What is a Film Festival?

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So What Is a Film Festival Anyway?

Don’t feel bad: Lots of people have never even heard of film festivals. Music festivals, yeah, but film? And if you’ve never been to a film festival, you might think they’re all about oddball, snooty movies that you don’t like.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Sioux City International Film Festival is like Saturday in the Park, only with movies instead of bands. And indoors.

We have all types of films:

Documentaries, if you’re in the mood for mostly serious, thought-provoking fare.

Comedies, if you’re looking for a good laugh.

Drama, of course.

Horror, science fiction, and fantasy, where we show the scary, strange stuff.

This year we also have a night of LGBTQ films and a special animation category. These are NOT “Disney cartoons.” They are mind-blowing and definitely not for kids.

What our films have in common is that they’re all independent movies. The vast majority of them are really short (10 to 30 minutes). And they’re highly original. There are no cookie-cutter Hollywood action adventures on our screens. These are gems you won’t see anywhere else.

Plus you can have a beer with the people who made the films. Filmmakers from all over the country and the world come to the festival to see their movies screened before a live audience, and they hang around the festival and chat with everyone. At SCIFF, they have a chance to win cash and a trophy if their picture is an audience favorite or chosen by the judges as a winner.

In addition to great movies, we have Hollywood directors and writers doing workshops and big screen presentations. You can see a 1927 black-and-white silent movie called “Wings.” Or bring the kids to see Moana at the Orpheum, and the director of this Disney classic will be there to talk about how the movie was made.


You can buy single tickets for $10 ($5 for seniors, students and kids) OR get an “All Festival Pass” that gives you entry to EVERY film, workshop and the exclusive After Parties!


There’s so much going on!

So if you’ve never been to a film festival, now’s the time to discover a great one: the 14th Annual Sioux City International Film Festival, starting September 12 – 16, at Stoney Creek Inn and the Orpheum Theatre.