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Prison City Film Festival back

Feb. 10—Out of more than 140 films submitted from all around the world — Prison City Film Festival programmers have selected 70 films to be screened at this year's film festival. These films will be presented over a 4-day period beginning Wednesday, Feb. 28, in Huntsville. The festival will continue through Saturday, March 2, at the Old Town Theatre during the 2024 'Prison City Film Festival.'

Paul Shiver, Founder and President of PCFF, said if you are one who enjoys movies and short films, you're gonna want in on all of this.

Shiver put his vision into action seven years ago — making each year a bigger and better draw of tourists to Huntsville, including international film submissions.

"In 2018, we decided to put together a modest film festival event here in Huntsville," Shiver said. "At first, our thoughts about it were on a much smaller level. We figured we'd build it and see what happens — that maybe after putting the word out, we might receive 10, 15, maybe 20 films to show."

But Shiver admits they just had no way of knowing how it would go, nor were they aware of what a massive surprise they were in for.

"Shortly after publishing PCFF on to www.FilmFreeway.com — the world's premier submission platform — the submissions began coming in. In our inquiries, we found that it was the name 'Prison City Film Festival' that attracted filmmakers from all around the world to submit their films," Shiver said.

The submissions rolled in — way past the anticipated 10 to 15, and ended up with 87 films to select from for in the first year.

"It soon became apparent that this was going to be much bigger than what we had ever imagined," Shiver said.

There are many people who don't really know what a film festival is, but here's the huge, hidden secret — Film Festivals are more fun than one can imagine, and everyone is encourage to make time for a showing.

"In short, it's a four-day party consisting of independent films, live music, and special events. The indie film industry is interesting," Shiver said. "An indie filmmaker makes a film, usually a short film of say five to 40 minutes in length. After the film is produced and ready to go, the filmmaker submits it to a number of film festivals for their consideration."

Put simply, a film festival is an indie filmmaker's basic form of distribution.

"If the festival selects their film to screen, then suddenly that filmmaker has an audience for their film. Of course, being selected by multiple film festivals means that much more audience, and whenever possible, filmmakers will travel to represent and promote their film to festival audiences," Shiver said. "They generally engage in open Q&A sessions after their film is screened. This gives the audience a chance to get in to the mind of the filmmaker."

There are many special events including the PCFF Friday Night Pizza and a Movie — Sponsored by Double Dave's Pizza. This event will feature two feature length movies and live entertainment enjoyed with all the pizza you can eat — including:

'The Martini Shot' — a film by Stephen Wallis, one of Canada's fastest rising directors and screenwriters, starring Matthew Modine, Derek Jacobi, and John Cleese. DESCRIPTION — This existential drama follows an ailing movie director as he begins to shoot what he believes to be his final work of art. What starts out as a normal movie, ends up being an exploration of mortality and one's profound effect on the world.

'Carnage Radio' — a film by James Fite, starring Brandon Johnson, Olivia Nice, Rachel DeRouen, Brandon Elonzae, Mike Ferguson, Zach Campbell, Ru Benjamin Revolver. DESCRIPTION — With the help of a late-night radio show DJ, a local police detective sets out to save her small, West Texas town from a deranged sociopath who is killing off the DJ's radio show listeners, one by one.

'Submit Thy Will' and Friends — Acoustic Show. STW & Friends will entertain toward the end of the evening.

"We're going in to our seventh year and PCFF is gaining a reputation throughout the world as one of the premier and well-reviewed film festivals in North America," Shiver said.

Shiver added throughout this past year, PCFF has received submissions from United States, Canada, Netherlands, Guyana, India, Australia, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Hong Kong, and France.

"Out of all the submissions we received through the past year, our festival programmers have selected 70 of these outstanding films to show at this year's PCFF — and we are actively inviting everyone to attend and watch as many of these great films as possible," Shiver said.

Tickets along with the complete 4-day festival schedule, and all of the films listed for screening with all their information and trailers can be found at www.PrisonCityFilmFestival.com

Contact Brenda Poe at editor@itemonline.com