Forgive me for having film festivals on the brain, but this weekend, my husband and I are hosting our fifth annual Beverly Hills Shorts Festival  – a four-day celebration of short comedies, dramas, thrillers, and more – so of course, I find myself reflecting on all the cool places I've seen thanks to film festivals. Recently, I even shared my love for the Sundance Film Festival , which kicks off the festival season every January in Park City, Utah.
While Sundance  is quite an event – and a good excuse for exploring a picturesque mountain town – it's certainly not the only worthy film festival in America. In the next few months alone, you'll find a slew of options, from sea to shining sea – and if you like cinema, you're sure to enjoy following these high-energy events around the country. Having the chance to view films before they're released to the public, hear a few behind-the-scenes tales from the filmmakers themselves, and, of course, get an up-close view of the stars is reason enough to attend such events, but taking the time to check out a different city can make the experience even more one-of-a-kind. Here are just a few U.S. film fests happening from April to June:
Sarasota Film Festival : The 12th annual Sarasota Film Festival is just around the corner. Taking place April 9-18 in Sarasota, Florida, this well-favored event offers film buffs access to both foreign and domestic films, from places as far afield as New York, France, Australia, and Iran. This year, the festival will even be screening Kick Ass, the eagerly anticipated, over-the-top superhero comedy whose cast includes Nicolas Cage and Aaron Johnson. Naturally, when you're not watching films, you should take a little time to explore Sarasota, Tampa, and other curious locales in southern Florida. For more travel ideas, check out Moon Florida .
Tribeca Film Festival : Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001, following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Tribeca Film Festival has certainly helped to revitalize the economy and cultural scene of lower Manhattan. Nowadays, it's one of the most anticipated cinematic events in the country, offering a wide array of short and feature films from around the globe. This year, it's happening from April 21 to May 2 at venues throughout New York City. If you go, be sure to catch the world premiere of Edward Burns' latest relationship dramedy, Nice Guy Johnny. For more travel ideas, check out Moon Metro New York City .
Maui Film Festival : It's hard to imagine a better place to watch a movie than the Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf Course in Wailea, Hawaii, where last year's festival-goers sat before a giant, outdoor screen, surrounded by swaying palm trees and incredible island vistas. This year's festival, happening June 16-20, will again take place in Wailea, allowing film fans a chance to catch their favorite films while experiencing the beaches and other delights that Maui has to offer – including surf lessons, if you dare. For more travel ideas, check out Moon Maui .
Los Angeles Film Festival : Now in its 15th year, the Los Angeles Film Festival has become a popular, star-studded event in the heart of a city that has long been associated with movie magic. Starting June 17, this year's 11-day festival will feature a wide assortment of films, which, in the past, has included everything from The Devil Wears Prada to An Inconvenient Truth. Of course, while you're here, you'll have the opportunity to explore other aspects of the movie industry, from studio tours to Hollywood landmarks. For more travel ideas, check out Moon Metro Los Angeles .
Do you have a favorite film festival? If so, be sure to leave a comment below. In the meantime, check out this comprehensive website  to learn more about film festivals in the United States – and around the world.
As always, I’m open to ideas for future posts. If you have any suggestions, burning questions, or destinations that you’d like me to explore in greater detail, please comment below or contact me via laura [at] wanderingsoles [dot] com.
Photo & text © 2010 Laura Martone