Year 4 is underway! We'll see you Nov. 12-15, 2020, in Kilgore, Texas.

Reel East Texas Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing independent filmmakers.

Located in the heart of the East Texas Piney Woods, Kilgore is unlike any other town in Texas. Its wildcatter spirit and workman mindset is ideally suited for independent filmmakers, and Kilgore’s signature skyline, authentic downtown and tall pine trees make for a picturesque Texas backdrop. The city’s Main Street and Historic District is home to the iconic Texas landmark Texan theater, where all films are screened. Beyond downtown, Kilgore offers a cultural and learning experience with the Texas Museum of Radio & Broadcasting, the East Texas Oil Museum and the Rangerette Showcase.

City events, parties, mixers and other custom-tailored activities make the Reel East Texas Film Festival a can’t miss for all filmmakers.

A festival hosted by filmmakers for filmmakers, RETFF loves great films, and bringing together audience, filmmaker and film industry representatives in celebration of artistic and independent spirit.

Best Student Film (high school and college)
Best Actress (feature and short)
Best Actor (feature and short)
Best Contest Screenplay (features and short)
Best Festival Screenplay (feature and short)
Best Cinematography (feature and short)
Best Dance Film (shorts only)
Best Director (documentary and narrative)
Best Animated (feature and short)
Best Comedy (feature and short)
Best Documentary (feature and short)
Best Drama (feature and short)
Best Dramedy (feature and short)
Best Horror (feature and short)
Best Foreign Film (feature and short)
Best Music Video
Best Science Fiction (feature and short)
Best Western (feature and short)
Best Texas Film (feature and short)
Reel People’s Choice Award "audience favorite" (feature and short)
Reel Jury Award "best of festival" (feature and short)

All films must be the original work of the filmmakers and all filmmakers must have the necessary rights. The festival is not liable for any rights issues.

Films of all lengths (short & feature) and all genres (family, animated, comedy, drama, sci-fi, action, horror, documentary, foreign, music video) are welcome to submit.

Screenplays (features and shorts) of all genres are welcome to submit. Screenplays must be non-produced as of the date of the film festival. (November 14, 2019)

Screener films should be submitted on digital file (Mov, Mp4) and a backup DVD or Blu-Ray, US Region 1 is required.

Films in language other than English must include English subtitles.

No feedback on submissions can be given.

The Filmmaker understands and accepts that they do not participate in receiving any funds from the Box-office proceeds which are fully retained by the festival to help cover the overall cost of the festival presentation. It should be noted for the record that box-office proceeds never cover the cost of presentation of the Features and Short Film Programs. The Festival (HIFF) is a non-profit, 501-C-3 Educational/Cultural Organization with Federal, State, County & City Tax-Exemptions.

We're filmmakers, too. It feels great to get an acceptance letter, and it hurts when we don't make the cut. We look forward to sending out this year's good news to select entrants, but we won't be mailing rejection letters: if you don't hear from us this time around, no worries -- keep at it, and start preparing your entry for next year's festival.

From the Lawyers: All participating filmmakers release the festival (RETFF) from any and all liability for damages or destruction of submitted materials (DVDs/BluRays/Flash Drives/etc). Entrants understand the submitted materials will be securely-held by the festival; every effort will be made to protect and control access for viewing. RETFF assumes absolutely no liability for theft, violations of copyright or piracy of submitted content.

Overall Rating
  • J William Boothman II

    I had the privilege to see my film in 11 festivals this year and Reel East was the best. The coordinators were friendly and made you feel like family. The filmmakers lounge was in a wonderful, artistic and historic location. The catering was exceptional. The community supported the festival. And last the film selection was tremendous and played in great venues with good equipment. All around, a truly wonderful experience!

    December 2019
  • Brandon Russell

    A town like this knows how to put on a festival, got a great stuff that will take care of you throughout the festival. It was also nice to see old building go on one of the tours and learn about the town. This is worth going to in East Texas, also some good restaurants within walking distance.

    December 2019
  • Paul Foster

    Great all around experience for us, This festival was very professionally put together and the people there were helpful and friendly. Most of all, Every film I saw and many that I didn't get to see at that time but was able to meet the filmmakers and watch at a later date were great. being screened with so many great films was a huge honor.

    I will go to this festival even if I don't have something to submit next year.

    December 2019
  • Travis White

    What a breathtakingly phenomenal festival. We immediately fell in love with everything the second we arrived. The entire city of Kilgore gets behind this festival and you can see the love and care in every detail. Chip is beyond amazing and deserves every bit of credit for putting the city on the map and putting together such a wonderful experience for filmmakers and fans of film alike. The venues were marvelous and the filmmaker's lounge is ripe with networking opportunities and is something to experience in itself. Had one of the highest quality of film blocks we've ever seen and it made our short being accepted mean that much more to us. Will absolutely be submitting every film we ever make to Reel East until the sun burns out. Period.

    December 2019
  • A wonderful film festival which does an excellent job of promotion of the event on social media & also provides excellent communication to filmmakers.

    November 2019