We are thrilled to celebrating our 23rd 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 27-30, 2022 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.

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

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 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
  • 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
  • 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