Independent Film Festival Comes to Tyler


The Downtown Tyler Film Festival kicks off its sixth annual celebration September 21, airing four evenings of short films from local, national and global independent filmmakers at Liberty Hall Theater in downtown Tyler. 

Founded in 2011 as a venue for local filmmakers and filmgoers, the festival gives preference to local works but showcases a wide variety of narrative and documentary storytelling from East Texas and around the world. 

Festival director Tara Holley Jones says the event is designed to encourage future filmmakers of all ages. “It is a unique and very inspiring experience,” Jones said. “We want to celebrate the art of storytelling through film and bring people into the community.” 

On Friday and Saturday of the festival, three workshops are offered to the public, all focusing on different aspects of creating a film. Friday’s workshop takes place at the Gallery on Main Street, while Saturday’s morning and afternoon workshops are at the Tyler Public Library. Jones also said happy hour events are available at various locations around downtown Tyler before each screening. 

On September 24, a “Best in the Fest” showcase occurs, rescreening the top short films from previous nights. Contest winners are announced at the conclusion of the festival and receive cash prizes. Films shown at the festival are no longer than 15 minutes and each viewing is scheduled to last approximately 90 minutes. The showings are followed by filmmaker Q & A’s and receptions. 

Tickets are available in advance from Tyler Main Street Gallery or online at or anytime during the event at the Liberty Hall box office. Tickets cost $5 on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night of the festival, and $10 on Saturday night for the Best in the Fest Award presentation and wrap party (food/drink included). An all-inclusive producer’s pass (all four nights plus wrap party) is $20. For more information visit or call 903.593.6905.

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