Chattanooga Film Festival 2018 Recap

The 2018 Chattanooga Film Festival wrapped up earlier this month, closing out its fifth year of celebrating film, filmmakers and film fans.

At the Awardspocalypse Now event, TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID from director Issa López took home the Best Feature Award. This year’s Audience Award went to ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING, directed by Rebekah McKendry and David Ian McKendry. 

Best Short was awarded to EMERGENCY, from director Carey Williams. CFF’s annual Tennessee Filmmaker Award went to Chad Cunningham with THE ORDER. Last, but not least, director Sean Thiessen took home the Student Filmmaker Award for POSERS.

In addition to the awards, two major announcements were made. First from Patron Saint CFF Joe Bob Briggs, who told the audience at his Everything Is Exploitation talk that he will be doing a 24-hour movie marathon with Shudder this June. The marathon will be formatted after Joe Bob’s role as “MonsterVision” host from the 1990s, where he would introduce and discuss the films throughout the show.

The second, but no less important or exciting, took place when Jeremy Gardner and Christian Stella took the stage during Awardspocalypse Now to announce that they’ll co-directing SOMETHING ELSE. Described as a monster movie, they will be teaming up with the Rustic Films team, made up of producer David Lawson, along with filmmakers Aaron Moorehead and Justin Benson, who will also produce the film.

Most importantly, CFF took this year to right a 30-year-old cinematic wrong. As part of their ongoing mission to #respectcinema, the Chattanooga Film Festival’s fifth year screened the world premiere of Lisa Downs and Ashley Pugh’s new documentary about the legacy of 1980’s FLASH GORDON and its star Sam J. Jones LIFE AFTER FLASH and staged a live reading of the film’s screenplay as part of its yearly SCRIPTS GONE WILD event.

The read featured an all-star cast of independent filmmakers, celebrating not only one of the most underrated sci-fi films, but also giving star Sam J. Jones, whose voice was famously over-dubbed in the film, the opportunity to voice FLASH GORDON for the first time before an audience.

The 2018 edition marked the fifth year for the Chattanooga Film Festival, which has been hailed by outlets as diverse as Southern Living Magazine who called it the “Southern Sundance” to Screen Anarchy, which referred to it as a “must-visit genre fest.” Audiences this year saw 42 features, 45 short films, attended 15 different special events, and participated in 7 workshops. Festival organizers are already hard at work on fundraising for the festival’s sixth edition, set for April 2019.