A Preview of Knoxville’s Fall Film Season

In News, Program Notes by Matthew Everettleave a COMMENT

Has Knoxville ever had a film season before? The Knoxville Film Festival, the Knoxville Horror Film Festival, and the Public Cinema series all return in the coming months, with more buzzed-about prestige movies, festival favorites, and local and regional premieres lined up than in any other year in recent memory.

Public Cinema, which hosted a handful of art-house screenings at Knoxville Museum of Art in the first half of 2015, comes back with a bigger lineup and sponsorship from the streaming service Fandor, which specializes in independent films from around the world. Its second season kicked off earlier this month and continues this weekend with Tu Dors Nicole at KMA. (See Nick Huinker’s review here.)

That will be followed by the experimental film essay When It Was Blue (Sept. 1); Sean Baker’s acclaimed streets-of-L.A. drama Tangerine (Sept. 9); Clair Denis’ potent dissection of a mixed-race relationship, Voilà l’enchaînement (Oct. 4); John Magary’s acidic comedy The Mend (Oct. 14); the Portuguese melodrama Horse Money (Oct. 25); Canadian underground legend Guy Maddin’s new film, The Forbidden Room (Nov. 3); Colin Healey’s indie coming-of-age tale Homemakers (Nov. 11); Peace Officer, a documentary about a controversial police killing (Nov. 17); a program of experimental short films and videos (Dec. 1); and the modest indie holiday drama Christmas, Again (Dec. 9). Screenings are free and are split among KMA, Scruffy City Hall on Market Square, and Pilot Light in the Old City.

The third installment of the Knoxville Film Festival takes over Regal Downtown West Cinema 8 from Thursday, Sept. 17, through Sunday, Sept. 20, with more than three dozen movies, including Steve McKinney and Douglas McDaniel’s feature-length documentary Legends of Appalachia: The Ace Miller Story, about the late local Golden Gloves legend; Rick Goldsmith’s Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw, a portrait of the former Lady Vols basketball star; and Rev. Pappy, Dwight Swanson’s short doc about local religious and musical personality the Rev. Pappy “Gube” Beaver. The opening night headlining feature is Frank Hall Green’s Alaskan backpacking drama Wildlike, starring Ella Purnell and Bruce Greenwood.

In addition to screenings and workshops, the festival will also feature the results of the recently completed 7-Day Shootout, in which local filmmakers shot four- to seven-minute films over the course of a single week. The best entries will be shown Sunday afternoon. Tickets for individual film blocks are $10 and festival passes are $50. Tickets are available here.

AE_0820_Tales_HalloweenOrganizers of the Knoxville Horror Film Festival have announced the feature lineup for their seventh and biggest fest, which will take place the weekend before Halloween—Friday, Oct. 23, through Sunday, Oct. 25. The first two nights will be held at Downtown West; Sunday night’s screenings will take place at Scruffy City Hall. The gruesome feature lineup includes the anthology Tales of Halloween; the ’80s post-apocalyptic pastiche Turbo Kid; the psychological horror movie Sun Choke; the heavy-metal splatter film Deathgasm; the forgotten 1989 aerobics-themed slasher Death Spa; and Interior, the feature debut from Zachary Beckler, whose shorts “Seance” and “Where Is Alice?” won awards at previous editions of KHFF.

KHFF starts the ramp-up to Halloween with Shark Exorcist on Wednesday, Sept. 2, and a night of feature previews on Wednesday, Oct. 7, both at Scruffy City Hall. The festival’s program of short films will be announced in October.

And while the Scruffy City Film & Music Festival is held in the spring, it’s programming year-round filmmaker events and screenings at Scruffy City Hall every Wednesday night starting at 8. This week’s edition features a showing of the first episode of State of Franklin and a Q&A with series creator Mitch Moore. There’s also a Seven Day Shootout roundup with Jamison Stalsworth, Elizabeth Gibson, and Moore. And Angry Dad Gamer (aka Victor Agreda Jr.) will demonstrate what it takes to get into live streaming via twitch.tv.

Senior Editor Matthew Everett manages the Knoxville Mercury's arts & entertainment section, including the comprehensive calendar section—Knoxville’s go-to guide for everything worth doing in the area. You can reach Matthew at matthew@knoxmercury.com.

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