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Volume 24, Number 9 — September 2017

PUSH! Film Festival Proves to be Successful in its Second Year

 PUSH! also hosted Bobby Farrelly during the first night of the festival. (Contributed Photo Briana Morris)
PUSH! also hosted Bobby Farrelly during the first night of the festival. (Contributed Photo Briana Morris)

By DAVID MCGEE | BRISTOL HERALD COURIER | October 30, 2016

BRISTOL, TN/VA PUSH! FHilm Festival is a wrap. The festival hosted a variety of curated movies, workshops and presentations about film, along with screenings of juried films including shorts and feature-length films focused on Tennessee and Virginia over the course of the three-day festival weekend.

"We are so pleased with the success and support from the community that we have received in our second year," said PUSH! Film Festival chair, Jessica Barnett. "In just one year, the festival has definitely grown with more people in seats this past Friday afternoon at 3 viewing our first block of films at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. That's a big deal compared to our first year. And we continued to see more filmgoers attending the event throughout the weekend, along with almost 40 filmmakers. It shows the festival is being recognized and welcomed by the community."

Over 70 films were selected by PUSH!'s Programming Committee, which was more than 17 hours of film. The 2016 film jurors then screened each film and rated each film based on a rubric. Through this process, the following films were selected to receive awards in their film category:

Feature Films: Fare
Virginia Films and Filmmakers: A Pointless Pencil
Tennessee Films and Filmmakers: Terms and Conditions
Short Films: Situational
Best in Show: A Pointless Pencil

The festival added a new category to awards: Audience Choice. With over 200 votes over the course of the weekend from filmgoers, the Short Film Audience Choice went to A Pointless Pencil, which was screened during the Virginia Films Shorts Block. It was written and directed by Beecher Reuning. The Feature Film Audience Choice went to Fare, which screened on Saturday during the festival and was written and directed by Thomas Torrey.

PUSH! also hosted Bobby Farrelly during the first night of the festival. Farrelly participated in an audience Q&A and meet and greet at The Paramount Center for the Arts. This special event followed a free screening of Dumb and Dumber, which was voted on by film fans in a social media poll. Natives of Rhode Island, Farrelly and his brother Peter have written, produced, and directed many well-known films such as There's Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber, Shallow Hal, and more.

After the Producers Party on Saturday evening, the festival hosted the sold-out premiere of the film Believe, which was filmed in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee and Grundy, Virginia. The event included a red carpet with the film's star, Ryan O'Quinn, and the film's producer and writer, Billy Dickson, along with cast and crew from the film. Believe is set to be released nationwide on Dec. 2.

PUSH! Film Festival will be held again October 20-22, 2017.

For more information about PUSH! Film Festival and how you can be involved, visit www.pushfilmfest.com or contact Christina Blevins or Maggie Bishop at 276-644-9700, pushfilmfest@believeinbristol.org.