Johnson City Film Festival announces inaugural event in November

Jonathan Roberts • Sep 3, 2019 at 2:59 PM

Johnson City is getting another, different type of festival this November.

On Thursday afternoon during a press conference at JRH Brewing in downtown Johnson City, festival director Josh Mancuso revealed new details for the inaugural Johnson City Film Festival set to take place Nov. 8 and 9.

“We’re so excited to bring the first annual Johnson City Film Festival to Johnson City,” Mancuso said.

The festival, which has already received about 50 submissions from than six states and four countries, will host screenings at several area businesses, with JRH Brewing, Willow Tree Coffee House and the Main Street Theatre all announced as host sites.

“It’s almost mind-blowing,” Mancuso said of the amount of submissions they’ve already received. “I was thrilled to find out we have Turkey, Canada, Australia, the (United Kingdom), California and New York.”

The festival will also feature filmmaking and editing trainings at Skillville Community Workspace and East Tennessee State University. Mancuso said he hopes the festival is able to shine a light on Northeast Tennessee’s ability to be a major player in the filmmaking scene, and to add something “necessary” to the city’s culture.

“I think it’s necessary,” he said of a city having its own film festival. “I think it's a big part of what you need -- you need music, breweries, restaurants, retail, you need art and you need film.

“It’s a huge piece for a lot of different cities, and I think our city is at that point now where we can grow into film.”

Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock, who spoke at the event, seemed to agree.

“I think this balances us in such a good way,” she said. “We’ve been touting the recreation and athletic opportunities, which is great -- this is a good balance. Films and the arts and music is another one of our big strengths, but we just haven’t leverage it to the degree I see this film festival will take us.”

Tickets for the festival will cost $10 for Friday night, $15 for Saturday and $20 for a weekend pass. There will also be an afterparty at Wild Wing Cafe on Friday night, and an awards ceremony on Saturday, though a time and location hasn’t been announced.

“The thing I’m finding here in Johnson City, is that people want to be together -- they want to gather,” Brock added. “Having these kinds of events, it’s another opportunity for our citizens to come together and share things we just haven’t done a lot.”

For more information, tickets or to submit a film, go to https://www.johnsoncityfilmfestival.com/. There are three categories: Short films, feature films and documentaries. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 22.


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