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It's about BETTER cities, towns and neighborhoods

We want better. Better cities, towns and neighborhoods. So we launched a Film Festival. 

Better Cities Film Festival collects, curates and presents the very best films on the theme of making better cities, towns, and neighborhoods.

We honor the top films and filmmakers with awards.  (And applause!)  And we screen those films to a vast audience around the world through our flagship event (a four-day film festival), and through satellite screening events in a growing number of host cities.

Better Cities Film Festival was originally founded by Joshua Paget in 2013 as the New Urbanism Film Festival.  Discussions and decisions about urban planning and design are too often limited to the university classroom or city council chambers. The festival was launched with a vision to move that conversation onto the silver screen and into the streets, engaging the broader community in the vital work of placemaking and neighborhood revitalization.

During its five-year run in Los Angeles, the festival received over 700 submissions from all over the world, and screened over 200 films, pairing them with experts who helped lead post-film discussions about the local built environment.

In its second year, by popular demand, the festival took an unexpected turn:   community groups and organizations wanted to use the power of film to help revitalize and improve their hometowns. It was time to “take the show on the road.”  We instituted a way for other cities and towns to host local screenings.  In some cases, they wanted to screen the “best of the fest” – a reel of the top award-winning festival films.  In other cases, by special request, we dug through our vast archives and curated custom playlists of films especially relevant to the current issues facing a particular host city.

By 2018, the festival had enjoyed a five-year run in Los Angeles, and sold-out screenings in over 30 cities around the world, ranging from international hotspots like Shen Zhen and Milan, to smaller domestic cities and towns like Laredo and Oxnard. 

In 2019, First+Main Films acquired the the New Urbanism Film Festival, with the goal of expanding it to more cities and more audiences.  Founder Josh Paget remains as the festival director and driving creative force.  Together we’ve rechristened it Better Cities Film Festival

It’s all about inspiring more people to create better places.  And it’s coming soon to your hometown.

Invite us!

Copyright Better Cities Film Festival 2019