We are thrilled to celebrating our 22nd 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 21-24, 2021 the 22nd 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.

Monetary 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
• (1) Best of North Carolina Award
• (1) Best Film Made by a Child (14 & under)

Films are accepted in 4 categories
• Documentary
• Feature Length (Over 61 minutes in length)
• Shorts (Under 60 minutes in length)
• Animation
(films in any of these categories that were made specifically BY children (14 and under), if selected, will screen at our "Real to Reel Kids Fest" Screening time 10am-12pm, Saturday, July 24th)

* You will be contacted via email and/or letter regarding the outcome of the judging by the end of June. If your film is selected for the festival you must send a DVD or Blu-ray for Screening.

* Film-makers outside of the United States need to send their discs/tapes in the proper dubbing format/speed to accommodate DVD players in the United States.

* The filmmaker will assume all shipping cost, including customs. If you want your submission copy returned - please include postage and envelope. Include insurance cost for package if wanted. Real to Reel will not be held responsible for any damages that might occur during return mailing process

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

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

Note: Each submitted film is watched by at least three selection committee members— no exceptions.

Overall Rating
  • A HUGE "thank you" to Violet and her staff for pulling off this festival during these trying times. The communication and organization were excellent. We hope to meet in person next year!

    September 2020
  • Chris Hudson

    The Real to Reel International Film Festival and the staff in charge have been great to work with. Their communication before and during the online festival has been outstanding. Unfortunately this year's festival went all online due to Covid-19 but it's been great watching the films from home and sharing some with my kids. I would highly recommend their festival to everyone!

    September 2020
  • Gregg Jamback

    We had a great time in Kings Mountain at R2RFF. They have an awesome venue. The staff and volunteers are helpful and engaging. And the audience was great - they stuck around for our Q&A, asked great questions, and really appreciated our film.

    They program a wide variety of films. I highly recommend giving R2RFF a try!

    August 2019
  • The team at Real to Reel knows what they're doing! This thoughtfully produced festival supports filmmakers and the community around Kings Mountain, North Carolina by screening remarkable films! If you weren't inspired to social activism before this year's event, you are now thanks to 'In Pursuit of Justice,' which left me reeling and wanting to help make a change.

    Thanks to all the organizers and especially Violet Dukes who helped me feel welcome. You all put on a fun and meaningful event and outdid yourselves on the afterparty which was truly enjoyable and cozy and BEAUTIFUL (special kudos to the lighting team)!

    I definitely would recommend this fest and hope to return in the future as a filmmaker with a screening or simply as a lover of good film.

    August 2019
  • Awesome experience cant wait to submit ny next project

    August 2019