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Presented by Visit Knoxville and Regal
Images from the six competition films

Visit Knoxville Announces Competition Films

September 21, 2023

FILM FEST KNOX, taking place November 9–12, 2023, announces the lineup of its inaugural American Regional Film Competition: Evening Song (for Three Voices), Kick Me, Lousy Carter, Mountains, Peak Season, and Somewhere Quiet. The Best Film winner will receive an Oscar-qualifying theatrical run, courtesy of REGAL. Additional awards include Best Director and a Jury Prize.

The American Regional Film Competition is a showcase of the diversity of personal and ambitious filmmaking happening outside of the traditional industry capitals of Los Angeles and New York City.
A number of filmmakers will be in attendance, introducing their films, participating in Q&As, and discussing the current state and future of regional cinema.

An Evening Song (for three voices) (Dir. Graham Swon)

86 minutes – Drama
In the 1930s a former child-prodigy writer moves to the countryside with her pulp-fiction scribe husband where they become entwined in a love triangle with their religious housekeeper. The second narrative feature by Swon, winner of the 2023 Indie Spirit John Cassavetes Award. Shot in Fairfield and Bentonsport, Iowa. Starring Hannah Gross (Joker, Mindhunter), Deragh Campbell (MS Slavic 7, Anne at 13,000 Ft.), and Peter Vack (Bully, Send).

Kick Me (Dir. Gary Huggins)

86 minutes – Comedy, Action, Horror
A nightmare comedy about a school counselor whose compassion, generosity, and dedication destroy the lives of everyone around him. Winner of Best Feature at the Kanazawa (Japan) and Fantaspoa (Brazil) Film Fests. Shot in Kansas City, Kansas. Starring Santiago Vasquez, Matthew Stathas and Josh Fadem (Better Call Saul, Twin Peaks: The Return).

Lousy Carter (Dir. Bob Byington)

80 minutes – Comedy
A literature professor assesses a troubling medical diagnosis. Nominee for the Golden Leopard Award for Best Film at the 2023 Locarno International Film Festival. Shot in Austin, Texas. Starring David Krumholtz (Oppenheimer, The Deuce), Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks, Silicon Valley), and Stephen Root (Office Space, King of the Hill).

Mountains (Dir. Monica Sorelle)

95 minutes – Drama
While looking for a new home for his family, a Haitian demolition worker is faced with the realities of redevelopment as he is tasked with dismantling his rapidly gentrifying Miami neighborhood. Winner of the Special Jury Mention U.S. Narrative Feature and nominee for the Founders Award Best U.S. Narrative Feature at the 2023 Tribeca Festival. Shot in Miami, Florida. Starring Atibon Nazaire, Sheila Anozier, and Chris Renois.

Peak Season (Dir. Steven Kanter and Henry Loevner)

84 minutes – Comedy, Drama, Romance
An emotionally adrift young woman forges an unexpected friendship with a wilderness guide when she and her fiancé take a summer holiday. A Narrative Spotlight selection at the 2023 South by Southwest Film Festival. Shot in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Starring Claudia Restrepo (The End of Us), Derrick Joseph DeBlasis, and Ben Coleman.

Somewhere Quiet (Dir. Olivia West Lloyd)

98 minutes – Thriller
Follows a woman as she readjusts to normalcy after a kidnapping. Her sense of reality begins to deteriorate when she travels to her husband’s family compound. Nominee for the Founders Award Best U.S. Narrative Feature at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival. Shot in Cotuit, Massachusetts. Starring Jennifer Kim (The Bourne Legacy, Mozart in the Jungle), Kentucker Audley (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Her Smell), and Marin Ireland (Hell or High Water, Light from Light).

About Regal

Regal, a subsidiary of the Cineworld Group, operates one of the largest and most geographically diverse theatre circuits in the United States, consisting of 5,818 screens in 429 theatres in 41 states along with the District of Columbia and Guam as of July 31, 2023. We believe that the size, reach and quality of the company’s theatre circuit provides its patrons with a convenient and enjoyable moviegoing experience. We are committed to being “The Best Place to Watch a Movie!”

About The Public Cinema

The Public Cinema was created to share vital works of contemporary international and American cinema—works that might otherwise be unseen or overlooked by Knoxville audiences. Most of the films screened are discoveries from the festival circuit; many are Tennessee or regional premieres. Whatever is screened, the only agenda is to create a space for cinema as an art form and to promote discussion among discerning moviegoers. For more information visit

About The Visit Knoxville Film Office

The Visit Knoxville Film Office serves to strengthen Knoxville’s economy through the promotion of the city as a premiere filming location. By attracting motion media companies to Knoxville through the marketing of its locations, accommodations, services, crew, and talent, the Film Office fosters the creation of jobs in the area, stimulates business opportunities, and generates exposure. Knoxville has three times been named one of MovieMaker Magazine’s Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker. For more information visit and follow on Facebook and Twitter.


Kristen Combs
Director of Communications
Visit Knoxville
865.342.9127 o
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