Free Film Festivals

If you're a movie fan, there's nothing better than a free film festival. Although most people will never have the chance to attend the Cannes Film Festival or walk the red carpet at a Hollywood premiere, many cities present events that celebrate both new and old movies. Whether you're interested in great independent films or a certain genre, you'll want to check out this list of places where you can find great free film festivals.

free film festivalsNew York City

If you're planning a vacation in New York City, time your visit to see at least one film festival. By booking your stay in a vacation rental home instead of a hotel, you can even save more vacation dollars by preparing your own movie food and packing a few drinks to enjoy during the show. Depending on when you arrive, choose from these exciting events:
  • RiverFlicks 2012 offers free movies shown at an outdoor venue on the west side waterfront of the Hudson River. The shows start at dusk (usually around 8:30 p.m.) on Wednesday and Friday evenings in July and August. The Wednesday show is for adults while the Friday film is for kids and families. The presenters provide free popcorn to go with the movie, and other refreshments are available for purchase.
  • Bryant Park Summer 2012 Free Film Series also occurs during the summer months. Pack a picnic and enjoy a classic movie under the New York sky.
  • Summer on the Hudson: Movies Under the Stars is an option during July and August. Free movies play on Wednesday nights at Riverside Park on Pier 1.
  • Coney Island Flicks on the Beach is the event to attend if your vacation rental is near Luna Park. On Monday nights throughout the summer, you can see fun films like Saturday Night Fever and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. that range from classics like Saturday Night Fever to popular movies from the last year.
  • Central Park Film Festival usually occurs in August. For 2011, the event is scheduled from August 23 through August 27 and will feature five different musicals. This festival takes place over five days and often has a theme, such as musicals. Bring in a picnic to make the most of your summer evening in Central Park.

Asbury Park, New Jersey

The Tromadance Film Festival takes place each April in Asbury Park, New Jersey. This is one of the region's most exciting free film festivals because it's dedicated to small, independent filmmakers. The hosts consider everyone to be equal - there's no entrance fee, viewing fee or crazy VIP list that takes up the best seats. Most of these films are artsy and don't include a single big Hollywood name. If you'd truly like to support the arts and see something new, this is the festival for you.

Pasadena, California

For four weeks every July, the Old Pasadena Free Film Festival puts on a show each Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. This festival focuses on the classics, and unlike many other free film festivals held in the summer, this one shows the movies on the big screen just like they did in the old days. This is a favorite event for local film students because it gives them an opportunity to see the pieces they're learning about in the way they were intended to be seen. In 2011, the festival concentrates on movies featuring the late, great Elizabeth Taylor. Each year features classic films and a specific theme (in 2011, the festival concentrated on festivals featuring the late, great Elizabeth Taylor). While you're here, take a look at our Pasadena vacation rentals.


Even Hawaii gets into the action when it comes to free film festivals. On Sundays in June, the University of Hawaii presents the Kids First! Film Festival at the UH Manoa Art Auditorium. This family-friendly event has age-appropriate films featuring both animation and live actors. Although the films are fun, they are also educational. In 2011, this program also held a Families of the World Film Festival that featured free showings of six films from the Far East, including China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, and Australia. Book a rental in Honolulu if this sounds like a vacation for you!

With great free film festivals, no one needs to waste money on an expensive ticket. Which event will you attend this year?


Film Festival Rentals in Asbury Park

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