Naples International Film Festival: Event Highlights, Hotels & Dining

The festival brings film screenings and fun events to Naples each fall. Get the details along with ideas for where to stay, where to eat and what to do around town.

Do you find yourself staying up too late finishing that movie you’ve been dying to watch? Do you enjoy creating, assisting with or watching independent films? With a carefully curated program of approximately 50 narrative, documentary and short films, the Naples International Film Festival (NIFF) is the perfect place to celebrate films, and the people who love them, year-round.

About the Film Festival

Perfect for a film student or director – or even a weekend of extraordinary date nights – the Naples International Film Festival (NIFF) takes place each year at the end of October. Competition films screen throughout the weekend at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at Mercato, a boutique theater with state-of-the-art digital projection and sound. After the show, attend one of the many evening events to mingle with filmmakers and film buffs. Movie lovers are welcome to connect and discuss ideas at popular post-show events.

If you can’t wait until October to see some great independent flicks, NIFF offers year-round film screenings and special events for their members. That’s just one perk to signing up. Learn more about becoming a NIFF member.

Places to Stay

Looking for a place to stay while on your Naples vacation? There are plenty of hotels in the area to accommodate your artistic adventure. Festival hotel partners include Doubletree Suites by Hilton Naples, Bellasera Hotel, Inn at Pelican Bay and Compass by Margaritaville Hotel Naples. 

Doubletree Suites by Hilton Naples, an award-winning, full-service boutique hotel, is located just two miles from the beach, overlooking the Cocohatchee River and a nature preserve. The hotel provides business and leisure travelers with the comforts of home, plus great service and hospitality.

Bellasera Resort is a hidden gem in the heart of Old Naples. It’s located at the gateway to Fifth Avenue South, where Naples’ tropical elegance, charm and historic beauty are at their finest. Mention NIFF when booking and inquire about special discounted rates year-round.

Inn at Pelican Bay is just blocks from Vanderbilt Beach and is convenient to Naples shopping and dining districts like Mercato and Waterside Shops. The Inn is known for its intimate atmosphere and personal service. Perks include complimentary breakfast and a beach shuttle.

Staybridge Suites is an upscale all-suite hotel located about one mile from the beach and shopping. It offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites with living room areas and fully equipped kitchens, daily complimentary hot buffet breakfast and evening social receptions Tuesday through Thursday, with a complimentary light dinner including beer, wine and soft drinks. Enjoy free Wi-Fi, a business center, free parking, a pool with a Jacuzzi spa, fire pit area and barbecue grills, and the Chickee Bar (open daily 3–11 p.m.).

To find the Paradise Coast accommodations best suited to your Naples vacation, book a room here.

Local Restaurants

From fine dining to rustic crab houses, Florida’s Paradise Coast has restaurants that suit any film fanatic. For the ultimate steak and seafood experience in an upscale setting, try the Seared Tenderloin with Butter Poached Lobster Tails at The Capital Grille located in the Mercato center. Shula’s Steak House also serves up amazing signature-cut steaks and sauces, complemented by their infamous Seven Layer Chocolate Cake. 

Naples also offers a sprawling coastal dining scene with choices varying from ritzy restaurants to casual dockside cuisine. ROW by Captain Brien & Crew boasts fresh seafood shipped daily from the New England shores, making for a delicious Crab Crusted Baked Haddock entrée. For the love of the arts, ROW also serves up a laugh-out-loud experience at the adjoining Off the Hook Comedy Club. For modern American seafood in a charming and chic historic shopping area, visit Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar. Here you can sip the signature Mango Habanero Margarita from a quaint balcony overlooking Third Street South, or watch as chefs prepare Caribbean Rubbed Mahi Mahi in the open kitchen.

Exploring the Naples Area

While you may be visiting for the Naples International Film Festival, there are plenty of area hot spots to explore during your stay. Named on the 2015 Best Small Cities list by Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice Awards, Naples boasts a wealth of art and culture with organizations like Artis–Naples, The von Liebig Art Center, the Marco Island Center for the Arts, Naples Players, the United Arts Council and many more.

Entertainment hubs host a variety of shopping – from tiny boutiques to expansive art galleries and restaurants. Then, of course, there are the beautiful beaches of Naples and Marco Island for relaxing daytime retreats.