film festival

5 Indian film festivals making waves around the world

Cinema’s power to bridge cultural and societal gaps is unparalleled. It is, therefore, no surprise that film festivals have cropped up all over the world to celebrate this. In the light of the art and sentiment behind film making often getting lost in the business side of things, film festivals serve a particularly powerful purpose; that of introducing film fans and moviegoers to those films that might often fly under the radar of mainstream cinema. We’ve rounded up our top five picks for the best film festivals in India, that celebrate filmmaking and films from the world all over.


1) Dharamshala International Film Festival
Started seven years ago, the Dharamshala International Film Festival is an independent film festival that has garnered worldwide attention since its inception. Held in the picturesque town of McLeod Ganj in Himachal Pradesh, the captivating location scores DIFF major brownie points. The festival is home to a curated blend of feature narratives, documentaries, short films, children’s films and a variety of masterclasses and workshops with noted names from the film industry.

Location: McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh
Dates: 7th to 9th November 2019
Cost: Between INR 750 and INR 10,000

Home Page – 2016


2) International Film Festival of India, Goa
Started in 1952, IFFI has been in existence for 48 years, and has for the last decade, found its home in Goa. With over a 1,000 entries this year, IFFI promises to take you on a journey of films sourced from every corner of the world, exploring a range of themes examining different cultural and social contexts. IFFI also plays host to a range of open forums, workshops, masterclasses and several other film-related events with some of the leading names in the film industry.

Location: Goa
Dates: 20th to 28th November 2019


3) Mumbai Film Festival
Organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), the Mumbai Film Festival is moving towards its 21st edition this year. The festival prides itself on being inclusive; a space where genre movies from Hollywood and Bollywood, international cult classics and art house films can all come together. This year, the Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival with Star 2019 is ready to showcase over 200 films from 53 countries to appease film aficionados from across the county and beyond. The festival also has a competitions and showcase categories section.

Location: Mumbai
Dates: 17th to 24th October 2019


4) Jaipur Film Festival
Started by Hanu Roj in 2009, the Jaipur Film Festival is organised by the Jaipur International Film Festival Trust. With its next edition, JIFF will complete 11 years. World cinema, Oscar nominated films, films in regional languages from around the world, debutant directors’ films, and several more, all find a place at JIFF. Through its presence, JIFF aims to bring about a greater understanding of film making in film fans and movie goers alike. This festival provides an opportunity to network with talented members of the film fraternity, from filmmakers, writers and directors, to producers, distributors and sales agents. JIFF prides itself on having established Jaipur as the new emerging film capital of India and the world.

Location: Jaipur
Dates: 17th to 21st January 2020


5) Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival
Considered to be the biggest women’s film festival in India, MWIFF was first held in Mumbai in 2013. This festival is dedicated to screening films made by women directors and women technicians. It intends to provide a voice to the hidden or overlooked talents of women in film making that often gets shunted to the side by the mainstream film industry. The festival hosts an array of seminars, film conferences, interactive sessions, workshops and cultural programs in addition to a plethora of films, including outdoor screenings, made by women that are involved in various stages of filmmaking.


These film festivals might certainly inspire you to explore your passion for film making in greater detail. Additionally, the variety of courses ( that we offer at Virtual Academy will help you simplify the process of picking a course and accelerate your filmmaking career.