Before COVID, soccer movie festivals and Football (Fútbol, Fútebol) film festivals were proliferating. I was getting many broken links on this page, so I decided I better update it. I have now put the most active festivals up top. Check these out to keep up with some of the latest football movies, although these festivals often show films that have been released in prior years.
The best football film festivals
International Football Film Festival Berlin
- It is normally held in March, but due to COVID-19 was held in Oct-2020 in Berlin
- Founded in 2004 as a film festival for 11mm soccer movies
- On twitter @11mm Fußballfilmfest
- Created an offshoot Belgium Football Film Festival in Oct-2016
CINEfoot Football Film Festival (Brasil / Brazil)
- The 7th Edition of this festival is being held May 19-24, 2016 in Rio
- Followed by additional showings in November 2016 in Recife, VItoria, Sao Paulo, and Belo Horizonte
- All sessions offer free admission
- Their Movies section has many titles I have not seen
- On Twitter @CINEfoot
Yokohama Football Film Festival (Japan)
- This festival started in 2011
- 2021 festival is being held January 30-31, 2021 in Yokohama, Japan.
- They always include at least one film on handicap soccer
(ハンディキャップサッカー) for the physically impaired.
- Every year, this festival curates an awesome selection of films. Their volunteers provide the sub-titles for the international films.
- It seems this festival is part of a 12-city festival, so I need to better understand what this group is about. They never respond to my emails, but one can hope… Stay tuned!
- On Twitter @yffforg
Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festivals (USA & UK)
- Founded by Greg Lalas and Rachel Markus in 2009, the K+S Soccer Film Fest holds several annual film festivals around the world. Its goal is to be “an annual series of soccer cultural events that bring together soccer and film enthusiasts to celebrate the beautiful game.”
- On Twitter @KSFilmFest
Minuto 90 (Peru)
- Minute 90 “is a football film festival organized by the Cultural Football Association, which intends to communicate the humanity of football through free cultural activities.”
- Its first festival was held May-2015 in Lima
- In Nov-2020 they are holding an online festival, but I was unable to get to their facebook page facebook.com/festivalminuto90.
- On Twitter @minuto90fest
- Their website says that “Cinema Fora de Joc is a Barcelona football documentary film festival. We truly believe that football should be understood as a sport, but also as a social and cultural phenomenon. Football is an expression of the greatness of humanity, and these documentaries reveal some human stories that illustrate the greatness of football.”
- OffsideFest 2020 was held online September 15-20, 2020.
- The OffsideFest has also been held or will be held in other cities: Thessaloniki (Greece), Milan (Italy), and Lisbon (Portugal).
- On Twitter @OffsideFest
Women Sports Film Festival (San Francisco Bay Area USA)
- Susan Sullivan and Jennifer Matt started this festival to promote documentaries by and about female athletes to “explore how sport shapes the lives of women and girls around the world”. The festival is not limited to soccer, but if you look at the page summarizing the 2016 films, you get a sense of how empowering it is to see a festival like this.
- There was a Kickstarter campaign to fund the second instantiation of this annual festival on September 28–30, 2017 in Oakland, California. I attended a great panel on #EverydayActivism and have attended every year since. Join me then!
- On Twitter @womensportsfilm
SHOOT! Copenhagen Football festival
- The Shoot! Festival, also known as the Copenhagen Football Festival, started in 2016. The 4th edition was held March 5-8, 2020 with an excellent assortment of films, along with talks and art.
- On Twitter @ShootFilmFest
African football film festival (afff)
- The African Football Film Festival (AFFF) started in 2013. It is put on by PLAY!YA Nigeria, a non-profit organization that supports “practical activities to promote social change by means of sport.” The festival includes a few films as well as community discussion on football. Some of the sponsors are German companies.
- They held the festival in Jan-2020
- On Facebook, @AfricanFootballFilmFestival
CINEfoot Football Film Festival (Portugal)
- Cinefoot in Lisbon
- In February 2019, the Cinefoot festival was organized in Lisbon, Portugal for the first time.
- A session was held Mar 4-7, 2020
Festival La Lucarne (France)
- The 7th Edition was held June 6-9, 2019 in Paris at Point Éphémère
- On Twitter @La_Lucarne_
Lesser festivals that may be on hiatus
FÉDÉRATION INTERNATIONALE CINÉMA TÉLÉVISION SPORTIFS (FICTS)
- Founded in 1983, FICTS mission is to promote Olympic values through images and video. Olympic values include tolerance, ethics, respect, self-discipline, friendship, solidarity, peace and fair play.
- FICTS has 116 country members, 16 of which host film festivals. The winners of these festivals are exhibited in the Finals of the “World FICTS Challenge” in Milan. For 2018, the Final will be held November 14-19, 2018.
- Many of their past films’ trailers are on youtube. They have many football films listed that I had not heard of and which need to be added to my To Watch list (but it’s too much work—hopefully I’ll remember to do this later).
Flutlicht Fussball Film Festival (Switzerland)
- Founded in 2013 by Dieter Bopp, Philipp Grünfelder, and Markus Schwark as the first Swiss football film festival
- The association’s goal is to promote football culture in a social, sporting, and cultural context
- The 6th festival was held January 24-29, 2019 in Basel, Switzerland
- On Twitter @FlutlichtFFF
Total Football festival (TFF)
- The Total Football Festival in Amsterdam started in 2013. The 6th edition was held Jan-19-2019 and appeared to be a one-day festival with invited speakers on an annual theme, such as “Italy”.
- On Twitter @TotalFootbFest (Total Football Fest)
Thinking Football Film Festival
- Held in Bilbao, Spain, this festival had its third annual incarnation in Feb-2015
- Last held March 18-22, 2019
GOAL! CHINA Football film festival (goal-cfFF)
- This festival was launched in Sep-2016 by Ms Yan Xinmin, a football fan, player, and coach. She is a former director of China Central Television, and she has been a commissioner with the Beijing International Sports Film Week, which is now one of the FICTS festivals. She even got a coaching certificate from the FA.
- The Goal-CFFF initially partnered with the English Embassy in Beijing. The 2017 festival grew to include Germany’s Goethe Institute and presented 25 films.
- Xinmin will keep me updated on the plans for 2018 (she obviously did not…)
TERZO TEMPO FilmFestival del Calcio Solidale (Italy)
- Third Time Film Festival of Solidarity Soccer
- According to Artistic Director Paolo Geremei, this is the first Italian film festival entirely dedicated to soccer, with emphasis on short films that show football as a means of gathering and solidarity.
- Inaugural festival was held in Rome on May 26-28, 2016
Festivals from the Past or not specific to Football / soccer
FilmFreeway Festival website
- https://filmfreeway.com/ and search for “sport” or “sports”
- The 6th Annual All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival took place Apr 14-17, 2016. It was not strictly for soccer but is for “any subject that deals with mental and physical competition for the sake of winning a prize (and not killing anyone along the way to do it).” It no longer appears on filmfreeway, but several other sports film festivals do.
Denver World Football Film Festival
- Hosted in Jun-2014 to coincide with the World Cup, the “first annual” DWFF 2014 was coordinated by the Denver Film Society and America SCORES and was a fundraiser for Soccer Electric, an inner city soccer program. Soccer Electric holds a summer soccer camp that includes an afternoon movie at Denver’s SIE FilmCenter.
- It appears they still host an occasional soccer film.
Sydney Film Festival
- Held in June, the Sydney Film Festival has a soccer Interests section that lists a few interesting films I hadn’t heard of, including a zombie soccer movie. There is a first for everything.
Czech fotbal je film (Czech Football is film)
- Fotbal Pro Rozvoj (Football for Development) organizes football activities for social good. They held their inaugural festival on Oct-7-2017, which they say was the first football film festival in the Czech Republic. Looking at their website in Nov-2020, it appears that they are focused on social good and not on film anymore.
- On Twitter @Fotbalprorozvoj
- On Facebook, search for “fotbal.pro.rozvoj”
DEPARTED – Tokyo international Football Film Festival
- Their mission is “to contribute to Japan’s football culture by discovering the world’s best football-related films and introducing them to a Japanese audience.”
- TIFF 2015 was held Feb-2015. Appears to have been their first festival. I checked this website in Dec-2016, but there was no festival in 2016. As of Nov-2020 the URL of football-film.jp is now a lingerie storefront.
DEPARTED? – Football Film Festival (Australia)
- The website footballfilmfestival.org has expired
- First session in Oct-2015 in several locations around Australia
- (I couldn’t attend, but they had a super lineup of films)
- Plans for an IMDB-like site for football films
- On Twitter @footballfilmAU
- I followed this festival via Twitter, and they had some outstanding new and old films – really well curated. Wish I could have attended!
- A write-up on the festival organizers
DEPARTED – Firenze Festival del Calcio (Florence Football Festival)
- FootballFestITA on Facebook
- A festival that started in 2016, and is organized by AC IMMaginario and Zic Association. It appears to have a number of fun sport-related events and some films. I hadn’t realized that calcio is the Italian word for football, and a footballer is a calciatore.
- Their website festivaldelcalcio.it is not functioning and they haven’t tweeted since 2017
- On Twitter @Festival_Calcio (Football Fest)