November. The Torino film festival serves as a meeting point for contemporary international cinema and to provide an opportunity to discuss the most recent artistic trends. It consists of 4 competitions and several non-competitive sections and pays particular attention to emerging cinema and young filmmakers.
Bolzano, near the Alps of northern Italy, holds an international festival of short films in November. It also includes a No Words Fest featuring films that communicate without the use of any words.
River to River is the first film festival in the world devoted to films from and about India. It takes place in Florence in December.