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A film festival is an organized, extended presentation of films in one or more cinemas or screening venues, usually in a single city or region. Increasingly, film festivals show some films outdoors. Films may be of recent date and, depending upon the festival's focus, can include international and domestic releases. Some festivals focus on a specific film-maker or genre (e.g., film noir) or subject matter (e.g., horror film festivals). A number of film festivals specialise in short films of a defined maximum length. Film festivals are typically annual events. Some film historians, including Jerry Beck, do not consider film festivals official releases of film.
The most prestigious film festivals in the world are generally considered to be Cannes, Berlin, and Venice. These festivals are sometimes called the "Big Three." The Toronto International Film Festival is North America's most popular festival in terms of attendance; Time wrote it had "grown from its place as the most influential fall film festival to the most influential film festival, period." The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world.