I will try my best to keep this current! For the present I will limit this to the American festivals for brevity.
Chicago International Film Festival. One of the oldest and best! A good mix of the auteur, the experienced, the emerging.
Austin Film Conference and Festival. With great workshops and contests, this event is supportive of emerging screenwriters and relatively affordable for the struggling artist.
Mill Valley Film Festival. Low-key, well-curated, elegant, NoCal style. I’ll be covering it this year!
New Orleans Film Festival. Great for short films and for tremendous support of Louisiana filmmakers. Bonus: well-designed festival posters (the one above is from 2010).
Support your local filmmakers!