Move over Cannes: 10 of Europe’s best summer film festivals | festivals
The annual animation festival in France is ideally timed to combine sunny visits to the lake and castles of this pretty French mountain town with film screenings. At night they show new and classic movies outdoors. This year’s opening film is Minions: The Rise of Gru and special screenings include Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear and Netflix animated title The Sea Beast.
Festival pass: from £63. Stay: Ibis Annecy Center Vieille Ville, double from £175 or check the official site for camping options
Mediterranean Film Festival, Split, Croatia
June 16-25, 2022
Croatia’s second-largest city is packed with historic sites, museums and nightlife, and its beautiful coastal setting makes it a particularly scenic film festival. During the day, screenings take place in a cinema inside the walls of the 1,700-year-old Diocletian’s Palace, an ideal base for sightseeing. As their name suggests, they focus on Mediterranean films that might be hard to access elsewhere. It is a festival that prides itself on its positive and friendly atmosphere and parties, many of which take place at the open-air cinema on Bačvice beach.
Festival pass: to be determined. Stay: the sustainable Hotel Slavija near the sea front, double of £145
TransInternational Film Festival of Ylvania, Romania
Nicknamed the “Treasure City,” historic Cluj-Napoca has a year-round creative buzz, but really comes alive when the film festival is in town. Screenings take place in a range of stunning locations, from castles to open-air museums to churches. On June 21, it screened the 1972 documentary Moonwalk One, with live musical accompaniment from the French group Invaders. It will also support Ukrainian filmmakers with special film screenings, including Valentyn Vasyanovych’s powerful Reflection.
Festival pass: from £29. Stay: one of the many good value options is the funky Hotel Lol and Loladouble from £6
Munich Film Festival/Filmfest München, German
June 23-July 2
Berlin may be Germany’s best-known film festival, but for sunnier weather head to Munich in June. First held in 1983, it screens around 200 films and attracts star-studded guests such as Melanie Griffith, Michael Caine, Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes and Antonio Banderas. The Kinderfest component welcomes young people for special screenings. As a city, Munich has more than enough to keep you busy, from over 80 museums to famous beer gardens – perfect for chatting up a day of movie watching.
Festival pass: details to be announced soon. Stay: Hotel Buddy, downtown, doubles £129
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Czech Republic
This beautiful city in the Czech Republic hosts one of the oldest festivals in the world and is a firm favorite with moviegoers. The festival pass offers discounts at select sights in the Karlovy Vary region until the end of 2022, as well as free transport via festival buses and free bike rental, so you can explore the surrounding area. It presents around 200 feature films from around the world and supports new talent. This year’s program has yet to be announced; last year he created the excellent Boiling Point, with Stephen Graham.
Festival pass: from £27. To stay: Grandhotel Pupp was the inspiration for the Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson; from £130or camp in the “Tent Village” in the Rolava Recreational area
Locarno film festival, Switzerland
Located between lake and mountains, the Italian-Swiss city celebrates international cinema every August in breathtaking locations. The open-air Piazza Grande seats 8,000 people – it’s the largest open-air screening room in Europe and can be a breathtaking experience. Locarno has a great reputation for its quality arthouse films: this year it will pay tribute to the formidable independent director Kelly Reichardt (First Cow) and organize many special events for its 75th anniversary.
Festival pass: from £30 per day, keep an eye on the website. Living room: Casa Elisabetta, double of £103or search for B&B nearby Ascona, LosoneMinusio, Tenero or Gordola
Venice Film Festival, Italy
August 31-September 10
One of the most accessible and stylish of the world’s major film festivals, Venice is the one to book if you’re getting serious at Cannes Fomo. The main screenings actually take place on the small island of Lido, where many industry professionals also stay, but those based in Venice can enjoy a nice boat trip to watch premium films, most accessible to the public. Last year’s guests included Penelope Cruz, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kristen Stewart and Kirsten Dunst.
Festival pass: to be determined.
To stay: Hotel Villa Orio on the Lido, double from £83or Albergo Marin in Venicefrom £86
San Sebastian film festival, Spain
Held in the Spanish city of San Sebastián (Donostia), the international festival is known for its wide range of film screenings, stunning beach views and incredible food scene. You’ll also spot bars like Al Pacino and Tarantino, and moviegoers love hanging out at the María Cristina Hotel, where the stars stay. The exhibition “Imagine a film festival” will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the event.
Tickets: 2022 prices to be determined, on sale from September 11; (in 2021 prices ranged from £1.50 for children’s screenings to £80 for the Opening and Closing Galas). September. Stay: Affordable options include Hotel Avenida, doubles from £100
Zurich Film Festival, Switzerland
September 22-October 2
If Cannes and Venice are the grandmothers of the European festival scene, ZFF is the hip teenager. It started in 2005 and quickly caught on, with thousands of people from the industry visiting the Swiss city to see the work of up-and-coming filmmakers. Zurich is attractive, sophisticated and easy to explore, with plenty of arty spots and trendy bars. Discover the Kunsthaus and Rietberg museums, and don’t miss Chagall’s stained glass windows in the Fraumünster. Festival pass: from £30 for a day pass, up to four screenings per day. Individual tickets will go on sale in September. Stay: the stylish Marta Hotel in the old town, £112
Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival, Spain
October 26-November 1
One of the fastest growing film festivals in Europe, showcasing a culturally diverse mix of feature films, short films and virtual reality projects, EMIFF was one of the “TOP 50 Film Festivals Worth The Entry fee” from MovieMaker five years in a row. Everything is centrally located so you can easily explore cultural highlights such as the cathedral. This year’s festival is expected to include a drive-in cinema showing contemporary classics, a “made in Balearics” program that highlights local talent from the islands and live podcast recordings such as Girls on Film. Day trip options include the seaside port of Port Soller, the sleepy mountain town of Fornalutx, and the Ses Rotes winery in Esporles.
Festival pass: from £85which includes all films except the closing night. Stay: Hotel Saratoga, in the heart of Palma, from £112