Visit Knoxville Announces FILM FEST KNOX – FILM FEST KNOX | November 14-17, 2024 Skip to content
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Visit Knoxville Announces FILM FEST KNOX

December 13, 2022

Visit Knoxville announces new film festival, FILM FEST KNOX, in partnership with The Public Cinema, planned for fall 2023.

After a recent announcement from the Knoxville Film Festival’s Director, Keith McDaniel, stating that the festival would no longer take place after a 19-year run, the Visit Knoxville Film Office will now be producing a new film event. FILM FEST KNOX will curate a selection of short films, feature films, and workshops with the goal of attracting film professionals to the region and establishing a presence as one of the premier film festivals in the southeast.

“Film festivals are important to the local community they represent,” said Curt Willis, Director of the Visit Knoxville Film Office. “It’s the perfect outlet to attract filmmakers to showcase Knoxville as an ideal destination for future projects. FILM FEST KNOX will continue the legacy and success of the Knoxville Film Festival.”

FILM FEST KNOX will continue to provide space for local filmmakers to share their craft and passion with a large audience. This event will also offer networking and collaboration opportunities for Knoxville filmmakers to connect with their counterparts from beyond East Tennessee.

The Visit Knoxville Film Office is pleased to partner with The Public Cinema on this event. Founded in 2015 by filmmaker Paul Harrill and critic Darren Hughes, The Public Cinema has screened more than 200 films in Knoxville and has curated programs and gallery installations for Big Ears Festival. Harrill’s work has premiered at Sundance and been presented on five continents. Hughes has covered festivals throughout America and Europe for premier film publications and has interviewed dozens of the world’s leading filmmakers.

“The Visit Knoxville Film Office has had a long-standing partnership with the Knoxville Film Festival,” said Kim Bumpas, President of Visit Knoxville. “We have enjoyed working with Keith and recognize the importance of having this type of event in a city with a strong and supportive film community. We look forward to our partnership with The Public Cinema to co-produce FILM FEST KNOX.”

“For more than a decade, Darren and I have dreamt of starting a full-fledged film festival that capitalizes on Knoxville’s many strengths as a creative community and attracts film fans and filmmakers from across the country,” said Harrill. “We couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with Visit Knoxville on this new venture.”

“We’ve both been taking notes for years at every festival we’ve attended,” added Hughes. “We have grand ambitions for FILM FEST KNOX, and we’re confident this partnership will allow us to achieve them.”

More details on FILM FEST KNOX will be provided in 2023 at

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 twice 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
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