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Tryon International Film Festival Stays on Schedule for Fall

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Because of COVID-19, Organizers Look at Options, including a Possible Digital Event

 

Tryon International Film Festival 2020, presented by New View Realty, is scheduled for Friday-Sunday, Oct. 9-11, despite the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused film festivals around the world to be postponed or cancelled altogether.
            “While we have been making great progress towards hosting our 2020 festival, we are mindful of this pandemic,” Co-Founder, Organizer, and Director of Operations Beau Menetre said. “We owe the many filmmakers, who have submitted their projects to us since the beginning of the year, our help to promote their films to the viewing public. We also have a commitment to this community and to patrons who have come to count on us for a world-class festival. We are hoping and praying that by this fall, the pandemic will be over and we can all come together in Tryon to enjoy the most promising films currently being circulated.”
            For the past five years, Tryon International Film Festival has drawn actors, filmmakers, producers, and patrons from around the world to the small town of Tryon in the foothills of the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. Known as a magnet for accomplished business leaders, artists, equestrians, and celebrities, Tryon rolls out the red carpet, welcoming attendees of the film festival that is held in October every year. In 2019, the Festival screened more than 60 films in three days at seven downtown locations, including independent films, major Hollywood productions, documentaries, and student films.
            In addition, the Festival has established itself as a champion for oppressed people of the world with the special film category of “Human Rights and Dignity.” In 2019, the USA-made full-length film “Foster Boy,” directed by Youssef Delara, was chosen “Best Full-Length Narrative Feature” and it received the “Human Right and Dignity” award. The film also won awards at the International Black Film Festival of Nashville and the Woodstock Film Festival.
            “Our festival is an essential business function within the film production industry,” Co-Founder and Director of Content and Media Communications Kirk Gollwitzer said. “Filmmakers, writers, producers, and actors never stop their creative process, but rather increase their efforts, and they depend on the film festival circuit for early stage momentum. People have a never-ending appetite for new movies and documentaries, and we, as an international film festival, play a critical industry role in satisfying that demand.”
            Because Cannes Film Festival was postponed and other festivals are being cancelled, many are investigating online alternatives through platforms like FilmFreeway or Amazon Prime Video. “We have not yet found an optimal online screening option or made the decision to go digital,” Gollwitzer said. “We are seeing some film festivals reject the online idea entirely, but we are keeping all options open to stay focused on the needs of the filmmakers and the patrons who want to see films—one way or the other.”
            Aside from hosting a world-class film festival, the Town of Tryon has become a draw for those looking to have their films shown a quaint but sophisticated locale. “We, who live in Tryon, know Tryon is a wonderful place. And it’s nice to hear visitors each year talk about how much they love coming here,” Menetre said. “They love the rural mountains, the town, the South, the food, basically the friendliness and hospitality. This festival is very much a whole-town event, involving the arts, government, business, tourism. They don’t call Tryon ‘the friendly town in the South’ for no reason.”
            Dates to submit film for consideration are Aug. 1 for the regular deadline and Aug. 21 for the late deadline. Notices of acceptance will be issued by Sept. 1. This year’s categories are Length Feature Film, Short Dramatic Film, Student Film, Human Rights and Human Dignity, Full Length Documentary, and Short Documentary Film. The actual awards are traditionally table-top works of art, made from vintage camera equipment.
            “Every day, more and more films are being submitted for consideration this year,” Menetre said. “It’s a great feeling that now all of these filmmakers from around the world are contacting us here in Tryon, trying to get into our Film Festival. It feels good that movers and shakers in the film industry are putting us on their A list. At this time, pandemic or no pandemic, Tryon International Film Festival is a go—be it the usual three-day gathering, online, or some other way yet to be determined.”
            For more information about Tryon International Film Festival 2020, please visit online: TryonInternationalFilmFestival.org. The latest news visit Facebook: Tryon International Film Festival.

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