The summer and fall festival seasons bring a flurry of buzzy premieres at glamorous locales: Cannes, Venice, New York, Toronto. But as most film critics will attest, some of our best festival experiences are at the smaller venues and events that often fly under the radar. These include regional festivals that cater to local audiences, festivals that spotlight newer filmmakers, and lineups focused on specialized programs. 

To discuss the role of these festivals and some selections from recent editions, Film Comment editors Devika Girish and Clinton Krute sat down with one of FC’s most trusted festival correspondents—curator and critic Jordan Cronk. Jordan talked about some of his favorite small festivals, including Black Canvas, RIDM, and True/False, and discussed the prize-winners from the recent edition of FIDMarseille, including Outside Noise and Haruhara San’s RecorderThey also discussed picks from an upcoming archival film festival organized by the Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art in Berlin, and some of Jordan’s personal highlights from Locarno. 

Links & Things:

Tobacco Embers (Yugantar Film Collective, 1982), Sudesha (Yugantar Film Collective, 1983), and Fury Is a Feeling Too (Cynthia Beatt, 1983) at Archival Assembly #1, hosted in-person and online by the Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art
Outside Noise (Ted Fendt, 2021) and Haruhara San’s Recorder (Kyoshi Sugita, 2021) at FIDMarseille 2021
The Sacred Spirit (Chema Garcia Ibarra, 2021), Rampart (Marko Grba Singh, 2021) and From the Planet of the Humans (Giovanni Cioni, 2021) at Locarno 2021
Black Canvas Festival de Cine Contemporáneo
True/False Film Fest
Camden International Film Festival
Biennale of Moving Images in Geneva