Reedy Reels Film Festival
“And With Him Came the West,” a documentary about Western legend Wyatt Earp, will be screened at this year’s Reedy Reels Film Festival. Photo provided

More than 60 films will be screened at this year’s Reedy Reels Film Festival, Nov. 2-3 at the Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre.

It’s a new record for the Greenville film festival, now in its fifth year.

As always, the spotlight is on works by South Carolina filmmakers. There’ll be at least two dozen of those.

The films range from dramas and comedies to documentaries, animation and student works.

A few feature-length films will be screened but short films — something you rarely see at a commercial cinema — dominate the festival. The shortest film is under 2 minutes; the longest feature film is about an hour and a half.

“A lot of people who attended previous festivals really seem to enjoy the short films,” said Mike Giordano, the festival’s director of operations.

Many of the filmmakers will be on hand to discuss their works and take questions after screenings.

Film fans can purchase a variety of packages. Tickets for two-hour blocks are $12. Tickets are available also for day passes ($30) or full festival passes ($50).

Ticket sales continue to break records every year. Only 250 tickets were sold in the first year of the festival. Last year’s ticket sales were 1,300, Giordano said.

Focusing on wildlife conservation

A new feature this year is a group of 13 short films devoted to wildlife conservation. The festival collaborated with the Greenville Zoo for these films — focusing on tigers, butterflies, macaws, frogs, rhinos, panthers and red pandas, among other animals — scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s a great cause,” Giordano said. “At the end of the day, the primary purpose of the Reedy Reels Film Festival is entertainment. But you also want to create experiences that inspire people and that move them toward action. We want to encourage the audience to see something from a different perspective. That’s all a part of the festival, too.”

A free session at 5:30 p.m. Sunday spotlights work-in-progress films funded by Indie Grants, a project of the South Carolina Film Commission.

Feature-length films

Among the feature-length films is “And With Him Came the West,” a documentary about Western legend Wyatt Earp to be screened at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

The festival concludes at 6:30 p.m. Sunday with another feature-length film: Tommy Faircloth’s “A Nun’s Curse,” a dark comedy about an abandoned prison and a murderous nun. Faircloth, a South Carolina filmmaker, is a past winner of the festival’s Best Feature Film award.

The Reedy Reels Film Festival is enjoying record-breaking ticket sales. The festival takes place Nov. 2-3 at the Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre. Photo provided

Prizes are awarded for Best Feature Film, Best Short Film, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best Student Film, and the Palmetto Prize for a South Carolina film.

Beer, wine, soft drinks, popcorn and candy will be available at the screenings. An opening night party takes place at 6:30 p.m. Friday at The Eighth State Brewing Company.

An important goal of the festival is to inspire young filmmakers in South Carolina.

“We want to build filmmaking up in South Carolina, particularly in this area,” Giordano said. “We want to help filmmakers develop their craft, to help them make it in the major leagues.”

The festival showcases several student works, particularly by young filmmakers at Greenville County Schools’ Fine Arts Center.

Paul Hyde, a longtime Upstate journalist, writes about the arts for the Greenville Journal. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @PaulHyde7.

If you go

  • What: Reedy Reels Film Festival
  • When: 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2; noon-6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3
  • Where: Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre
  • Tickets: $12 for a two-hour block of films; $30 for day passes; $50 for full weekend festival pass. (Opening night party takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the Eighth State Brewing Company.)
  • Info: http://www.reedyreels.com; tickets are also available at https://www.peacecenter.org or by calling 864-467-3000
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