Use this Boston Film Festival Guide to find more than a dozen annual film festivals held in Boston throughout the year, plus the most convenient hotels if you're visiting from out of town.
If you're really addicted to movies, check out our list of excellent film schools in Boston where you can learn to make your own.
Some of these Boston film festivals attract large crowds and boast an international reputation, such as the Boston Underground Film Festival, the Boston Film Festival, and the Boston International Film Festival. Others draw smaller numbers of equally enthusiastic fans.
Most film festivals in Boston allow you to buy single tickets, or choose passes or packages good for multiple days and events. Even bigger savings may be available through Goldstar.
Festival venues include regular Boston movie theaters, colleges and universities, Boston museums, and even the grassy expanse of the Boston Esplanade. Most of these film festivals include additional events such as panel discussions, workshops, and social events.
Only 1 day (after all, the films are short!) of Russian Films
10 days of sci-fi movies and videos, including "The 'Thon"
9 days of Bugs Bunny and Looney Tunes, usually overlapping with winter school vacation week . . . doesn't get better than this!
8 days of experimental films, indie films, alternative vision films
4 days of Irish cinema
10-day festival screening the best local and international experimental and independent films.
This 8-day film festival features indie films from around the world, plus lots of panels and parties, and attracts art house fans from Boston as well as across the U.S.
The new Boston Running Film Festival takes place on Patriots Day Weekend before the Boston Marathon and features films about running.
Almost 2 weeks long, the LGBT Film Festival screens a wide selection of LGBT movies and videos from around the world.
Family classics every Friday under the stars on Boston's Esplanade - June - August.
This 4-day film festival features films written, acted, produced, and directed by filmmakers from around the world with African roots.
Family favorites every Saturday during July and August
Spanning 2 weeks, this annual film festival showcases contemporary French films.
Best area to stay for all of the July Film Festivals: Hotels near the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
Free Chinese Film Festival in Chinatown.
Highly regarded among actors, filmmakers, and film enthusiasts - world premiers, plus lots of question and answer sessions, discussions, and receptions.
Four exciting days of dozens of international Latino films, receptions, and special events, along with the participation of 15 well-known local, national, and international directors.
The best in Jewish-themed films - typically features 30+ films and shorts..
- See if the film festival offers blocks of tickets or package deals - always cheaper than buying single tickets!
- Get on Goldstar's mailing list or check their website periodically to look for movie discount ticket deals - typical savings of about 50% mean you'll get half-price tickets! Not all festivals list their tickets with Goldstar - but it's always worth a look.
- If you're a student, check the film festival's website for student discount prices - ditto if you qualify for senior savings.
- Most film festivals have a sponsoring organization; join it, and you'll usually get a discount on film festival tickets, plus you'll have the pleasure of supporting a group related to your interests.
Hooked on films and want to make your own?
Because of our 60+ universities and colleges in Boston, we have some of the best film schools and programs in the United States.
If you are planning a film making career and want to get a head start, find out how these top Boston film schools and programs can help you in your profession.
Widely regarded as one of the best film schools in America and internationally famous for its communications, media, journalism, and broadcast programs, Emerson College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in film and video in its Visual and Media Arts Department. Study with top faculty and future stars, use Emerson's state-of-the-art equipment, network with Emerson College alumni in the entertainment industry. More about Emerson College
Boston University's film school, Center for Digital Imaging Arts in Waltham Massachusetts (and Washington DC), offers a certificate program in Digital Filmmaking taught by professionals in the field. Full-time and part-time formats focus on pre-production, production, and post-production to give you career-oriented training. More about BU's Center for Digital Imaging Arts
New York Film Academy holds summer workshops on the Harvard University campus each summer in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just across the Charles River from Boston. The full-time workshops include classes and film-making opportunities throughout the Boston and Cambridge area. More about the New York Film Academy
Massachusetts College of Art and Design - known locally as "MassArt" - offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in film and video taught by top-notch faculty, and provides a wide array of equipment for students to use. MassArt's film/video program features weekly screenings of an eclectic mix of films and videos, and usually an opportunity for discussion with the filmmaker. More about MassArt
Boston has its share of famous film makers and screenwriters who got their start in local venues - including some interesting beginnings: Mark Walhberg (rapped under the name "Marky Mark," modeled Calvin Klein underwear on giant billboards displayed all over Boston), Matt Damon (started acting while attending Cambridge Rindge and Latin), and Tommy Lee Jones (star football player at Harvard).
If you're planning to make your own films some day, check out these sources for film grants as a way to speed your journey.
Be sure to let us know when your film will be in a Boston film festival!
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