Year 3 is underway! We'll see you Nov. 14-17, 2019, 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 only)
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 only) of all genres are welcome to submit. Screenplays must be non-produced as of the date of the film festival. (November 15, 2018)

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
  • Jason Ancona

    Such a well-run festival. Met so many cool filmmakers and awesome folks from East Texas. Chip, Steve, and James put their heart and soul into making this a great festival for everyone. The lighting of the oil derricks for Christmas was a bonus. As was the performance of the Kilgore Rangerettes. The mayor is super cool and was around supporting films and filmmakers too.

    November 2018
  • What a charming festival! Perfect for a romantic getaway! Films were shown in an historic theater and at the local college. The film selections were superb and the staff eager to assist and help make filmmakers feel like stars. The best part, the Reel Lounge, a revamped post office complete with artwork, retro furniture and a bar. Don't miss this one folks!

    November 2018
  • Tom Procida

    Excellent hospitality, organization and a wide variety of film choices. The Reel Lounge or as I called it, the 'Surreal' Lounge, was the nerve center and the stuff of dreams.

    November 2018
  • Reel East Texas is one of the best festivals I've attended and I never would have guessed it was the first year. The people were amazing and the whole town came out to embrace the festival. From the amazing lounge and screening room to the tour of the town by the mayor and publisher of the newspaper we felt welcomed by all. I hope to attend future years festivals and see what they can do to top their first great year.

    December 2017
  • Story Time With Grumbles and Friends

    Thank you for producing this rad event in Kilgore! I wasn't able to attend this year but I can't wait to go next year!

    December 2017