KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Thirteen may be an unlucky number, but it is not unlucky for Keith McDaniel, the Executive Director of the Knoxville Film Festival, which is now in its 13th year.
The festival began in 2004 as the Secret City Film Festival. Nine years later, the name was switched to the Knoxville Film Festival after McDaniel partnered with Dogwood Arts.
“When I began in 2004, it was very small. It grew gradually over the next 9 years as the Secret City Film Festival. It was when I partnered with Dogwood Arts 4 years ago that it really took off. The partnership between Dogwood Arts and myself really has a lot of synergy,” said McDaniel.
This year the festival will be held the weekend of August 26-28 at the Regal Downtown West Cinema 8. The festival has truly become East Tennessee’s destination for independent cinema, with film lovers and makers from across the area packing the theater seats.
“Knoxville is unique in that it’s home to a great number of artists. A large part of the group of artists are independent filmmakers. Many are seasoned and have been making films a long time and many are aspiring filmmakers just getting started,” said McDaniel. “As we encourage and nurture filmmakers in our community, it has a great impact on the culture of our community. Making a film, whether a short film or a feature length film, is quite an accomplishment and those folks who pursue this type of art benefit both personally and professionally from it.”
In 2014, the Knoxville Film Festival had close to 3,000 in attendance, in total 120 films from 14 states and three countries were submitted and 89 independent films were shown during the Festival. The festival also includes workshops for those wanting to get into film, the 7-day shootout and a student competition.
“The Knoxville Film Festival is not just a weekend event once a year. It’s impact on our community lasts all year long by providing opportunities for filmmakers to pursue their dreams,” said McDaniel.
Festival passes are now available on the Knoxville Film Festival website. Passes can be purchased by visiting the Knoxville Film Festival’s website.
Student filmmaking competition
Open to middle and high school students, the Knoxville Film Festival’s student competition challenges students to create a short narrative or documentary film about whatever subject they choose. The film can be anywhere from 5-20 minutes in length and must be submitted no later than July 1, 2016.
The best 12 films (Six from middle schoolers and six from high schoolers) will be determined by a panel of judges and then screened at the festival. McDaniel said the competition offers an incredible and unique opportunity for students to explore their creativity and passion.
For more information, visit the student filmmaking page.
7 Day ‘Shootout’
Now in its eighth year, the 7-Day Shootout really brings something unique to Knoxville Film Festival. Filmmakers are given 7 days to make a 7-minute film.
The 7-Day Shoot Out will take place July 27-August 3. Only 40 teams will be permitted to register, so McDaniel said don’t delay to sign-up.
“The 7-Day Shootout provides ample time to let your creativity flow to write, shoot and edit a MASTERPIECE!” said McDaniel.