Apart from MDAG, only three other European festivals made it to the list: DokuFest in Kosovo, Glasgow Short Film Festival, and Skábmagovat held in the Finnish town of Inari. The 21 remaining festivals take place in the US and Canada.
The eight panelists assembled by MovieMaker Magazine judged the contenders mainly on the laid-back and “seemingly effortless” atmosphere of these flawlessly ran festivals providing a top-notch, innovative cinematic experience to the patrons.
The panel brought together some of the biggest names in the American film industry: directors, cinematographers, programmers, distributors, critics, writers, artists, and curators. The jurors agree that each of the 25 selected festivals is a feast of excellent movies for film aficionados, a unique, graceful affair whose casual coolness belies the hard work of the event staff. MovieMaker Magazine compares this coolness to the attitude of Agent 007, adding that Sean Connery himself had to take lessons in “the ways of being dapper, witty, and, above all, cool” in order to secure the role of James Bond. Apparently being cool can prove harder than it seems…
MovieMaker Magazine calls attention to the scope of MDAG (local editions were held in six cities while additional special screenings, “Weekend with MDAG,” added 19 more cities to the list), noting that it is Poland’s largest documentary festival. The author of the writeup points out that MDAG was the first festival in Poland to introduce an award for feature documentaries (the Millennium Bank Award launched in 2008). This year’s program – a whopping 160 films seen by a total of 93 000 attendees – made an impression on the jurors, compounded by the fact that in addition to all the film screenings (and award ceremonies), the patrons had a great time at MDAG and were delighted by the festival’s unpretentious atmosphere. This very characteristic is what makes MDAG so exceptional – even with its busy schedule and star-studded guest list, everyone can feel right at home and enjoy everything in full.
MovieMaker Magazine is the USA’s leading source of information about the film industry and the world’s widest-read magazine about independent cinema. Timothy Rhys, who founded the magazine in 1993 in Seattle, remains its editor-in-chief and publisher. MovieMaker Magazine is currently based in Playa Vista, California, and comes out in print on a quarterly basis. Its website, MovieMaker.com, is ranked among the top movie websites worldwide. The team is currently preparing to launch MovieMaker TV.
The complete list of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World can be found here: