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2013 a banner year for film festivals

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Regardless of which part of the movie industry you embrace - watching, writing, directing, acting, or producing - the movie business holds a magic and mystique that few other venues can boast.

The excitement and anticipation die-hard movie enthusiasts experience when movie trailers roll across the screen is like being shown a beautifully wrapped present that has but a pin-hole through which you can imagine what's hidden inside.

To meet that insatiable appetite for all-things-movies, 2013 promises to be a banner year for film festivals.

Scrolling through the internet's seemingly endless stream of choices for film festivals in 2013 more than boggles the mind. Yet getting into the movie spirit sooner rather than later offers dreamers and dreammakers the chance to plan their year according to their preferences.

Do you have a movie that's been hiding in your closet, waiting to be previewed? Check out the various themes, locales, and deadline rules for making 2013 the year you dust it off and send it out.

Planning vacations for 2013? Why not scout the various places holding film festivals and make a trip around those cities and towns.

From across the United States and Canda, to Europe, Australia, Scandinavia, and beyond, a host of activities involving film festivals abound.

Location aside, some cities host film festivals based on specific topics. Whether you are interested in gay and lesbian subjects, comedy, animation shorts, documentaries, or feature films, a film festival awaits.

Since I like to stay closer to home rather than traveling abroad, a few film festivals might be worth considering - a way to de-stress from the hectic pace of holiday visits and entertaining. And if you're prone to the winter doldrums, escaping to the movies, albeit it a plane or car-ride away, will be just the tonic to demolish the doldrums.

Planning your itinerary, sitting in front of a cozy fireplace, may be all you need to get you through to spring.

Plan a trip to:

Park City, Utah: Perhaps the most familiar film festival of all festivals for independent filmmakers, is the Sundance Film Festival that's held annually in Park City. Originally founded in 1978 by three individuals, Sterling Van Wagenen, John Earle and Cirina Hampton Catania, legendary film director and actor Robert Redford, who served as the first board member of what was then then called U.S.Film Festival, has been linked most closely with the Sundance Film Festival. Having grown away from its routes as a venue for "indies," or independent filmmakers, efforts seem to be afoot over the past couple of years to steer it away from the 'glitzier' side of the film world and back to its 'indie' mission.

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival is just around the corner, scheduled for Jan. 17-27. So best to get those tickets booked now.

www.sundance.org/festival

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1956952,00.html#ixzz2Djkvmk8N

But if you prefer sunbathing over playing in the snow, consider:

Sarasota, Florida: The Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) will hold its 15th annual film festival April 5-14. With past special appearances by Kevin Klein, Gina Davis, Todd Solondz (Dark Horse) and Frank Langella (Robot & Frank), Sarasota is no small venue when it comes to its commitment to the art of movie-making.

In addition, it is a jewel of a Gulf Coast community that not only has world renowned cultural events throughout the year, but is touted to have one of the best beaches in the world.

SFF is now accepting applications for entries into its festival.

www.sarasotafilmfestival.com

New York City: If you thrive on anything New York, the Tribeca Film Festival will be held April 17-28. In its 12th year, the festival is a hotspot for anything related to movies.While movie submission deadlines have passed (except for feature films only, accepted until Dec. 28), it's not too late to check out the events at www.TribecaFilm.com/Festival

As we move out of the winter doldrums, rescued by the movies, we still have a couple of festivals to keep in mind.

Closer to home, we have:

Baltimore, MD: The Maryland Film Festival (MFF) will run from May 8-12 and has always been a big draw for local movie buffs, as well as out-of-towners. A recent MFF fundraiser featured a tribute to actor John Travolta, hosted on Nov. 10 by Baltimore's own famous filmmaker John Waters.

Coming up on Dec. 10, MFF will have a special screening of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (from a 35mm print). Venue is The Charles Theater, 1711 N. Charles St., Baltimore.

www.mdfilmfest.com

Traveling cross country we find ourselves in:

Seattle, WA: The Seattle International Film Festival is slated for May 16-June 9. Filmmakers interested in submitting an entry can do so on Dec. 7, with final deadline Jan. 17. In its 39th year, there's bound to be something memorable for film buffs of all ages.

www.siff.net

Of course this is only a fraction of possible choices for all things movies coming up in 2013. Google 'film festivals 2013' and you will have a feast for the eyes, and an endless choice of places to go to find the best movies you might otherwise never have a chance to see.

And always opt for the popcorn!

of entering the filmmaking business, or already a steadfast participant, 2013 promises to be another

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