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Presented by Visit Knoxville and Regal
Downtown Knoxville at night

Visit Knoxville Announces Dates and Partnership

April 18, 2023

Visit Knoxville announces FILM FEST KNOX will be held November 10–12, 2023, at the Regal Riviera in downtown Knoxville in partnership with Regal.

Hosting FILM FEST KNOX in downtown Knoxville will bring an unmatched vibrancy to the inaugural festival hosted by the Visit Knoxville Film Office and The Public Cinema. The walkable nature of downtown with its cultural offerings and dining scene will allow the festival to attract key programming opportunities.

“We are proud to partner with Regal to host the screenings for FILM FEST KNOX,” said Kim Bumpas, President of Visit Knoxville. “The downtown Riviera location will provide a premier experience to filmmakers and attendees, achieving our goals to showcase Knoxville via the festival.”

“In partnership with Visit Knoxville and The Public Cinema, we are excited to present a premier film festival in Knoxville,” said Debbie Pennie, Director of Film – Art Circuit at Regal. “Along with showcasing the amazing talent of the filmmakers during the three-day event at our downtown Riviera theatre, we are excited to build working relationships with the talent while highlighting our beautiful community.”

A major component of the festival is the Feature Competition. Out of the many films screened during the festival, six of the feature films will be curated to compete against each other for the title of best feature. FILM FEST KNOX will also provide an exclusive opportunity for the winning filmmaker, compliments of Regal. The winner of the Feature Competition will receive an Oscar qualifying theatrical release at a Regal theatre to be determined.

In the tradition of previous timed competitions for regional and local filmmakers, FILM FEST KNOX will also be launching the “Elev8or Pitch” as part of the festival’s events. A jury of film industry professionals will evaluate team submissions of a one-minute elevator pitch for a feature film followed by a seven- minute standalone short. This short will represent a proof-of-concept for the full-length production. The top 20 teams will have their films screened in a block during the festival. Awards for various categories will be presented on the final night of the festival.

FILM FEST KNOX’s Feature Competition and the Elev8or Pitch have been designed to support the festival’s guiding artistic mission, which is to advocate for the production and exhibition of ambitious regional American filmmaking. FILM FEST KNOX will be a gathering spot for directors and producers who tell stories that can’t be told in Los Angeles and New York City; films that have a particular sense of place and a localized voice. FILM FEST KNOX will be a celebration of contemporary regional cinema and a workshop for discovering new ways to promote and distribute it.

In addition to its focus on regional work, Film Fest Knox will showcase critically acclaimed new films and film restorations from around the world. The program will range from family-friendly movies to prestige dramas, experimental work, and all points in between.

Knoxville film critic and curator Darren Hughes, co-founder with Paul Harrill of The Public Cinema, will lead programming as FILM FEST KNOX’s Artistic Director. Tickets will go on sale in July. More details on FILM FEST KNOX will continue to be provided in 2023 at

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 6,215 screens in 457 theatres in 41 states along with the District of Columbia and Guam as of March 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!” Additional information is available on Regal’s website:

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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