We are thrilled to celebrate our 25th Anniversary this year!

Our goal is to showcase thought-provoking films and offer a venue where movie lovers who appreciate independent vision can celebrate this unique art form.

The Cleveland County Arts Council is pleased to announce that on July 24-27, 2024 the 25th Annual “Real to Reel International Film Festival” will once again open its doors to embrace filmmakers and film lovers alike.

Located in the heart of North Carolina between Asheville and Charlotte, Cleveland County is right in the middle of it all. The mission of the Real to Reel International Film Festival is to offer a forum for independent film, video and multi-media artists from around the world to showcase their talents and expose the works of these artists to our region.

Visitors to the Joy Performance Center - 202 S. Railroad Ave., Kings Mountain, a renovated classic theater from the 1940’s in Kings Mountain, NC can expect to find a great lineup of films from all over the world, a chance to talk with many of the filmmakers and of course a concession stand with all those goodies you would expect to find.

Awards are presented to best film and best student film in each category in each of the four categories listed above. We also give monetary awards in the Best of Festival and Audience Choice categories.

• (1) Best of Fest
• (4) "Best of Category" Professional Awards
• (4) "Best of Category" Student/Amateur Awards
• (1) Audience Choice Award
• (1) Best of North Carolina Award
• (1) Mayor's Choice Award

Films are accepted in 4 categories
• Documentary
• Feature Length (Over 61 minutes in length)
• Shorts (Under 60 minutes in length)
• Animation

* You will be contacted via email regarding the outcome of the judging by the end of June. If your film is selected for the festival will screen from filmfreeway. If your film has color bars or a watermark you will need to upload a version without these for the screening. Please provide an option for us to download your film via filmfreeway for screening purposes.

*Students please include a copy of your valid student ID with your entry form or email it to thomas@ccartscouncil.org.

* The management of R2R International Film Festival reserves the right to decide all questions regarding rules and regulations. Submission of a film constitutes that the filmmaker accepts the rules and regulations set forth herein and that the film will screen at the festival if chosen.

*R2R reserves the right to add, alter or eliminate categories based on the availability of qualified entries.

Overall Rating
  • We were so thrilled that our feature film, MidLife was selected to be screened by the Real to Reel IFF! Our only regret was we weren’t able to have any of our team there in person because we were all on location for our next project.

    The staff communicated with us well and it is obvious that they treat all of their selections and submissions very well! We hope to be back.

    August 2022
  • Garrett Clancy

    I love this festival! Second time I've been part of it, and while I wasn't able to attend this year, I could not have been treated better. Violet Arth took care of everything to get us programmed and advertised -- and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that we won Best Professional Documentary. Thanks Real to Reel and Cleveland County Arts Council!

    August 2022
  • What an incredible honor for my film "Hen & Ham" to be included in the 2021 RTRIFF. The cast and I had so much fun watching the film and then attending the Q&A. It's a night we won't soon forget!

    Thank you Violet for your hospitality and effort to make this festival so great. I would definitely recommend Real to Reel!


    July 2021
  • Abi Cole

    Such a cute venue and amazing staff. This was one of the best festivals that I have attended. It's certainly worth attending in person. Lovely selection!

    July 2021
  • Julie Whitis-Church

    Great festival. Would definitely submit again!

    July 2021