With the advent of social media in the mid-naughties, film festival strategy changed immediately. Like filmmakers, some chose to engage, and other festivals chose to ignore. We did a survey of film festival social media engagement on the 22nd of December 2017. The results of the top 50 film festivals on Twitter are published below.

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Rank Festival  Follow on Twitter  Followers  Website
 1  San Diego Comic-Con began in 1970 when a group of comics, movie, and science fiction fans — including the late Shel Dorf, Ken Krueger, and Richard Arf — banded together to put on the first comic book convention in southern California.  @Comic_Con  1, 678 106  comic-con.org
 2 Sundance began in Salt Lake City in August 1978, as the Utah/USFilm Festival in an effort to attract more filmmakers
to Utah. It was founded by Sterling Van Wagenen (then head of Wildwood, Robert Redford’s company), John Earle, and Cirina Hampton Catania (both serving on the Utah Film Commission
at the time).
@Sundancefest 850 036       Sundance.org
 3 La Biennale, the Venice Film Festival is the world’s first and most exclusive film festivals, specializing in world premieres.  @la­_Biennale  711 093  labiennale.org
 4  In recent years SXSW film strand has become one of the most important film events in the world. Combining 250 films, over 2,000 meticulously selected gigs, and the interactive conference which launched Twitter in 2007, South By’s selection focuses on North American indies, music docs and anything out of the ordinary.  @sxsw  631 719  sxsw.com
 5  BAFTA is a special part of this list because this isn’t a real film festival instead the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent art charity.  @BAFTA  437 197  bafta.org
 6  Set up by Robert DeNiro to reinvigorate the TriBeCa area, Tribeca Film Festival has now become one of the most watched (and best funded) festivals in the US offering a mix of independent and mainstream US premieres.  @Tribeca  405 345  tribecafilm.com
 7 Toronto International Film Festival Formerly named the ‘Festival of Festivals’, Toronto was set up to promote tourism in downtown Toronto, showcasing only the best films from other festivals. When the festival rebranded in 1984 it had already grown a significant audience following, and with a huge inwards investment from both the government and various foundations, managed to cement a year-round facility the Bell Lightbox in 2010.  @TIFF_NET  402 238  tiff.net
 8  The king of festivals, Cannes is the most important date in filmmakers’ calendar. Attracting hundreds of parties, glamour, yachts and celebrities, it also runs in parallel with a number of other festivals all serving under the same banner.  @Festival_Cannes  395 503  festival-cannes.com
 9  Since 1996 Busan Film Festival has become Asia’s flagship festival. The festival emphasizes both an art house and commercial programme and is stringent on filmmaker attendance – supported by generous hospitality offers for participating films.  @busanfilmfest  183 091  biff.kr
 10  The UK’s largest independent film festival will be running its 26th edition in 2018. The Raindance Film Festival focuses on first time filmmakers and independent films and is closely watched by acquisitions representatives due to the discovery, bold and alternative and innovative nature of its programming. Since 2013 Raindance has innovated with strands for Web Fest, and AR/VR and in 2017 launched the world’s first VRX Awards.  @Raindance  110 787  raindance.org
 11  Barely in its 14th year that Dubai Film Festival has set itself as one of the hubs in the international film circuit (or at least as long as the hospitality budgets last). The 2010 festival launched with The King’s Speech, and included a slate of films screened just about everywhere else before it. That said its Arab film slate was of some interest. The festival runs in parallel to Dubai Film Market.  @dubaifilm  105 903  dubaifilmfest.com
 12  Originally set up to only honour Spanish cinema, San Sebastian Festival has become a powerhouse of world cinemas in large part due to its commitment to showcasing Latin American and Spanish films. As glamorous as Cannes, San Sebastian is generally seen as one of Europe’s best publicity generating festivals.  @sansebastianfes  74 010  sansebastianfestival.com
 13  Reaching its 45th year in 2016, the Sitges Film Festival is the world’s best-known horror and fantasy film festival. Sitges is a major hub for film buyers looking to purchase the most saleable genres in cinema and regroups both major theatrical and low budget horror.  @sitgesfestival  69 679  sitgesfilmfestival.com
 14 Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) has become one of Europe’s best-respected film festival. Awards handed out include the incredibly obscure Panorama Award, the new Generation Crystal Bear and the cute Teddy [bear] Award for LGBT.  @Berlinale  66 089  berlinale.de
 15 One of the leading (and oldest) festivals alongside Venice and Cannes, the Edinburgh International Film Festival is innovative in showcasing both art-house and mainstream discoveries alongside.  @edfilmfest  53 794  edfilmfest.org
 16  The world’s most important documentary festival, Hot Docs in Toronto screens the who’s who of the documentary releases of the year.  @hotdocs  52 870  hotdocs.ca
 17  Every year, throughout 11 days, IndieLisboa International Independent Film Festival offers the public an unique opportunity: to be able to see Portuguese and foreign films of all genres (fiction, documentary, animation, experimental films, including feature and shorts), which could not be seen otherwise, since the festival’s programme is mostly comprised by works that do not reach the so-called commercial distribution channels.  @IndieLisboa18  50 056  indielisboa.com
 18  Australia’s highlight festival, MIFF (Melbourne International Film Festival)
is as much known for stirring controversy as for launching homegrown talent. The festival screens a large number of festival circuit ‘best of fests’ complemented by a fantastic homegrown strand.
 @MIFFofficial  49 393  miff.com
 19 Locarno Film Festival is as much daring as it is intuitive in its selections of films. A key festival for discovering films, Locarno is one of the world’s oldest festivals.  @FilmFestLocarno  46 448  pardo.ch
 20  Sydney Film Festival celebrates Australian/New-Zealand productions – the only category eligible to submit, whilst all other international features are screened by invitation only – which has resulted in a fairly predictable programme of festival circuit films, often duplicated off the big player festivals.  @sydfilmfest  45 892  sff.org
 21  Sheffield Doc/Fest is a world leading and the UK’s premier documentary festival, celebrating the art and business of documentary and all non-fiction storytelling. Across all of its programmes, Doc/Fest gives guests the opportunity to explore documentary within one unique, six-day festival experience.  @sheffdocfest  44 071  sheffdocfest.com
 22 The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society is a charitable organization dedicated to the discovery and promotion of creativity in the culture of film.  @HKIFFS  38 972  cinefan.com
 23  Running in parallel with the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Slamdance’s self-proclaimed ‘anarchic’ festival aims to bring the underdog independent films to Park City. Increasingly the festival is being recognized as the ‘indie-er’ festival of the two.  @Slamdance  32 856 slamdance.com
 24  The Atlanta Film Festival is one of the largest and longest-running festivals in the US, welcoming an audience of nearly 25,000 to discover hundreds of new independent, international, animated, documentary, and short films, selected from 3000+ submissions from all over the world.  @atlantafilmfest  32 155  atlantafilmfestival.com
 25  In almost 55 years the New York Film Festival has built itself as a significant publicity generating festival. Its programme is predominantly festival circuit films, with an absurdly large number of Cannes selections but the most interesting appeal lies in its Avant Garde strand, almost unmatched anywhere else in the world.  @TheNYFF  30 837  filmlinc.org
 26 AFI FEST is the American Film Institute’s annual celebration of international cinema from modern masters and emerging filmmakers.  @AFIFEST  29 668  americanfilmmarket.com
 27  America’s oldest film festival is also one of the most risk-taking. Its huge programme blends both mainstream festival circuit hits as well as out-of-the-blue indies, which has set San Francisco International Film Festival a band-apart from other city-based festivals. Though closely watched by industry, its main audience comes from a huge local and loyal following.  @SFFILM  26 196  sffilm.org
 28  The Miami Film Festival was founded by the non-profit Film Society of Miami, Inc. Since its first edition, which opened on February 3, 1984, , films have been screened in a variety of theatres throughout the greater Miami area.  @MiamiFilmFest  24 854  miamifilmfestival.com
 29  The world’s most important animation festival, Annecy Festival reached 50 years of age in 2010 and welcomes the largest numbers of animation professionals in Europe.  @annecyfestival  24 177  annecy.org
 30  Rotterdam Film Festival is one of the most important film festivals in the world focusing predominantly on world and international premieres with a large art-house and experimental focus  @IFFR  23 771  iffr.com
 31 Fantastic Fest in Austin has managed to set itself as important a calendar date as its older brother SXSW. Fantastic Fest focuses on sci-fi, horror and Asian genre cinema.  @fantasticfest  22 956  fantasticfest.com
 32  Cinema/Chicago is the parent organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, North America’s oldest competitive film festival. Filmmaker and graphic artist Michael Kutza founded Cinema/Chicago in 1964 to provide an alternative to the commercial Hollywood movies that dominated the city’s theaters.  @chifilmfest  21 742  chicagofilmfestival.com
 33  Festival Cine Bogotá was founded in 1984. The festival is open to contemporary and international films.  @Bogocine  20 505  bogocine.com
 34  Each spring Full Frame welcomes filmmakers and film lovers from around the world to Durham, North Carolina for a four-day, morning to midnight doc fest of over 100 films, panel conversations, and southern hospitality.  @FullFrame  18 397  fullframefest.org
 35  Auckland International Film Festival and Wellington Film Festival are merged as the New Zealand International Film Festival, and since boast, a further 13 city runs. Its main outfit is the Auckland stretch over 3 weeks in July, whilst the remaining film prints will stretch as far across until mid November.  @nzff  18 185  nziff.co.nz
 36  Seattle International Film Festival – More than 400 films from 80 countries. 25 days. 155,000 attendees. The largest and most highly-attended film festival in the United States, now in its 44th year.  @SIFFnews  17 740  siff.net
 37  One of the fastest growing documentary festivals in America, True/False has slowly pushed its dates away from mid-February/Sundance and has turned a few heads with its impressive curate.  @truefalse  16 448  truefalse.org
 38  The Chicago Underground Film Festival is an annual event showcasing independent, experimental and documentary films from around the world.  @cuff_chicago  15 882  cuff.org
 39  Torino Film Festival maintains an impressive number of (in some cases European) premieres – and sizeable reputation thanks to its focus on relatively independent films and has set itself as one of the leading festivals in Italy.  @torinofilmfest  13 711  torinofilmfest.org
 40  Initially a film festival, Lift-Off has grown into being a huge platform for emerging artists. This includes feature film content, shorts, commercial, music video content, animations and experimental arthouse.  @LA_LiftOffFest  13 450  lift-off-festivals.com
 41  The São Paulo International Film Festival’s selection provides an overview of the world contemporary cinema production and of the tendencies, themes, narratives and aesthetics produced worldwide.  @MOSTRASP  13 389  mostra.org
 42  The artiest festival on the list, the Ann Arbor Film Festival specializes in experimental and avant-garde films.  @AAFilmFest  11 767  aafilmfest.org
 43  Founded in 1969 by Mary Jane Coleman, NashFilm was originally known as the Sinking Creek Film Celebration. Nearly 20 years later it was renamed the Nashville Independent Film Festival and, later, the Nashville Film Festival in 2003.  @nashfilmfest  10 806  nashvillefilmfestival.org
 44  The mission of the Maryland Film Festival (MdFF) is to bring films, filmmakers, and audiences together in a friendly, inclusive atmosphere that reflects the unique aspects of our community while participating in and adding to the larger film dialogue across the country and across the world. Film for Everyone.  @MdFilmFestival  10 157  mdfilmfest.com
 45  Since its inception in 1996, the Fantasia International Film Festival is one of the largest and most influential event in North America, a leader on the genre film scene, one of the country’s most popular film festivals and the city of Montreal elevated the festival to rank among the city’s major events.  @FantasiaFest  9 951  fantasiafestival.com
 46  Folklore Film Festival  @FolkloreFilmFes  8 968
 47  The Hamptons International Film Festival was founded to celebrate Independent film—long, short, fiction and documentary—and to introduce a unique and varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to our audiences.  @HamptonsFilm  7 553  hamptonsfilmfest.org
 48  Transylvania International Film Festival – Transylvania’s small town festival has managed to reach some stature amongst the eastern European block both with its mix of glamour and informality.  @TransylvaniaDF  6 924  transylvania-df.com
 49  The mission of the Orlando Film Festival is to support and promote the arts in Downtown Orlando through the medium of film. The Orlando Film Festival seeks to inspire filmmakers and enhance the movie viewing experience in Downtown Orlando through creative, unique and entertaining events  @OrlandoFilmFest  6 145  orlandofilmfest.com
 50  The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival began in 1998, and now it’s the most important film festival in Greece. @filmfestivalgr  6 134 filmfestival.gr
 51  An extremely well-funded film, Zurich Film Festival is also one of the fastest growing which gained international prominence in 2008 when Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland when attending the festival.  @zurichfilmfest  5 971  zff.com

 

 

 

 

 

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About 

Dora Varadi is a Raindance intern. She studied directing and screen acting at the world-famous University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest. She's passionately interested in every part of filmmaking especially acting and directing. Connect with Dora on Linkedin.