What is a film festival?

It’s a cultural and social gathering with an emphasis on screening films. Typically, a film festival consists of screenings, educational programs and social gatherings that are a great interactive opportunity to see new, often unknown films, while meeting filmmakers and film fans. Festivals are run all over the world. Some are even film specific, playing a certain type of film. An example would be a horror film festival, documentary film festival or an animation film festival. Others have broader regulations and play a wide variety of films ranging from shorts to features, comedies to dramas, and docs to anitmation.

Why create a film festival?

Film festivals are created for various reasons. The reason for starting the Hill Country Film Festival was simple: we love the entire film festival experience! Having been to a wide variety of them, we saw a wonderful opportunity to host our own in Fredericksburg. Three things sold the idea for us:

1.  Our festival team members work in the industry and know what it takes to create a great film festival. Working as actors, writers, producers, directors and editors has helped us understand the criteria to select the very best of the films submitted. We’re committed to providing filmmakers with a successful and enjoyable screening of their film, along with a fun, relaxed overall experience and to delivering audiences unique, high quality films they won’t see anywhere else.

2. Our staffers have family ties to Fredericksburg so we know the town is a fantastic place to showcase films and spend some time. Who wouldn’t want to come to Fredericksburg for fun and films? And food…and wine…and art, shopping, history, charming accommodations, friendly people – you get the picture.

3.  Films – and festivals – don’t get more independent than the crazy idea of creating and hosting our own in a small Texas town. We believe that an event celebrating independent film is an important complement to Fredericksburg’s unique charm and that it supports the area’s reputation as a diverse cultural center.

Why attend a film festival?

Unlike just going to a regular movie, you’ll be able to see unique films while interacting with the filmmakers of tomorrow. How often do you have the opportunity to talk to a director about his process, meet a leading actress of the short you just watched, or get to talk about a film with actual filmmakers? And since film festivals are more than just film screenings, you’ll be able to attend parties and sit in on panel discussions with industry professionals. It’s an interactive event that will not only be entertaining, but also provoke discussion and spark further interest in independent film.

What is independent film?

Independent films are typically made outside of the Hollywood studio system, which means they are privately financed projects that tend to be on a smaller budget scale. What makes indie films amazing are the lengths filmmakers go to in order to bring these powerful, story-driven movies to life. The amount of personal passion that goes into such films is incredible. A film festival allows such films to gain exposure, find distribution and to promote the talent that is associated with the project. Independent filmmaking is the purest form of filmmaking today.

What kind of films screen at the Hill Country Film Festival?

Great ones, of course. The Hill Country Film Festival screens a variety of films. In the past we have screened:

  • Short films (from 30 seconds to 30 minutes)
  • Feature length films
  • Documentaries
  • Music Videos
  • Animated films
  • Dramas
  • Comedies
  • Thrillers/Horror
  • Art films
  • Musicals

When is the Hill Country Film Festival?

Typically, the festival is the last weekend of April or the first weekend of May.  The ninth annual festival is April 26 – 29, 2018.

How do I attend the festival? Where do I purchase tickets?

You can purchase tickets in advance online (highly recommended) beginning in February or at the theater during the festival, subject to availability. There are three ticketing options:

All-Access Badge – Enjoy access to all screenings during the festival. All Access Badge holders enjoy VIP status with access to: all festival screenings with priority seating, social events, exclusive festival parties, panel discussions, and Filmmaker Lounge (includes complimentary drinks and food at various events while supplies last).

Film Pass – Film Pass includes access to all screenings on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

Individual Tickets – Single block tickets will be available for purchase at the door as available, based on All-Access Badge and Day Pass sales.

How do I receive my badge?

After purchasing your badge online, bring the email ticket confirmation (via smart phone or hard copy) to exchange for your badge or day pass wrist band at the Fritztown Cinema located at 2554 US HWY 87 South:

  • THURSDAY, April 26 | noon – 7 pm
  • FRIDAY & SATURDAY, April 27 – 28 | 8 am to 7 pm

Will there be events or parties?

Yes! Each evening, HCFF will designate a location in town (a restaurant or bar) where moviegoers, filmmakers and guests can mingle, network, relax and have fun. Complimentary drinks will be available for guests who have a Filmmakers Badge or an All-Access Badge. HCFF will host a free, family friendly outdoor screening at the Marktplatz, Fredericksburg’s historic town square, to kick off the festival Thursday night. Discussion panels will be held Friday and Saturday with filmmakers or industry professionals discussing independent filmmaking. Panels are open to Filmmakers and All-Access Badge holders. A light breakfast will be provided each morning panel.

What are Q&A and Panel Discussions?

Q&A (Question & Answer) sessions take place after a film block has ended. At that point, the director and/or any of the film’s creative team come to the front of the theater to answer audience questions and talk about the process of making their film. This is always an informative and entertaining way to gain insight into the movie you just watched.

Panel Discussions are industry-themed conversations that are moderated by one of the festival’s team members. Invited guests will give insight on a number of topics. Audience members will have an opportunity to ask questions after the panel has concluded its discussion. This can be a very educational dialogue that allows people to talk more about the realities of creating a film and share creative solutions to challenges they have encountered along the way.

Do I need a certain badge to attend parties?

Yes. Most of our events outside of the screenings are open to the public. However, there are some events that are exclusive to All-Access Badge holders. We highly recommend purchasing the All-Access Badge; not only does it allow you into all of the screenings, but you’ll also have access to the Filmmaker Welcome, Panel Discussions, the Filmmaker Lounge and the private Closing Night Party and Sunday Send Off. All-Access Badge holders get all the perks of the filmmakers who are representing their films. This includes free food and drink tickets at after parties and the Closing Night Party.

Are there opportunities to network?

Of course! If you love film, this is the place to be. The laid-back vibe of our festival creates the perfect environment for networking. An All-Access Badge provides the greatest opportunity for casual conversation, with access to the Filmmaker Welcome, Filmmaker Lounge, Panel Discussions and the private Closing Night Party.

With film industry professionals from across the globe in attendance, you never know who you’ll meet. In 2010, an actress from Los Angeles came out to support her short film. At the festival, she met a director from Dallas and later that summer was cast in his latest feature film, which was shot in East Texas. Now that’s networking!

What are the screening formats?

Screening formats: DCP, Blu-ray or High-res downloadable QuickTime.

Where will the films be screened?

All festival screenings will take place at Fritztown Cinema, the newly re-branded movie theater featuring top of the line digital projection and sound. Fritztown Cinema is located at 2254 South US Highway 87, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624.

How do I get there?

The closest major airports are Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and theSan Antonio International Airport. Both feature most major airlines and car rental companies. Fredericksburg is a little more than an hour drive from each airport.

What is there to do in Fredericksburg?

What is there not to do in Fredericksburg? Located in the heart of the beautiful Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg is one of the most visited places in the state. More than a million tourists travel here each year to sample wine, eat peaches, shop, discover art and history, and enjoy the town’s German heritage. Nearly a third of visitors are from out of state and most have visited Fredericksburg multiple times. The truly unique combination of small-town Texas hospitality and big-city arts and entertainment make it the perfect home for our film festival.

  • Main Street Shopping
  • Historic District architecture
  • Antique shopping
  • Fine dinning
  • Enchanted Rock for hiking and rock climbing
  • Texas Wildflowers
  • Fantastic Bed & Breakfast accommodations
  • Hunting/Fishing/Wildlife
  • LBJ National Park
  • Vineyards/Wineries/Wine tours
  • Live music, restaurants, bars & more

Can I volunteer?

Of course! Just send us an email to info@hillcountryff.com. We’ll be sure to contact you. Volunteering means that you’re helping the independent film community. And you get to screen all the films!