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Move Over Cannes: 10 of Europe’s Best Summer Film Festivals | festivals

Annecy, France

13-18 June
France’s annual animation festival is ideally timed to combine sunny visits to the lake and chateaux of this pretty French hill town with film screenings. At night they show new and classic films in the open air. This year, the opening film is Minions: The Rise of Gru and special screenings include Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear and the Netflix animated title The Sea Beast.
Festival pass: from £63. Stay: Ibis Annecy Center Vieille Ville, double room from £175 or visit the official website for camping opportunities

Mediterranean Film Festival, Split, Croatia

16-25 June 2022

The open-air cinema on the Bačvice beach in Split.
The open-air cinema on the Bačvice beach in Split. Photo: Maja Prgomet

Croatia’s second largest city is packed with historical sights, museums and nightlife, and its stunning coastal setting makes for a particularly picturesque film festival. During the day there are screenings in a cinema within the walls of the 1,700 year old Diocletian’s Palace, a perfect base for sightseeing. As the name suggests, they focus on Mediterranean films that may be difficult to access elsewhere. This is a festival that prides itself on its positive, friendly atmosphere and parties, many of which take place in the open-air cinema on Bačvice Beach.
Festival pass: tba. Remain: the sustainable Hotel Slaviya near the waterfront, double rooms from £145

TransInternational film festival ylvania, Romania

17-26 June

The documentary Moonwalk One
The documentary Moonwalk One will be screened at the Transylvania Film Festival. Photo: TCD/Prod.DB/Alamy

Nicknamed the ‘Treasure City’, historic Cluj-Napoca has a creative buzz year-round but really comes alive when the film festival is in town. The performances take place in a range of stunning locations, from castles to open-air museums and churches. On June 21, the 1972 documentary Moonwalk One will be screened with live musical accompaniment from the French band Invaders. It will also support Ukrainian filmmakers with special screenings of films including Valentyn Vasyanovych’s powerful reflection.
Festival pass: from £29. Stay: One of many budget options is the Funky Hotel Lol et Loladoubles from £6


Munich Film Festival/Munich Film Festival, German

June 23 – July 2

Munich Film Festival
Around 200 films are shown at the Munich Film Festival. Photo: Munich Film Festival / Christian Rudnik

Berlin may be the most famous film festival in Germany, but for sunnier weather head to Munich in June. First held in 1983, it screens around 200 films and attracts high-profile guests such as Melanie Griffith, Michael Caine, Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes and Antonio Banderas. The children’s festival line invites young people to special performances. As a city, Munich has more than enough to keep you busy, from over 80 museums to its famous beer gardens – perfect for discussing a film day.
Festival Pass: Details will be announced shortly. Overnight: Hotel Buddy, in the city center, double room from £129

International Film Festival Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

1st-9th July

Karlovy Vary hosts one of the oldest film festivals in the world.
Karlovy Vary hosts one of the oldest film festivals in the world. Photo: Josef Kubes/Alamy

This beautiful city in the Czech Republic hosts one of the oldest festivals in the world and is very popular with film buffs. The festival pass gives you discounts on selected attractions in the Karlovy Vary region until the end of 2022 – plus free transport on the festival buses and free bike rentals so you can explore the area. It shows around 200 feature films from all over the world and promotes up-and-coming talent. This year’s schedule has yet to be announced; last year the excellent Boiling Point with Stephen Graham premiered.
Festival Pass: from £27. Stay: Grand Hotel Pupp was that Inspiration for the Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson; from £130or camp in the “Tent Village” in which Rolava recreation area


Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland

Aug. 3-13

Locarno Film Festival
The open-air Piazza Grande at the Locarno Film Festival. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Nestled between the lake and the mountains, the Swiss-Italian city celebrates international cinema in stunning locations every August. The open-air Piazza Grande seats 8,000 spectators – it’s the largest open-air screening hall in Europe and can be a breathtaking experience. Locarno has a solid reputation for quality art-house films: this year it’s honoring the amazing indie director Kelly Reichardt (Erste Kuh) and offering numerous special events to mark its 75th anniversary.
Festival Pass: From £30 per day, keep an eye on the site. Stay: Casa Elisabetta, double room from £103or search for B&Bs nearby Ascona, Losoneminusio, Tenero or Gordola

Venice Film Festival, Italy

Aug 31-10 September

Kirsten Dunst at the Venice Film Festival
Kirsten Dunst arrives at last year’s Venice Film Festival. Photo: Marc Piasecki/Getty Images for Netflix

Venice is one of the most accessible and elegant film festivals in the world if you’re serious about Cannes Fomo. The main screenings are actually held on the small Lido island, where there are also many industry people, but those who are based in Venice enjoy a beautiful boat trip to see top quality films, mostly for the public are accessible. Last year’s guests included Penelope Cruz, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kristen Stewart and Kirsten Dunst.
Festival pass: tba.
Stay:
Hotel Villa Orio at the Lido, doubles from £83or Albergo Marin in Venicefrom £86

San Sebastian Film Festival, Spain

September 16-24

Donostia San Sebastian in Spain
Bay of San Sebastian Photo: Eloi_Omella/Getty Images

The international festival, held in the Spanish city of San Sebastián (Donostia), is known for its wide range of film screenings, breathtaking beach views and incredible food scene. You might also see Al Pacino and Tarantino supporting bars, and movie buffs love to hang out at the María Cristina Hotel, where the stars stay. The Imagine a Film Festival exhibition celebrates the 70th anniversary of the event.
Tickets: 2022 prices to be announced, on sale September 11; (in 2021 prices ranged from £1.50 for the children’s shows to £80 for the opening and closing galas). September. Stay: Affordable options include the Hotel Avenida, double rooms from £100

Film Festival Zurich, Switzerland

September 22 – October 2

The Kunsthaus art museum
The Kunsthaus Museum in Zurich. Photo: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

If Cannes and Venice are the grandmothers of the European festival scene, the ZFF is the trendy teenager. It emerged in 2005 and quickly established itself, with thousands of industry insiders visiting the Swiss city to see work by up-and-coming filmmakers. Zurich is attractive, sophisticated and easy to explore, with plenty of arty corners and funky bars. Visit the Kunsthaus and the Rietberg museums and don’t miss Chagall’s stained glass windows in the Fraumünster. Festival pass: from £30 for a day pass for up to four screenings per day. Single tickets go on sale in September. Stay: the stylish one Hotel Martha in the old town £112

International Film Festival Evolution Mallorca, Spain

October 26 – November 1

Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca, where this year’s festival includes a drive-in cinema. Photo: Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

As one of the fastest growing film festivals in Europe, showcasing a culturally diverse mix of feature films, short films and virtual reality projects, EMIFF has been one of MovieMaker’s “TOP 50 Film Festivals Worth Attending” for five consecutive years. Everything is centrally located, making it easy to explore cultural hotspots like the cathedral. This year’s festival includes a drive-in cinema showcasing contemporary classics, a Made in Balearics program highlighting local talent from the islands, and live podcast recordings such as Girls on Film. Day trip options include seaside Port Soller, the sleepy hilltop town of Fornalutx and the Ses Rotes winery in Esporles.
Festival pass: from £85which includes all films except for the closing night. Stay: Hotel Saratoga, in the heart of Palma, from £112

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