Tryon International Film Festival kicks off Oct. 7

Three-day event features movie screenings, educational programs
The festival features movie screenings and film-related workshops and panel discussions
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 6:04 PM EDT
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TRYON, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - If someone wanted to make a movie on how the Tryon International Film Festival came to be, it would begin with two men on a mission to have more movies made in Western North Carolina.

But Beau Menetre and Kirk Gollwitzer, festival co-founders, said regional competition and diminishing tax incentives soon forced them to shift their focus.

“It kind of morphed into, ‘Let’s bring people here for a film festival,’” Menetre told FOX Carolina. “By the time we started our nonprofit, the Polk County Film Initiative, a lot of (the filming) shifted to Georgia, Wilmington, Charlotte and Raleigh.

The festival, returning for its eighth year on Friday, will feature movie screenings at multiple locations. This year, five films will hold their world premieres at the festival.

“When we contact filmmakers saying, ‘We’d like to have your film in our film festival,’ that really is a big thrill for them,” Gollwitzer said. “Film festivals are a major part of the film production industry. It’s how they get their films to their distributors.”

Throughout the years, the festival has expanded it education opportunities.

“We have workshops, panels and discussion groups for people who are just interested in learning about film,” said Ashley Crane, director of education for the festival. “These discussion groups are hosted by filmmakers from all over the world who are the head of their fields. They’re going to be teaching us about their craft and how they got to where they are today.”

Aspiring filmmakers have a chance to learn from industry experts

Crane said the education programs would be suitable for a range of participants, from high school students with an interest in the industry to emerging filmmakers who want to learn more.

“Making a film is art. It’s sharing your idea and telling your story to the world,” Crane said.

The festival kicks off Friday night with a gala and the world premieres of “ParaGold,” a documentary about Olympic-bound para-equesterians, and “Meet Mr. Teeny of Hooper’s Creek,” a short, animated film.

Click here for more information about the event and here to purchase tickets.