New Film Project to Document a Year in the Life and Culture of Knoxville

Knoxville Films and veteran television producer Melissa May have teamed up for a year-long film project to showcase Knoxville. The project, Year in Knoxville, is a monthly contest for professional and amateur filmmakers to submit short videos that "capture their unique visions of the city throughout the year," according to a recent press release.

May, the competition's creator and producer, says she got the idea when she recently saw a YouTube video by someone who had documented New York City over the course of a year. "It wasn't about the tourist attractions in New York. It was about the true flavor and the neighborhoods," she says. "I saw it as sort of a visual love letter to his city and it resonated with me. I think Knoxville is a beautiful city with a vibrant independent film and production community that needs to be celebrated and even cultivated."

May says she's hoping to see creative submissions from filmmakers who can convey a unique perspective on Knoxville rather than the usual images we're all familiar with. "If you want to shoot the Sunsphere, that's fine," she says. "But show us a side or angle or perspective of the Sunsphere that people haven't seen before. Anything goes."

All submissions, due by the first Friday of each month at, will be judged by May and representatives from Knoxville Films. The monthly winner receives a prize—the January winner will awarded a Kindle Fire—and advance to a final round competition against the other monthly winners.

The contest even got a celebrity endorsement from Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, whose announcement of the event can be seen at the Year in Knoxville Facebook page.