The Tryon International Film Festival (TRIFF) is the principal annual event of the non-profit Polk County Film Initiative. Multiple screening venues operate seamlessly, including a bonus evening amphitheater screening that features music, food, drink and a special film.

In addition to the Festival, TRIFF hosts many educational sessions in and around the town of Tryon, connecting filmmakers with students to perfect original voices, inspire new concepts, and create collaboration around independent film production. These sessions are free to the public.

TRYON also includes a wonderful gala, drop-in events up and down Trade Street. Don't miss the workshops with industry experts and top film-making professionals sharing advice and experience to attending filmmakers.

The Tryon Fine Art Center along with The Tryon Theatre, a vintage, state-of-the-art cinema, which has been in continuous operation for more than 80 years, plays host to the opening gala and award ceremony as the retail shops, bars and dining establishments embrace visitors.

Plan to spend the entire festival at one of our exclusive B&B’s along with your fellow filmmakers. Introduce your own film, attend breakout sessions, walk the streets or hang out at our complementary VIP lounge in the center of town.

By virtue of the amount of high-quality submissions received over the years, our film selection process has matured as well. We select highly crafted films of sophisticated workmanship in the full-length features, short films and documentary categories.
We are also known for our Human Rights & Dignity category which has been a cornerstone performance grouping since our inception.

The Tryon International Film Festival continues with its latest performance categories for the 2023 film season: Best Animation - Full Length and Best Animation – Short Film. These categories are reserved for 3D animation, cartoons, puppetry animation, clay animation, computer graphics and miscellaneous animated films in current status.

Note to filmmakers requesting waivers: While we consider waivers requests from filmmakers, we heavily scrutinize the reasons for their request. We remain conservative with waiver request approvals.

****Special Note: Upon submitting your film, be sure to provide all information on our form, including a Synopsis, Director's bio and head-shot and production shots. If you do not provide all of the information we ask for your submission will be considered incomplete.****

Trophies and Awards: each year our awards team utilize local artists within our community craft wonderful and thoughtful awards. If your film happens to be winner of a performance category and you are in attendance, you will be given your award during award ceremony. However due to the cost of sending trophies and awards around the globe, those winners who are not in attendance must pay for their own shipping and delivery.
Facebook Group: Polk County Film Initiative, Tryon International Film Festival

Judging Awards are offered in the following categories:

Best Full Length Feature
Best Full Length Documentary
Best Short Documentary
Best Short Dramatic
Best Student Film
Best Animation - Full Length
Best Animation - Short
Best Human Rights and Human Dignity
Best Equestrian Full Length Feature
Best Overall Film
Audience Choice

A single, handcrafted, award will be presented for each category. These award are each created by our local artist community.

National and International award winners are encouraged to check with customs regulations, and are responsible for any and all shipping costs and customs fees.

Rules & Terms

Tryon International Film Festival Contest Rules and Terms:
Note: To all "Selected" filmmakers please send your films to:
All submissions for consideration must be online with a live link to YouTube or Vimeo, with passwords for viewing access.
Each submission should include all contact information and required information:
Your name, Production Company, Phone, Email, Title of work, Place of residence:

All "Accepted Submissions" to TRYON2023 for screening delivered in standard electronic film format able to be played on a standard PC. All full length feature films selected to be screened at the Tryon Theatre will need be delivered in DCP format.

If your full length feature cannot be delivered in a DCP format, we can provide you with advice on how and where you may be able to have one produced. You will be responsible for retrieving your DCP, post screening.
DVD's will not be accepted for any screening venue.

Dropbox -
Or mail:
Tryon International Film Festival Headquarters - PCFI
285 North Trade Street
Tryon, NC 28782

•Multiple entries are allowed but submitted separately.
•All submissions must be submitted via FilmFreeway only.
•Submissions in languages other than English should be subtitled to improve your success. If you film is selected for the 2023 film season, you will need to be prepared to send separate CC files along with your film.
•Winners will be notified via email. (Please include all pertinent contact information)
PERSONAL INFORMATION: To submit your Film you will be required to provide your first and last name; email address and contact number. The information you provide will be used only for contest administration and to contact contest winners. Your information will not be used for any other purpose or shared with any party not affiliated with the Festival and the Contest except to the extent permitted by law.

Winners will be announced on Sunday, October 8th, 2023 at the awards ceremony.
Winners will be chosen by the Festival on the merits of each entry in the Festival’s sole and absolute discretion. If not present, winners will be notified by the email address provided in the entry form.

The responsibility of the Entrants film content lies solely upon the Entrant. The Tryon International Film Festival nor its organizers or affiliates are not responsible for any or all deliberate or otherwise infringements on copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity made by any or all Entrants.

Films must have been completed in the past (2) years.

An Entry should be the original work of the Entrant, and must not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity. If an Entry contains any material or elements that are not owned by the Entrant, and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, the Entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submitting such Entry, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the use and exhibition of the Entry by the Festival in the manner set forth in these Terms, including, without limitation, name and likeness permissions from any person who appears in or is identifiable in the Entry, music licenses and location releases. The Festival reserves the right to request proof of these permissions in a form acceptable to the Festival from any entrant at any time. Failure to provide such proof may, if requested, render Entry null and void. By submitting an Entry, the Entrant warrants and represents that he/she and any persons appearing or who are identifiable in the Entry consent to the submission and use of the Entry in the Contest and to its use as otherwise set forth herein.

By submitting an Entry, the Entrant acknowledges and agrees that the Festival may obtain many Entries in connection with this Contest, and that such Entries may be similar or identical in theme, idea, format or other respects to other Entries submitted in connection with this Contest. The Entrant waives any and all claims that any Entries and/or other works accepted, reviewed and/or used by the Festival may be similar to the Entrant’s Entry, or that any compensation is due to the Entrant in connection with such other Entry or other works used by the Festival.

PRIZES: Prizes are non-transferable and are not redeemable for cash or subject to substitution. The odds of winning depend on the number of entries and the quality of each specific Entry.

TERMS FOR WINNERS: Winners may not request substitutions of prize winnings. All winners are solely responsible for any and all taxes and/or fees as well as all additional costs that may be incurred.

If the specified prize becomes unavailable for any reason, the Festival in its sole and absolute discretion may substitute a prize of like or equal value. The Festival reserves the right to condition the award of prizes upon the execution by the winner(s) of a publicity release. Notwithstanding this reserved right, entry is conclusively deemed to be permission by the Entrant for the Festival to use the Entrant’s name (without compensation to the Entrant) if the Entrant is a winner to publicize the Contest and otherwise, as determined by the Festival, unless prohibited by law. The Festival reserves the right to require the winner to execute an affidavit of eligibility as a sworn document and provide other proof of eligibility as a condition of receipt of the prize or award. In the event the winner is a minor, the Festival reserves the right to require the minor winner’s parent and/or legal guardian to execute an affidavit of eligibility as a sworn document, provide other proof of eligibility and guarantee the minor winner’s obligations, representations and warranties hereunder as a condition of receipt of the prize or award. In the event a winner fails or refuses to execute or provide any required documentation, the Festival reserves the right to award the prize or award to a substitute winner in the Festival’s sole discretion. The Festival may require the winner to be present for/participate in press and promotional activities. In addition, the Festival may request actors and other participants in the Film to be present for/participate in press and promotional activities and the Entrant shall not direct any such individuals to refuse to so participate.

GENERAL CONDITIONS: By submitting an Entry, each Entrant agrees: (a) to abide by these Terms, and the decisions of the Festival, which shall be final and binding in all respects relating to this Contest; (b) to release, discharge and hold harmless the Festival, the Festival’s licenses and assigns, and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and representatives of the forgoing (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the Entrant’s participation in the Contest or any Contest-related activity and from any and all claims, debts, demands, actions or causes of actions, suits, sums of money, damages, and liabilities of whatsoever kind or nature, which have arisen or may arise as a result of the Released Parties exercise of the rights granted to them as set forth herein; (c) to the use of his/her name, voice, performance, photograph/Film, image and/or likeness for programming, advertising, publicity and promotional purposes in any and all media, now or hereafter known, worldwide, including without limitation, on the Internet, and in perpetuity by the Festival and its designee, without compensation (unless prohibited by law) or additional consents from the Entrant or any third party and without prior notice, approval or inspection, and to execute specific consent to such use if asked to do so; and (d) to hold the Released Parties harmless and to indemnify the Released Parties from and against all costs, expenses and liabilities incurred by the Released Parties in connection with the defense of any claim or claims on account thereof, including reasonable attorney’s fees. By participating, the Entrant also agrees not to release any publicity or other materials on his/her own or through someone else regarding his/her participation in the Contest without the prior consent of the Festival, which it may withhold in its sole discretion.

OWNERSHIP/USE OF SUBMISSIONS: By submitting an Entry, you hereby grant to the Festival a royalty-free, fully paid up, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sub-licensable right and license to use during the 2023 season.

MISCELLANEOUS: Released Parties are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, damaged, inaccurate, stolen, delayed, misdirected, undelivered, or garbled Entries; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunication or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, processing of Entries, the incorrect uploading of an Entry, or in any Contest-related materials. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to any person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading materials from or use of the website. Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the Contest or website, who act in an inappropriate or disruptive manner or who are in violation of these Terms, as solely determined by the Festival, will be disqualified and all associated Entries will be void. Should any portion of the Contest be, in the Festival’s sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Festival, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or submission of Entries, the Festival reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Contest. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, FESTIVAL RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND OTHER REMEDIES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforce ability of these Terms, or the rights and obligations of the Entrant and the Festival in connection with this Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of North Carolina, without giving effect to any choice of law rules (whether of the State of North Carolina or for any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of laws of any jurisdiction other than the State North Carolina.

Note to all submitter: Please find the Tryon International Film Festival on Facebook at Polk County Film Initiative and Tryon International Film Festival.

Overall Rating
  • This festival was well planned and the whole town of Tryon’s citizens, restaurants and the festival staff created a welcoming environment. From excellent filmmaker classes (free!) offered by screenwriters, directors and producers to a lot of social opportunities to get to know other filmmakers and the judges, we enjoyed every single moment of the experience! Kirk and Beau are so supportive of filmmakers and were very accessible before and during the festival. They also offered short interviews with the ebullient Diana De Rosa, which gives a nice bit of PR to filmmakers. The Tryon Theatre was a beautifully renovated space to see our films on the big screen…magic! Big Applause for Beau, Kirk and their staff!

    October 2022
  • What an incredible fest! This small but mighty town goes all in with the southern hospitality and warmth. It was such a wonderful fest to premier at and Beau and Kirk really go the extra mile. The historic Tryon theatre is a dream for seeing your film on the big screen with newly revamped state of the art screen and sound. Highly recommended! They made our ‘Unpacking’ team all feel like family. Thank you!

    October 2022
  • The staff at Tryon put together an amazing festival. Kirk and Beau make an incredible event with so much friendly hospitality. Even Beau's Father-in-law who ran my screening made it a wonderful event for my film. Ashley Crane also does amazing work to make all the workshops and presentation so awesome. Thanks to all of the Tryon team!!!!

    October 2022
  • Ron Davis

    Kirk, Beau and all of their staff and volunteers made it an amazing experience all around.

    October 2022
  • This is the BEST film festival we've ever attended! The organizers, Beau and Kirk, have put a lot of time and energy into planning a world-class festival. Unlike other film festivals, there are numerous break-out sessions that are offered FREE to the public and there are many opportunities to network with like-minded filmmakers from all over the world. We loved the world premier films featured every night of the festival and the Tryon Theater is the perfect venue to gather the community together and celebrate films and filmmakers from all over the world. This is a MUST attend festival with a lot of positive energy to move it to the forefront of all international film festivals. LOVE Tryon and it's quaint surroundings. This team did an outstanding job promoting and executing a flawless film festival. BRAVO!

    October 2022