The Rocket City will host its first-ever international film festival, to be held June 7-10 beginning at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, with film showings throughout the weekend at the downtown Parsons Law Library. Naturally coined the Southern Fried Film Festival, the event was developed by two Huntsville natives who have spent their careers in the film, theatre and arts industries, who wanted to enable film-goers the opportunity to experience a diverse range of storytelling in their own backyard.
“Being from the South provides an unparalleled perspective to diverse cultures and socioeconomic challenges that has led to such a rich history,” said Trevite Willis, co-founder of the Southern Fried Film Festival. “This exposure has enabled us to take part in creative collaboration within the film industry, resulting in powerful, yet relevant, topics around cultural divides. With Huntsville’s phenomenal dedication to the arts and entertainment, it made perfect sense to partner with filmmakers from across the globe and community organizations to showcase selected films here that we felt were relevant.”
Willis has been producing award-winning short and feature films since 1999; her work includes Children of God, which has won 17 awards and has been sold in 24 territories; The Dark Rite, a supernatural thriller currently on the festival circuit; and Cargo, a human trafficking drama that recently won the Amnesty International Human Rights Prize.
Willis’s partner and co-founder of the Southern Fried Film Festival, and Huntsville native, Kelly Reischauer, has carved out a career appearing in numerous national commercials, theatre productions and independent films. Most recently, she returned to her musical theatre roots and co-wrote Monster’s in My Head, the musical, based on the award-winning book series, The WorryWoos, by Andi Green. Reischauer was also part of the team that developed the internationally acclaimed WorryWoo: Developing Social & Emotional Intelligence cross-curricular program which is currently used in elementary schools across the globe.
The Festival will kick off on Thursday, June 7, at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, with doors opening at 6pm, and the first showing to start around 7:30, followed by a reception.
Opening night of the festival kicks off with award-winning filmmaker Darren Aronofsky’s One Strange Rock: Metamorphosis, which is a mind-bending, thrilling journey that explores the fragility and wonder of the planet earth. Narrated and hosted by long-time actor Will Smith, the film is an extraordinary story told through the perspectives by the only people who have left it behind: Astronauts.
Additional showings will be screened throughout the rest of the weekend and include films such as Goldstone: The tightly knitted story that weaves its way through a range of issues, including; Land Rights, mining, corruption, the Stolen Generations, cultural destruction, people trafficking, greed, loneliness and love; Lu Over The Wall: A 2018 Sundance premier about a joyous hallucinogenic but family-friendly take on the classic fairy tale about a little mermaid who comes ashore to join a middle-school rock band and propel them to fame; and Science Fair: A documentary on nine high school students from around the world who compete at an international science fair while navigating rivalries, setbacks, technical challenges, and of course, teenage hormones.
Each film will be followed by a panel discussion from industry leaders and local topic affiliates, providing an in-depth conversation behind each films’ storyline and overall theme.
The Festival is being sponsored by 21st Century Fox, Downtown Huntsville and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, with additional support from Green Bus Brewing, who will be hosting the after parties following each night’s film showings.
Tickets can be purchased online and more information can be found at southernfriedfilmfestival.org.