Year 8 is underway! We'll see you November 07-10 2024 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 7, 2024)

Screener films should be submitted on digital file (Mov, Mp4). NO DVDs, BluRays or hard drives. Please do not send us any hardware.

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 (RETFF) 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 submissions. 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
  • Brenda Jacoby

    I started a new job and was unable to attend. Chip went out of his way to work with me. I was thrilled to receive an award, and the trophy was on a film reel. Perfect!

    January 2024
  • We had a ball at the Reel East Texas Film Festival! They really rolled out the red carpet with notable venues like the Texan Theatre and the Texas Broadcast Museum, friendly mixers (got to hobnob with the mayor!) and delicious food at several events.

    The town of Kilgore was interesting (even got to see a brief appearance of the famous Kilgore Rangerettes) and it has some must-see attractions that we plan to visit again. The Texas Broadcast Museum was informative and interactive (we got to do our own fake televised news broadcast) and fun, and the staff treated us like friends.

    Chip Hale runs an efficient yet friendly festival and goes all out to give his filmmakers a lively and productive experience.

    A bonus: the creative and unique winners' prizes of an actual reel!

    December 2023
  • Daryl Gray

    We had a great experience in Kilgore at the Reel East TX Film Fest. It’s very organized and friendly and set in a very cool downtown of a charming town. We were slightly disappointed that there wasn’t any workshops or guest speakers on Saturday and the website seemed a little difficult to navigate in order to quickly and easily find certain information.
    But, the food, beverages, hospitality, and spirit of the event and its host will bring us back again for sure.

    November 2023
  • Kilgore is a neat little town, but there were some planning conflicts. None of the previous block's filmmakers
    (college students) stayed for our block because there was free pizza at that time. None of the adult filmmakers went to our block because they had pizza and drinks at that time. Nobody from the public went to our block, because there was a big Christmas festival going on in the streets at that time. As a result, only one person was in the audience to watch our movie.

    November 2023
  • Dexter Williams

    I want to thank the judges at the Reel East Texas Film Festival for making my feature scripts "Floating to Paradise" and "Journey to Ivory Lane" Official Selections. I'm quite honored and humbled by the recognition. This is a first-class film festival that I would highly recommend to anyone with a film or script, and not just because my scripts were chosen.

    November 2023