2015: The Year in Festivals

The best, worst, and averages of each festival visit this year...

24 festivals (154 days)

KEY: 14. festival number / (iv) fourth in a trip of multiple back-to-back festivals / J Jury / P Panel discussion / W Workshop / Q Q&A and/or programming duties


1. Rotterdam (21 Jan – 28 Feb)
8 nights
22 features, 15 shorts
Best: Embargo (Lurf 2015) 8/10
Worst: Bridgend (Rønde 2015) 2/10
Average: 6/10

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2. Berlin (6 – 13 Feb)
8 nights
24 features
Best: Singin’ in the Rain (Kelly/Donen 1952) 10/10
Worst: Everything Will Be Fine (Wenders 2015) 3/10
Average: 6.2/10

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3 (i). Cartagena de Indias (11 – 18 Mar) J
8 nights
13 features
Best: 600 Miles (Ripstein 2015) 7/10
Worst: Cord (González 2014) 2/10
Average: 4.7/10

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4 (ii). Diagonale, Graz (20 – 22 Mar)
3 nights
14 shorts
Best: Black Rain White Scars (Marxt 2015) 8/10
Worst: Buildings (Hammel 2015) 3/10
Average: 5.4/10

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5. Lecce (13 – 18 Apr) J
6 nights
10 films
Best: My Skinny Sister (Lenken 2015) 7/10
Worst: Anemistiras (Bitos 2015) 2/10
Average: 5.2/10

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6 (i). Crossing Europe, Linz (23 – 28 Apr) Q
5 nights
9 features, 12 shorts
Best: Factory (Loznitsa 2004) 8/10
Worst: In a Foreign Land (Bollaín 2014) 6/10
Average: 7/10

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7 (ii). IndieLisboa, Lisbon (28 Apr – 3 May) J
6 nights
6 features, 25 shorts
Best: The Last Days of Disco (Stillman 1998) 8/10
Worst: Driving Lesson (Santos/Leão 2015) 4/10
Average: 5.6/10

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8. Kino Otok, Isola (3 – 7 Jun) Q
5 nights
5 features, 23 shorts
Best: Veruda: a film about Bojan (Bezinović 2014) 8/10
Worst: Choreomania (2014) 5/10
Average: 6.4/10

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9. Edinburgh (17 – 28 Jun)
6 nights
19 features, 3 shorts
Best: Hard Times (Hill 1975) 9/10
Worst: North v South (Nesbit) 2/10
Average: 5.8/10

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10. FIDMarseille, Marseilles (30 Jun – 7 Jul)
7 nights
19 features, 25 shorts
Best: Toponymy (Perel 2015) 9/10
Worst: Iron Maiden (Vernier 2015) 2/10
Average: 6/10

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11 (i). Palić (17 Jul – 24 Jul) J
8 nights
12 features
Best: Aferim! (Jude 2015) 7/10
Worst: Peace to Us in Our Dreams (Bartas 2015) 5/10
Average: 5.9/10

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12 (ii). New Horizons, Wrocław (25 Jul – 1 Aug)
8 nights
21 features
Best: The Leopard (Visconti 1963) 9/10
Worst: Arabian Nights 2 (Gomes 2015) 4/10
Average: 6.2/10

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13 (i). Locarno (5 – 10 Aug)
5 nights
15 features, 5 shorts
Best: Junior Bonner (Peckinpah 1972) 8/10
Worst: Dark in the White Light (Jayasundara 2015) 4/10
Average: 6.4/10

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14. Dokufest, Prizren (10 – 16 Aug) J
7 nights
14 features, 27 shorts
Best: The Royal Road (Olson 2015) 9/10
Worst: I Thought I Told You to Shut Up (Tyrell) 5/10
Average: 6.7/10

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15 (i). Drama (14 – 19 Sep) J
6 nights
57 shorts
Best: Ghosts (Pfohl 2014) 7/10
Worst: Great Restaurant (Towrivarian 2015) 1/10
Average: 3.9/10

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16 (ii). Manaki Brothers, Bitola (20 – 24 Sep)
4 nights
7 features, 4 shorts
Best: The Postman’s White Nights (Konchalovsky 2014) 7/10
Worst: Impressions of a Drowned Man (Papavassiliou 2015) 3/10
Average: 5.8/10

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17 (iii). Trinidad and Tobago (25 – 29 Sep)
4 nights
4 features, 7 shorts
Best: My Father’s Land (Galofré/Johnson 2015) 6/10
Worst: Trafficked (Hodgkinson 2015) 2/10
Average: 5.2/10

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18 (i). Curtocurcuito, Santiago de Compostela (6 – 9 Oct)
3 nights
24 shorts
Best: Embargo (Lurf 2015) 8/10
Worst: Hotel Straussberg (Soldat 2014) 4/10
Average: 6.1/10

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19 (ii). Warsaw (9 – 19 Oct) W
10 nights
9 features
Best: Kings of Nowhere (García 2015) 7/10
Worst: Night Shift (Karimi 2015) 3/10
Average: 5.1/10

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20 (iii). Vienna (22 Oct – 5 Nov) Q
17 nights
29 features, 46 shorts
Best: The Fly (Cronenberg 1986) 10/10
Worst: Samuray-S (Perrone 2015) 3/10
Average: 6.6/10

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21 (iv). Winterthur (5 – 8 Nov) P
3 nights

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22 (v). Seville (8 – 12 Nov)
4 nights
11 features, one short
Best: Dead Slow Ahead (Herce 2015) 8/10
Worst: Berserker (Hernando 2015) 5/10
Average: 6.4/10

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23 (vi). Bratislava (12 – 17 Nov) J
6 nights
10 features
Best: Spotlight (McCarthy 2015) 9/10
Worst: Island City (Oberoi 2015) 5/10
Average: 6.5/10

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24 (vii). Black Nights, Tallinn (17 – 23 Nov) W
6 nights
4 features
Best: A Heavy Heart (Stuber 2015) 7/10
Worst: Ghost Mountaineer (Liiv 2015) 3/10
Average: 5/10

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NB: Due to varying viewing-tallies and other factors, average ratings are not necessarily a reflection of overall enjoyment. This is due to the myriad factors that contribute to one's experience at a festival: pals seen, folks met, drinks necked, cash spent, money made, meanders mapped, etc. A festival with a low ratings average may still have screened several high-quality films.

See also:
- Festivals Index

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