AudNews’ List of 14 Best Film Festivals for Spring

April 29, 2015

Featured image courtesy of Phoenix Film Festival.

With only nine days until springtime officially begins, I am excited to roll out this list of film festivals that are screening films along the bank of the Arkansas River,  hosting parties outside in beautiful South Central Oregon and celebrating cinema in a historic art deco theater against the Santa Lucia mountains of California.  These festivals aren’t just playing movies, they’re celebrating the art form and educating youth on the creative importance of films, providing them a voice.

San Luis Obispo International Film Festival San Luis Obispo, California

March 10-15, 2015

MISSION: To entertain, educate and inspire film-goers and filmmakers. Movies Matter!

San Luis Obispo International Film Festival began last night at the stylish Luna Red restaurant in downtown San Luis Obispo. Followed by the exclusive VIP Opening Night Ceremony, and the coming-of-age, road trip movie The Road Within, attended by writer/director Gren Wells,  the festival kicked its 21st birthday in style. The five day event exhibits contemporary and classic films in the art deco Fremont Theatre and the independent venue, Palm Theatre, with the “Surf Nite” a highly anticipated event happening on Thursday.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 13.00.22

Photo of Historic Faemont Theater courtesy of Facebook.

Taos Shortz Film Fest Taos, New Mexico

March 19-22, 2015

Mission: We are a forum that unites short films and filmmakers with the community, with the belief that films have the ability to change peoples lives.

The North Central New Mexican hub for the arts, Taos, celebrates its annual short film festival this month for one week. Celebrating the short film form, the Taos Shortz Film Fest supports filmmakers by providing them the opportunity to showcase their work and networking opportunities with workshops, panels and parties.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 13.04.17

Photo of Taos Shortz Film Fest Animation Hotline courtesy of Facebook.

Atlanta Film Festival Atlanta, Georgia

March 20-29, 2015

The Atlanta Film Festival is not only an exhibition of film, but an institution that celebrates its fourth decade this spring. Offering year-round events, filmmaker residencies and internships, the Atlanta Film Festival is Georgia’s premiere cinematic event, and one of the Academy Award® qualifying festivals in the U.S. The festival showcases a mix of independent, international, animated, documentary and short films to an audience of over 25,000.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 13.08.24

Photo of Plaza Theatre courtesy of Facebook.

Phoenix Film Festival Phoenix, Arizona

March 26- April 2, 2015

With its 15th anniversary coming up this spring, the Phoenix Film Festival celebrates being Arizona’s largest film festival. Named one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals” by MovieMaker Magazine, the festival offers a free film summer camp, seminars, middle school and high school programs, and a favorite movie screening series with classics like The Breakfast Club, The Big Lebowsi and Grease.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 13.14.33

Photo of Phoenix Film Festival courtesy of Facebook.

Ashland Independent Film Festival Ashland, Oregon

April 9-13, 2015

Mission: Celebrating the diversity of human experience through the art of independent film—enriching, educating and inspiring audiences of all ages.

Ashland Independent Film Festival is a first-rate festival– an event for cinephiles. The festival’s home was called “a dream you’ll never want to leave,” by the Washington Post. Screening nearly 100 independent feature, documentary and short films in the art deco Varsity Theatre and Historical Ashland Armory, film lovers gather for five days to celebrate the collaborative art form that is film.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 13.16.55

Photo courtesy of Alex Aca Georgevitch.

Florida Film Festival Orlando, Florida

April 10-19

Mission: Since 1992, Enzian has been the proud producer of the Florida Film Festival. As part of its mission to entertain, inspire, educate, and connect the community through film, Enzian presents innovative and original cinematic programming not just during the Festival, but all year long.

This Academy Award® qualifying festival is “bringing so much love of film to new generations of young people…You touched my heart,” says Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight. Screening at the Enzian Cafe cinema and bar, Florida Film Festival screens 170 films in ten days.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 13.24.42

Photo courtesy of Inanimate Blog.

BC Student Film Festival Vancouver, British Columbia

April 23-26, 2015

The BC Student Film Festival is an event focused around student filmmakers and the teachers who inspire their future. The festival awards scholarships, trophies and prizes to filmmakers in different age groups and skill levels. The festival also hosts workshops with industry professionals, screenings and activities where students, those involved in media education and people in the industry have the opportunity to network.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 13.32.23

Photo courtesy of BC Student Film Festival.

National Film Festival for Talented Youth Seattle, Washington

April 23-26, 2015

Mission: The mission of NFFTY is to enable, nurture, promote and encourage the next generation of filmmakers to inspire, lead and entertain the world with their stories.

This non-profit was the idea of three teenagers which grew to an organization that helps young filmmakers and artists to excel in their career as filmmakers. Founding member Jesse Harris,  was 17 when he wrote and directed his first feature. The feature, Living Life, obtained distribution just after his high school graduation.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 13.38.22

Photo courtesy of Facebook.

New York City International Film Festival New York City, New York

April 30- May 7, 2015

Mission: NYCIFF festival is committed to bringing the best cinematography from around the world to New York. We help to provide a platform for talented domestic and international filmmakers to showcase their work.

New York City International Film Festival is dedicated to screening films that have premiered in New York. In 2014 the festival sent one feature-length and one short film to the Academy to be considered for an Oscar®.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 13.46.04

Photo of Ionna Meli, winner of 2014 New York City International Film Festival Best Lead Actress/ courtesy of

Little Rock Film Festival Little Rock, Arkansas

May 11-17, 2015

Along the banks of the Arkansas River in the historic River Market District, The Little Rock Film Festival showcases some of the best narrative, documentary and short films from around the globe. Listed as one of the top 25 festivals most “worth the entry fee,” by MovieMaker Magazine, films at Little Rock all make their Arkansas premiere. Little Rock Film Festival celebrates its southern roots by treating their guests and audiences with southern hospitality, providing them with the best international films, a river boat cruise, warehouse dance and other memorable parties and events.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 13.54.57

Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Seattle International Film Festival Seattle, Washington

May 14- June 7, 2015

Mission: SIFF’s mission is to create experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world. It is through the art of cinema that we foster a community that is more informed, aware, and alive.

Seattle International Film Festival has celebrated the power of film for 41 years. The festival lasts for 25 days and is the “largest, most highly attended film festival in the United States reaching more than 150,000 annually.” The Festival has multiple venues throughout the Emerald City, including the SIFF Film Center, which neighbors the Seattle Center and Space Needle.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 14.01.10

Photo courtesy of Media Inc.

Brooklyn Film Festival New York City, New York

May 29- June 7

Mission: BFF mission is to provide a public forum in Brooklyn in order to advance public interest in films and the independent production of films.

Voted as one of 50 film festivals “worth the entry fee,” by MovieMaker Magazine last year, The Brooklyn Film Festival encourages the public to engage in independent film by providing a diverse lineup of films, special events, and the BFF exchange. Free and open to the public, BFF Exchange gives filmmakers the opportunity to pitch their works-in-progress in front of a panel of industry professionals.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 14.02.35

Photo courtesy of Facebook.

deadCENTER Film Festival Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

June 10-14, 2015

Last year deadCENTER Film Festival went on their first festival and education tour around Oklahoma. The tour was a celebration of their 15th anniversary.  In 15 cities across Oklahoma, deadCENTER collaborated with art councils, movie theaters, theater groups, universities and high schools. The education program encouraged students to think creatively, collaborate with others and to have a voice amongst their peers. The event following every day of the tour was a screening of Oklahoma made features and short films.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 14.05.52

Photo courtesy of Facebook.

LA Film Fest Los Angeles, California

June 10-18, 2015

Mission: Los Angeles is where creativity lives. The L.A. Film Fest offers unparalleled access to creative voices through energetic film programming, master classes, live performances and conversations with the most compelling artists working today.

“Designed to rekindle the excitement and glamour of storytelling in LA,” the LA Film Fest showcases the best independent films, TV, emerging online content, and studio releases to an audience of 90,000 every year. The festival’s anticipated events include their filmmaker retreat, Music in Film Nights at the GRAMMY Museum, master classes, networking opportunities and a film financing market panel.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 14.08.48

Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Interested in screening a short film showcase on AudPop? Learn more here:


Related Posts

Supporting and connecting diverse filmmakers to amazing brands, festivals, and opportunities. Let's Get Started