Which city has the best film festival?

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Sarah Ward

Who has more films? Bigger audiences? Better curation? Important premieres? ArtsHub's guide to everything you need to know Australian film festivals.

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Across the country, every major city has one in some shape or another – a celebration of all things cinematic in the form of a film festival, that is. The national circuit starts in June in Sydney, then pinballs from coast to coast for the remainder of the year, ranging from Perth to Melbourne to Darwin to Launceston, encompassing Adelaide every second year, and also spanning Canberra and Brisbane.

 Each festival is a unique product of its local environment, catering for its community and endeavouring to earn its own place amongst the range of other film-focused offerings tempting cinephiles all year round – but not all festivals are created equal. They may share common movies, logistical necessities, and the goal of enjoying the simple pleasure of moving pictures projected onto a screen in a darkened theatre, yet diversity rages.

About the author

Sarah Ward is a freelance film critic, arts and culture writer, and film festival organiser. She is the Australia-based critic for Screen International, a film reviewer and writer for ArtsHub, the weekend editor and a senior writer for Concrete Playground, a writer for the Goethe-Institut Australien’s Kino in Oz, and a contributor to SBS, Metro Magazine and Screen Education. Her work has been published by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Junkee, FilmInk, Birth.Movies.Death, Lumina, Senses of Cinema, Broadsheet, Televised Revolution, and the World Film Locations book series. She is also the editor of Trespass Magazine, a film and TV critic for ABC radio Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, and has worked with the Brisbane International Film Festival, Queensland Film Festival, Sydney Underground Film Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival. Follow her on Twitter: @swardplay