Showbiz Sandbox 249: Why Film Festivals Are More Important Than Ever

September 16, 2014


Anne Thompson, an editor at Thompson on Hollywood and Indiewire, just spent the past two weeks at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals before she heads off to the New York Film Festival. Thompson takes us through some of the noteworthy films we’ll be seeing in coming months and discuss the important role festivals play in creating buzz before a movie’s commercial release.

The competition for landing premieres of noteworthy titles has become so fierce that Toronto switched up its programming this year to give less prominence to any film screening a week earlier at Telluride. One aspect of each festival which is unlikely to change is their reputation for selecting films that go on to win Best Picture Oscars.

While fall festivals might be the talk of the film industry, television executives have been preoccupied with their over-the-top strategies. As audiences switch to OTT offerings from Amazon to Roku, networks are experimenting with direct-to-consumer offerings while contending with increasingly meaningless overnight ratings.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including opting-out of a free U2 album, Microsoft picks up “Minecraft” and Netflix’s invasion of Europe.


Thompson on Hollywood’s Film Festival Coverage

Indiewire’s Screen Talk Podcast

Box Office Milestone: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Crosses $600M Worldwide

‘The Imitation Game’ Takes the Toronto People’s Choice Award, Forerunner to Oscars

Toronto: Festival Head Holding Firm on Telluride Premiere Policy

The Toronto International Film Festival Insists on Premieres for its Opening Weekend

New York Film Fest: Top-Secret Edward Snowden Doc Added to Lineup

‘Big Hero 6’ to Close Abu Dhabi Film Festival

Europeans Bracing for Netflix

Deezer Joins a Crowded Music Subscription Market, With a High-End Pitch

Everyone Is Mad at Apple for Forcing Them to Download a U2 Album

After Downloading the U2 Album To Your Phone, Apple Now Helps You To Delete It

U2 Returns to iTunes Top 100 — 26 Times

Elisabeth Moss to Star on Broadway as ‘Mad Men’ Ends

Sales of Rivers’ Book Skyrocket

‘Sons of Anarchy’ Final Season Premiere Breaks Ratings Record

Line by Line, E-Books Turn Poet-Friendly

Yes, We’re Being Bought by Microsoft

Annie Lennox To Release ‘Nostalgia’ Via Blue Note Records This Fall

SeaWorld Hit With Lawsuit Over Failure to Advise on ‘Blackfish’ Impact

United Nations Names Leonardo DiCaprio Messenger of Peace

CBS’ Les Moonves: “Overnight Ratings Are Virtually Irrelevant Now”

TV Ratings: CBS and NFL’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ Partnership Gets a Strong Start

Time Warner And CBS Chiefs Say They’re Considering Taking HBO And Showtime Direct To Consumers

Warner Bros. Squeezed by Jeff Bewkes Strategy

Spot Apple – “Apple Forrest Gump”