The Polk County Film Initiative Presents
Tryon International Film Festival 

Full Length Feature Films

Hate Crime


Steven Esteb, Director - USA         See the trailer


As a killer is executed for murdering a young gay man, two sets of parents struggle to deal with the consequences of fear and repression. As the clock ticks toward midnight and the execution, these two families are on a collision course to confront how this happened and who is to blame. Stark and foreboding, this story is told between the lines. It tells you nothing, but you know everything. It compels you to dig deep into the lives of these characters and challenges you not to care. It is an emotional journey, with unforgettable performances, unveiled through jarring revelations. Right out of the headlines, it is an American tragedy that happens all too often. But this film is not about politics or morality or culture. It’s about a family.

Sunday, Oct 13 1:00pm Tryon Theater

Book Week


Heath Davis, Director - Australia         See the trailer


Book Week is a shaggy dark comedy about a disgraced novelist turned English teacher trying to find redemption

Saturday, Oct 12 4:00pm Tryon Fine Arts Center (Veh Stage)

Foster Boy ---   Friday Night Gala Feature Film


Youseff Delara, Director - USA         See the trailer


Micheal Trainer is a lawyer at the center of a trial in which a for-profit foster care agency puts a known sex offender into the same foster home as his young client Jamal, with catastrophic results. Michael, successful litigator with a long career protecting corporate interests, wants nothing to do with Jamal's case, until a Judge forces him to accept it. Initially he sees Jamal as a kid off the streets looking to grab a piece of corporate profits. But, when Jamal refuses to settle the case for any amount of money, Michael begins his representation in earnest. As their work together reveals the horrifying depth of the corrupt and abusive for-profit foster care agency, Michael is transformed from cynical skeptic to fierce warrior in the pursuit of justice.

Friday, Oct 11 6:00pm Tryon Fine Arts Center (Veh Stage)

Little Girl Blue


Nathan Ross Freeman, Director - USA         See the trailer


Little Girl Blue is a Concert Drama inspired by the life of Nina Simone and her youthful 
self, Eunice Waymon. Little Girl Blue heralds 3 characters, Nina, Eunice and the Piano, in tangled furious interactions; heart warming, heart wrenching. A noble dialectic. A bravura piano, vocal and thespian performance.

Little Girl Blue takes us on a journey, a tale, a story, a jibe between Nina and Eunice that threads and trashes 20 songs from Nina Simone’s repertoire playlist quilting Bach, Blues, Chopin, Pop, Brahms, Jazz interluded with passionate dialogue, barefoot stomps and sways, love life silhouettes, freedom marches, baptisms … that don’t stop ... until the mix milieu is through with you and Nina and Eunice are one … again.

Saturday, Oct 12, 6:00pm Tryon Theatre

Full Length Documentary Films

ALTERNATIVE FACTS: The Lies of Executive Order 9066


Jon Osaki, Director - USA         See the trailer


Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 is a documentary feature film about the false information and political influences which led to the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.

Alternative Facts sheds light on the people and politics that influenced the signing of the infamous Executive Order 9066 which authorized the mass incarceration of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans. The film will expose the lies used to justify the decision and the cover-up that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Alternative Facts will also examine the parallels to the current climate of fear, targeting of immigrant and religious communities, and similar attempts to abuse the powers of the government.

Sunday Oct 13, 1:00pm Tryon Fine Arts Center (Veh Stage)

Every Night’s a Saturday Night


Jeff Stacy, Director - USA/UK         See the trailer


Every Night’s a Saturday Night is the life and times of Texan Bobby Keys, decades-long Sax player with The Rolling Stones, best friend to Keith Richards, founding member of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, member of Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen, and the legendary second incarnation of the Joe Ely Band.

This is the story of a small town Texas kid who found the road out of town through witnessing the music of Buddy Holly before playing with Elvis and Donovan, achieving rock n roll stardom with the Stones only to crash and burn before making a comeback with the Stones and many others.

Saturday Oct 12 4:00pm Tryon Theatre

Guardians of Our Troubled Waters


David Weintraub, Director - USA         See the trailer


For thousands of years, our rivers and streams were considered sacred, a place where native peoples went to purify their bodies and souls. Europeans settlers, particularly Baptists were also deeply connected to waterways, using them for river baptisms every summer. But in the industrial era, everything changed. Major industry turned rivers into sewer systems that were brown and smelly and could barely support life. North Carolina’s French Broad River was a dead river. Tennessee’s Pigeon River was filled with dioxin from a paper mill. South Florida’s Everglades was being drained by agriculture and channelized for development.

But the destruction also awoke early heroes who spoke out for the river and challenged industry and the public to fight for their waterways, their drinking water, and their lifeblood of the community. Wilma Dykeman in Western North Carolina published her award-winning book, The French Broad, seven years before Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, demanding that people become the voice of the river. Marjory Stoneman Douglas’s River of Grass and her subsequent activism engaged people to fight for this unique ecosystem and stand up to developers and Big Sugar that was decimating it. The Dead Pigeon River Council in East Tennessee and the dam fighters in North Carolina were able to create unique partnerships between farmers and businessmen, environmentalists and Baptists who joined together for the love of their rivers and streams demanding that waterways not become the toxic price we paid for progress.

These are the stories of yesterday’s river champions and today’s leaders who followed in their footsteps to become the stewards that nature was asking us to be.

Saturday Oct 12, 2:00pm Tryon Fine Arts Center (Veh Stage)



Andrei Kutsila, Director - Poland         See the trailer


A young Belarusian artist leaves her husband behind in Minsk to visit her friend, the elderly painter Andrzej Strumillo, in his idyllic manor house in Poland. It’s a fairy-tale place, surrounded by marshland and a river. There are horses, for which the two artists share a passion, as well as dogs. It has been two years since her last visit. For her, the trip offers a welcome diversion from city life; for him, it’s a break from a lonely existence marked by old age: a curved spine, painful knees. “It’s sad life’s so short,” he says.

The artists talk about art and life, animals and trees, love and what they’ve been dreaming. The pleasant routine of drawing, talking, horse-riding and chores around the house is interrupted only by calls from the artist’s husband, who wants her to come home. But she wants to stay longer—she isn’t finished here yet. What she finds here is also what the calm pacing of this film and its carefully composed images offer us: space for contemplation.

A dignified death


Jesse van Venrooij, Director - Netherlands         See the trailer


Eelco choses death by legal euthanasia. A film about his mission, breaking the taboos, but also about intense fellowship and farewell.

The last moments of a man with mental unbearable and hopeless suffering. He is tired of life and choses death, by legal euthanasia. What do those moments look like?
It was Eelco’s wish to record the last stage of his life but also to show the world how his bereaved deal with his death afterwards. His mission: to bring mental suffering and death as a solution into the open in our society. A heavy social mission, but the result is mostly an intimate film about friendship and letting go.

Under strictly specified circumstances, physicians in the Netherlands are allowed to perform euthanasia and assisted suicide at the request of a patient. The criteria include a voluntary and well-considered request from the patient, unbearable suffering without any prospect of improvement, and the lack of a reasonable alternative.

Sunday Oct 13, 5:00 Tryon Fine Arts Center (Veh Stage)

Redeeming Uncle Tom


Jared Brock, Director - Canada        See the trailer


Narrated by Hollywood actor Danny Glover, Redeeming Uncle Tom is the incredible true story of the nearly-forgotten real-life inspiration for Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Sunday Oct 13, 3:00pm Tryon Theatre



T.G. Herrington, Director - Cuba/USA         See the trailer


A TUBA TO CUBA follows New Orleans' famed Preservation Hall Jazz Band as they retrace their musical roots from the storied city of jazz to the shores of Cuba and in turn discover a connection that runs much deeper than could have been imagined.

Saturday Oct 12, 12:00 Tryon Theatre

Jay's Longhorn


Mark Engebretson, Director - USA         See the trailer


Before First Avenue there was Jay's Longhorn — the epicenter of the Minneapolis punk rock and indie rock scene in the late 1970s. At a time when the music scene was dominated by Top 40 cover bands, a group of punk rock visionaries — led by Andy Schwartz, former publisher of the New York Rocker — scoured the city in search of a place that would welcome the New Wave. The Suicide Commandos, Flamingo, Curtiss A, the Suburbs, and NNB found a home at Jay's Longhorn — which also served as the launching pad for Hüsker Dü and the Replacements and the preferred venue for touring acts like Elvis Costello, The B-52s, and The Police.

Saturday Oct 12 2:30 Tryon Theatre

LIFE·LOVE·DOGS  - Saturday Special Events

Michael Buday, Director - USA         See the trailer


Every dog's life has value. Every one - a story worth telling.

Through the lens of three, distinctly different stories - LIFE·LOVE·DOGS explores the intense emotional bonds we share with our dogs, and how these bonds inspire human and dog to mutually rescue each other.

Saturday Oct 12, 8:00 Rogers Park

In Pursuit of Justice


Gregg Jamback, Director - USA         See the trailer


Walking past Jacquetta Thomas’ lifeless, brutally beaten body in September of 1991 changed Greg Taylor’s life, and North Carolina’s criminal justice system, forever. For seventeen years, Greg and his family fought to undo his wrongful conviction. It would take the creation of a unique, independent state agency - one vested with all the powers needed to determine innocence - and the revelation the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation misrepresented the truth in their scientific reporting, to set Taylor free.

Sunday, Oct 13, 5:00 Tryon Theatre

The American South as We Know It

Frederick Murphy, Director - USA         See the trailer


The American South As We Know It explores the lives and experiences of African-Americans during the Jim Crow era. This film depicts a time when racial tension was at its peak. The educators, historians and brave "everyday" people featured in this documentary, express their vested interest in creating a comprehensive narrative of what life was like for African- Americans in the south.

  2018 by Polk County Film Initiative - Tryon International Film Festival, 285 North Trade Street, Tryon, NC 28782 •

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