What is Film Fest Knox?
Showcasing personal and ambitious regional filmmaking alongside the very best contemporary world cinema and revivals that wouldn’t screen in Knoxville otherwise.
FILM FEST KNOX programming includes an exciting array of acclaimed festival highlights and revivals, an Elev8or Pitch for local film makers, Made in Tennessee films, panels, networking opportunities, and more.
American Regional Film Competition
The American Regional Film Competition is a showcase of the diversity of personal and ambitious filmmaking happening outside of the traditional industry capitals of Los Angeles and New York City. Titles include Evening Song (for Three Voices), Kick Me, Lousy Carter, Mountains, Peak Season, and Somewhere Quiet. The Best Film winner will receive an Oscar-qualifying theatrical run, courtesy of REGAL. Winner of the 6-film American Regional Cinema Competition will receive an Oscar-qualifying theatrical run courtesy of Regal.
Made in Tennessee
The Made in Tennessee category is an especially exciting section for festival attendees. A Hard Problem is particularly noteworthy for local audiences. A moving drama about mourning and loss, this film transforms Knoxville into a recognizable near future in which artificial intelligence has become an everyday convenience and moral dilemma. Filmed in Knoxville, A Hard Problem was the first feature film written and directed by the LA-based duo known as hazart.
Made in Tennessee also features two locally made documentaries that blend the excitement of sports with engaging off-field stories. Country Brawlers, by Curren Sheldon, is a raw and intimate look into the lives of professional boxers in Appalachia and the coaches that give them a fighting chance in an unforgiving region. One More Week, by Samuel Wayne Scott, documents the journey of several West High seniors as they attempt to win a state football championship while coming to terms with the end of high school.
International Currents and Revival Films
The International Currents and Revival sections include nine feature films and ten shorts by acclaimed artists, past and present, and offer a representative survey of film art in 2023. Six of the eight films in International Currents will screen here a month after their US premieres at the New York Film Festival.
The film program will kick off on Friday, November 10, with one of the first-ever screenings of Time of the Heathen (1961), Peter Kass’s “lost” film about a wandering drifter in upstate New York who goes on the run after witnessing a murder. Time of the Heathen won the grand prize at the 1962 Bergamo International Film Festival but went mostly unseen until this year, after a recently discovered film print was restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and premiered at Il Cinema Ritrovato in Italy. FILM FEST KNOX is proud to screen Time of the Heathen as part of its commitment to expanding the understanding of America’s rich history of regional filmmaking.
In the Elev8or Pitch Competition, FILM FEST KNOX provides space for local filmmakers to share their craft and passion with a large audience. The top eight teams will have their films screened followed by their one-minute pitch in front of a live audience and panel of judges.
FILM FEST KNOX will offer two panels, designed to educate budding filmmakers. One will feature “The Art of the Pitch” by Founder and CEO of Seed & Spark, Emily Best. The other presents the Executive Director of the Tennessee Entertainment Commission, Bob Raines, and Visit Knoxville Film Office Director, Curt Willis, for a conversation about filming in Tennessee and Knoxville.
A number of filmmakers will be in attendance, introducing their films, participating in Q&As, and discussing the current state and future of regional cinema.