KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - Kilgore had been known for a film festival for several years, but now a second festival is coming to town.
The Reel East Texas Film Festival will feature films shot by independent filmmakers from around the area and the world.
Film maker Chip Hale came back to Kilgore after about a decade in Hollywood where he was involved in film and television.
"I know a lot of people are excited just to see movies come back in and actually be screened at the Texan," Hale said.
His idea for a film festival stemmed from his and the community's desire to see Kilgore's old theaters put back into use.
"The excitement they have is really pretty cool," Hale stated.
The call for entries only had a month and a half window, and they had:
"Seventy-eight total submissions. Seven are screenplays and 71 are movies," Hale revealed.
"The screenplays, are you going to project those on the screen and let people read them?" I asked Hale.
"Yeah, right," he laughed.
A panel of judges will read them. Unfortunately, no one who's name is on the Texan's sidewalk is a judge.
"The winning screenplay, my production company, Overton Films will agree to make the movie if they come back to Kilgore or East Texas to make it," Hale revealed.
But mostly it's about the 55 films they will be running.
"We're actually going to have to turn movies away from our first year. And that is not fun to do but it is a good problem to have for a first-year film festival," Hale said.
He could categorize it as international since films have been submitted from:
"Iran, France, Hungary, Great Britain, Nepal," Hale recalled.
"Is the one from Nepal about Bigfoot?" I asked.
"No, it's not about Bigfoot. Well wouldn't that be the Yeti?"
"That would be the Yeti," I agreed.
"That would be the yeti, yeah," he smiled.
But, wow, we digress.
There is a second unused theater, The Crim, across the street, but it needs a lot more work before it's usable. Chip's time was up. He had to go.
"Mr. Hale, one more thing. Could you take a look at my film? I have one that I made," I said as he was walking away.
"Email it to me," he suggested walking off.
"Really, you don't have a minute?"
"No, I don't have a minute, not today. Sorry," he said as he kept walking.
"Mr. Hale?" I said.
Well, greatness is never recognized until after the creator is gone. I wonder if it would help if I moved to another state?
If you have a film you want to enter you'd better hurry. The deadline is tomorrow. For more information click here.