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The mission of the PCFI is to bolster independent and major motion picture film production & media arts education for youth and adults in Western NC & the surrounding region. PCFI began in 2014 with a one-year film-making course for youth, titled the Next Generation Film Project. In 2015, PCFI launched its first annual fall film festival, the Tryon International Film Festival (TRIFF). PCFI and its signature film festival and year-round education offerings fill a gap in media arts education in the region and provide a catalyst for creative and economic development. PCFI is guided by its active, volunteer Board of Directors & TRIFF Planning Team and informed by its Advisory Council. PCFI’s Executive Director and Education Director implement goals and strategies. which are supported annually by over 100 volunteers.

From its start as the Next Generation Filmmakers Program, The Polk County Film Initiative was birthed from the desire to see filmmakers succeed.  

With a commitment to providing artists a quality and exciting event to showcase their work, fostering an environment of community, and creating opportunities for education and growth, PCFI is proud to continue serving the WNC and Upstate, SC for it's 10th year. 

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, we invite you to join us for an educational event, the Tryon International Film Festival, or to shoot your next project. 

No matter what you're looking for, we're here to help. 






Tom Trobaugh, President

Beau Menetre, Treasurer

Carri Bass, Secretary

Will Barclift, Member at Large



Gail Awan, Ex Officio

Jennifer Britanisky, Ex Officio



Debra Torrence, Executive Director

Ashley Crane, Director of Education



Debbie Pardel

Charlotte Ware Epley

Becky Collins

Marty Kirchhof

TRIFF Sponsorships & Ads

Carri Bass

Casey Rigby

Charlotte Epley

Daniel Kline

Debra Torrence

 Gina Crane 

 Jennifer Britanisky

Marty Kirchoff

Rhodes Farrell

Tom Trobaugh

Advisory Council Members (Ex Officio)


Jennifer Britanisky

Gail Awan Wilson

Area Art Partners

Evan Fitch, Tryon Theatre  

Marianne Carruth, Tryon Fine Arts Center

Kathy Campbell, Chapman Cultural Ctr, SC  

Film Industry/ Camera Ready Region  

Beau Menetre, TRIFF Co-Founder

Cher Brown, Drone Operator

Clay Johnson, Documentary Producer  

Erik Olsen, Videographer, SC  

Evan Fitch, Tryon Theatre

Gail Awan, Urban League/Upstate USC

 Taylor Dement, One Spartanburg 

Rhodes Farrell, Filmmaker, Film Bar- Greenville, SC

Outreach/Marketing Partners

Ashley Menetre, Co-Founder & The Nest Artisan Market

Jennifer Britanisky, Outreach

Michelle Newman, Tryon Downtown Development Association

Shawn Terpack, Marketing, SC


Education Partners

Public, Private & Home School Groups

Carolyn Young, Isothermal Comm Coll

Gail Awan, Upstate SC Film Initiative

Kimberly Hall, Wofford University

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