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A Celebration of Shorts @ Downtown Tyler Film Festival

Friday, July 20th, 2012 by

A July 28 launch party for filmmakers and film aficionados will kick off efforts leading toward the second annual Downtown Tyler “Show Us Your Shorts” Film festival.

The event is set for 6 to 8 p.m. at Gallery Main Street at 110 W. Erwin. Filmmakers, supporters of independent films, potential volunteers and sponsors are all invited to the launch party, which will serve as an informal, informational introduction to the 2012 film festival.

The Downtown Tyler Film Festival is a project of the Downtown Tyler Arts Coalition (DTAC) film/theater working group. DTAC is an all-volunteer group that works to promote the arts in downtown Tyler under the auspices of the City of Tyler Main Street Department and its non-profit partner, Heart of Tyler, Inc.

“We invite anyone interested in the film fest to join us at this launch party,” said Film Festival Chairman Chris Abraham, noting that winning films from last year’s event will be shown, and organizers of the festival will be on hand to answer questions about the event, offering information on everything from how to enter a film to how to volunteer.

“This year’s festival will feature an expanded format, with more entries, more films and more opportunities to view the films,” Abraham said. This year, the film festival’s entry categories are divided into four groups: comedy, drama, science fiction/horror and action-adventure. Each night, the festival will also feature two screens – one at Liberty Hall, and the other at Gallery Main Street. Another new addition will be a wrap party held at the T.B. Butler Plaza after the last film is shown on Oct. 27. It is there that winning films will be announced and $3,000 in prizes will be awarded.

“We would not be able to award those prizes without the support of our sponsors,” said Tyler Main Street Department Leader Beverly Abell. “We are very grateful especially to our anchor sponsor, Stella Artois, which has returned for a second year of sponsoring this event.”

Technical Director Steve Self said organizers are anticipating a “small avalanche” of entries via its new participation in an international film festival entry service Withoutabox. “This means we’ll have a great variety of films to show, and our audiences will be able to view excellent short films even from the other side of the globe,” Self said.

Full information on how to enter films is available at the festival website, www.tylerfilmfest.com.

“I’d like to point out that those who would like to help support this event financially as sponsors or as volunteers will also find links to further information on the website,” Abell said.

Sponsors and volunteers are crucial to the success of any community event, including the film festival, Abell said, noting that the event’s steering committee has been meeting and organizing for months already to ensure a successful event. Members of the committee are Chairman Chris Abraham, Technical Director Steve Self, Festival Coordinator Donna Gatewood, Artistic Director Fayonne Alfaro and others.

“These volunteers deserve an enormous thank-you to anyone who enjoys film festivals,” Abell said. They work tremendously hard to put on a quality event.”

In addition to the films being shown each night, the festival will feature educational workshops for those interested in learning more about filmmaking. Subjects, times and location of those workshops will be announced as the festival draws closer.

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