Secret City Film Festival: Not So Secret Anymore

Entering its ninth year, the annual Secret City Film Festival is hitting the highway and relocating to Knoxville. It will now be screening films and holding workshops at the Regal Cinema Art Downtown West 8, Sept. 21-23. Previously, the festival was held at the Oak Ridge Playhouse.

“Since I started the festival, I always wanted to have it in a ‘real’ movie theater,” says SCFF director Keith McDaniel. “Also, the vast majority of festival attendees come from the Knoxville area, so I thought Downtown West would be a good fit. So, I contacted Regal and we began talking about it.”

Regal thought the festival would jibe well with Downtown West’s focus on indie films, and McDaniel was attracted to the new location’s 4K digital projection system. All of the submissions will be converted to the industry standard Digital Cinema Package format, which may be a first in the country for a film festival. Knoxville-based EonEntertainment did the conversions. “It’s gorgeous and I think our filmmakers will be blown away to see their films projected in this format,” McDaniel says.

The festival—which McDaniel says he’s still considering renaming—will screen 33 features, documentaries, shorts, and student films; about half of them are local, with the other half from across the country. In addition, 18 teams competed in the 7-Day Shootout filmmaking competition, working seven days to make seven-minute films, which will also be screened.

For the festival schedule, film descriptions and trailers, and ticket information, visit

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