Film directors from around the world are set to descend on Huntsville for its flagship film festival.
The third annual Prison City Film Festival will take place from Feb. 26-29 at the Old Town Theatre and Downtown Huntsville.
Prison City Film Festival was launched in 2018 as a three-day event featuring 81 film submissions, but has grown to a four-day event with hundreds of submissions from around the planet. Students from Huntsville High School and Sam Houston State University have even submitted films for this year’s festival.
“For anyone who has dreamed of going to the Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest or the Cannes Film Festival, they do not need to travel, they can experience it all right here in Huntsville,” Prison City Film Festival founder Paul Shiver said. “In addition to submissions from across the country, we have filmmakers from Canada, Italy, Spain, France, The United Arab Emirates, The Netherlands, Switzerland and China. It is the real deal.”
Among the categories of films set to premiere include drama, comedy, action, romance, horror, suspense/thriller and animation. In addition to films being played throughout the day, the festival now includes guest speakers, networking and mixers. Each year, the festival is kicked-off by speakers with past topics including cinematography and scriptwriting, but this year the Westmount Action Design team will speak about choreography.
“This team of stuntmen are absolutely incredible. People will not want to miss it,” Shiver added. “One of them recently returned from China where they worked on fight scenes for the upcoming Mulan remake.”
On Thursday night of the festival, a night specifically for college students will be held, featuring local alternative metal band “Submit Thy Will,” along with films by student filmmakers
Friday night will feature entertainment and food trucks provided by H-E-B, McNease Drugs and Wish Wash car wash. The entertainment will include former Huntsville Superstar winners R.L. Bell and Brittany Perez performing, with outdoor features of popular movies from the festival.
“We are grateful to these sponsors for making it all possible,” Shiver said. “The mainstreet program and City Hall Cafe have really come through for us and have supported us since the beginning.”
The event will conclude Saturday with a VIP mixer, red carpet arrivals and an awards show. Awards for the films are named based on jobs for those in the prison system.
“I am really excited for the event to kick-off and show these people a good time and what hospitality is all about,” Shiver added. “This will be our greatest festival yet.”
Passes and tickets to the event can be purchased at www.PrisonCityFilmFestival.com.