City Film Festival
Fourth Street Theater
to host new fall film festival
event is being organized by
an Oldham County couple
Helen E. McKinney
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (August 2008) When Kris Rommel
began looking for a venue to show his own films, he had no idea he would
end up organizing an event to showcase filmmakers from other parts of
the country as well. The result promises to be a premier opportunity
for up-and-coming filmmakers.
and Ashley Rommel are planning
the new Derby City Film Festivall
in Louisville, Ky., for October.
Rommel and his wife, Ashley, are in the midst of organizing
the Derby City Film Festival. Slated for Oct. 8-12, all screenings will
be held at the historic Louisville Memorial Auditorium on Fourth Street
While not many films have been submitted yet, Rommel said he hopes to
screen 50 to 60 films of all lengths during the four-day festival. Films
will be grouped by genre and shown on specific days. A film schedule
will be announced in mid-September.
This is not a juried film festival but it will contain an awards competition
with winners determined by audience vote. Categories include Best Documentary,
Best Short Film, Best Feature Film and Best of Fest.
Originally from Louisville, Rommel is an independent filmmaker. He opened
his own production company, The Bob Rogers Group, in 1996 with college
friends Merit Alexander and Bob Rogers. Their goal was to bring education
and an awareness of art in all forms to the public by way of digital
technology, conventional showings, performances and events.
Rommel said there are quite a few smaller festivals catering to specific
film genres but not one large one that encompasses all genres. His goal
is to provide one location on a large scale.
Several new film festivals are beginning to pop up across the state.
Any film festival in Kentucky can help to shed light on our industry,
said Tamara Lee Fulkerson with Lights
is a freelance makeup artist and the former director of Oldham Countys
Bluegrass International Film Festival. The latter festival is not being
held this year after a successful three-year run in Crestwood and La
I think everyone involved in the Kentucky film industry understands
that any and all film festivals in our state will assist in growing
our industry, keeping production in Kentucky and attracting productions
to our state, Fulkerson said.
Invitations to the Derby City Film Festival have been extended to more
than 100 filmmakers, actors, producers, directors and others in the
film industry to screen their works at this festival. Rommel would like
to eventually focus the festival on films with direct ties to the community,
state and region.
Having traveled to places such as Columbus, Ohio, and Nashville, Tenn.,
to enter film festivals, Rommel said, With as big an art community
as there is in Louisville, its disheartening that we dont
have such an opportunity. As a filmmaker, there is nothing better than
to go to the theater and sit and watch your film.
To do so, surrounded by people you dont know, is also a plus in
that it provides a venue for critiquing the film, he said.
Ive been involved in theatre since my freshman year of high
school, Rommel said. But the idea of going to film school
did not appeal to me.
Since there were no film schools in Kentucky, Rommel graduated from
Murray State University and eventually opened his own production company.
Filmmakers will be able to participate in question-and-answer sessions
during the film fest. Roundtable panel discussions are planned with
topic choices depending on the attendees who are willing to take part.
After Parties are planned for three different clubs inside
4th Street Live!: Tengo sed Cantina, Angels Rock Bar and Hotel Night
Club. Such parties will give attendees the opportunity to mingle with
filmmakers, and cast and crew. Admission will be free with a day pass
from the festival.
An Awards Dinner is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 12, at OSheas
Irish Pub on Baxter Avenue in Louisville. Seats are limited to the first
150 people, with first preference going to filmmakers and their guests.
At least 50 $20 tickets must be reserved or purchased by Sept. 28 for
the Awards Dinner to be held. If less than 50 tickets are purchased,
awards will be presented at the Louisville Memorial Auditorium after
the last screening on Sunday.
A fundraiser will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25,
at OSheas. For a $10 admission fee, attendees can expect
to enjoy food, raffles, music and films.
For more information on the Derby City Film
Festival, contact Kris or Ashley Rommel at (502) 724-6332 or visit:
Back to August 2008 Articles.