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Discovering the roots of the Tryon International Film Festival

Discovering the roots of the Tryon International Film Festival

Tryon International Film Festival has set Friday-Sunday, Oct. 7-9, 2022, for its eighth annual festival that attracts moviemakers and cinephiles from around the world to the foothills of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Also, the Festival is now accepting film submissions for 2022. Filmmakers can submit their work via, through the FilmFreeway link. The deadline to submit entries is Aug. 1; the late entry date will be Aug. 22. The Festival has added two new categories to its list of acceptable films: Best Full-Length Animation and Best Short Animation. The established categories are Best Full-Length Feature, Best Full-Length Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Dramatic, Best Student Film, Sabian Award for Best Human Rights and Human Dignity, Best Overall Film, and Audience Choice. “The 2021 Festival was a huge success, a trying success, but no less of a success,” Festival Co-Founder Beau Menetre said. “With the COVID pandemic still changing the public-gathering landscape almost daily, we have learned to pivot and pivot quickly. Plans made yesterday, change today, and again tomorrow. In 2020, we went totally virtual: That was a huge change, but we learned so much on the technical end of hosting a festival. 2021 was in-person with a strong online viewing opportunity. We learned how to be both an in-person festival, as well as an online festival. We will be both again this year, just refining our process. With what we’ve learned and experienced -- and with some new plans now in the making -- I predict the 2022 festival will be our best yet.” Last year’s Festival brought more than 50 films to the guests, both in-person and online. Filmmakers and guests enjoyed three days of social events, screenings, and workshops in Tryon, which is branded as “The Friendliest Town In The South.” For 30 days after the in-person Festival, the films were available for viewing online. “Admittedly, 2021 was stressful, mostly because of COVID,” Festival Co-founder Kirk Gollwitzer said. “October was a very stressful time for the entire world. There were surges, changing guidelines, openings and closings, delays, and uncertainties. But we are fortunate to live in a community that is small enough to implement changes quickly and sophisticated enough to understand and accept why last-minute changes are needed. All of the feedback has been positive.” In addition to having a diverse and top-quality curation of films from around the world, the Festival is noted for its hospitality in Tryon. “Every year, I get comments from people about how much they love coming to Tryon in the fall,” Menetre said. “Because of the mountains with an autumn backdrop, Tryon is a destination for those to get away for a few days. Once they get here, they find a community that is laid back but savvy. People from all walks of life and from far and wide settle here and bring art, music, gourmet foods, and a high level of worldly sophistication. Actors, artists, writers, captains of industry are among our residents. The bustling downtown has an historic cinema house, a French restaurant, several art galleries, and authentic New York City bagels all within walking distance. I know of people who came for the Film Festival and decided to relocate here.” One of the biggest changes to Tryon International Film Festival in 2021 was the addition of workshops -- something that will continue and grow. “Beau and I thought having an education component to the Festival would be a good idea, and 2021 proved we were right,” Gollwitzer said. “Most of the credit goes to Ashely Crane, who handled all of the coordination. We had five workshops, all taught by leading professionals in filmmaking. They covered everything from the basics of storytelling to budgets, production, and acting. We will definitely have workshops again this year -- just more. Ashely is now working on how to reach more filmmaking students and how to possibly have them earn college credit.” Already, New View Realty has signed on again to be the Festival’s Title Partner. “We are very fortunate to live in a community that is so supportive of creative efforts,” Menetre said. “New View Realty has been with us from the very beginning, and I can’t say ‘Thank you’ enough. In 2021, we had many sponsoring partners, who made the Festival possible. This speaks loudly to how the local community is supportive of Tryon International Film Festival.” For more information about the Festival, please visit For the latest news about the Festival, please like and follow it on Facebook. NON STOP FILM FESTIVALS The place to be for the film festival circuit fans!

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