Reel East Texas Film Festival attracts more than just fans

Reel East Texas Film Festival In Kilgore This Weekend


If you enjoy a good binge watch well we may have something you may want to check out. The Reel East Texas Film Festival is this weekend in Kilgore at the Texan Theater featuring a plethora of films.

It started Thursday so you’ve missed some, but there are plenty left. We sat down with festival founder Chip Hale to talk about the second annual show.

It may be a cliché to say the Reel East Texas Film Festival is bigger than ever, but it’s true according to founder Chip Hale.

“Last year we had 55 films, so we went with 103 this year. We expanded our footprint to Kilgore College’s Dotson Auditorium, so we actually have a block running across the street at the Texan right now and we have a block of film running at Dotson right now,” Hale said.

On this, the second year, Hale has made a commitment of 23 more years to his festival.

“I figure I started this at 42, I was 42 last year, and plus 25, you do that math whatever that is, and that seems like a good age to kind of maybe say that I want to take a step back from this and maybe pass it off to someone,” Hale explained.

Hale hails from Overton, spent a lot of time in Kilgore, and in L.A. and now he’s back in East Texas, still making documentaries. But, he says, the festival is not just bigger, it’s better.

“I would say the quality overall from top to bottom is what’s different this year,” Hale stated.

From the Texan Theater to the Reel Lounge and Hale feels the films themselves all improved from the first year. He feels the former post office, now a lounge is something lacking at other festivals and is necessary to:

“Meet other film makers and maybe potentially get a job out of it,” Hale clarified.

And maybe an East Texas shoot.

“That’s the whole point. To have filmmakers come here and let’s try to convince them to make their movies here,” Hale added.

Hale hopes filmmakers keep in mind that in East Texas as far as filming, they don’t need permits, just permission.

The Reel East Texas Film Festival goes on through Sunday afternoon.

For ticket information click here:

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