The 2023 Footcandle Film Festival is coming September 15th-24th!

Festival Schedule, Film Selections, and Ticket Sales are now available!

Looking to submit a film for consideration at this year's festival?  Visit our submission page:

The Footcandle FilmLAB

48-Hour Filmmaking Competition

Public Screening of Films & Cash Prize to Winner

September 15th-17th

The FilmLAB is an event designed to challenge creative individuals to collaborate in competitive teams while racing against the clock to produce a one-of-a-kind short film.

View this year's festival program

Watch Festival Movies Online

In-Person & Online Screenings

Films in competition for the Footcandle Film Festival, selected from hundreds of submissions received throughout the year, will be shown over a three-day period. There will be between 25-35 films shown over this weekend, with the weekend culminating in an Awards Ceremony on Sunday evening recognizing the best of the films shown throughout the festival.

The FilmLAB

2023 will mark the first year of the FilmLAB, a weekend-long filmmaking competition that invites filmmaking teams from across North Carolina to produce a short film within a 48-hour period.  The completed films will be shown in a screening event and the best one will win an award.

Youth International Film Showcase

Through a partnership with the Greater Hickory International Council, curated short films from international filmmakers will be shown at a special free event. The event is designed for a younger audience (ages 8-14) and their families, and provides an opportunity to learn about other countries and cultures through short films.

Scriptwriting Competition

The Screenwriting Award event recognizes the best unproduced screenplays submitted throughout the year. The two winning writers come to this event to share their work with an audience, discuss their experiences in writing screenplays, and have some selected scenes from their winning work presented through a table read with local actors.

Outdoor Stage & Screen Event

Music and movies combine at an outdoor concert by at the HUM near Downtown Hickory, followed by Bluegrass group THE LOCAL BOYS followed by a special film screening of O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? under the stars.


The Footcandle Film Festival, in partnership with The Visiting Writers Series of Lenoir-Rhyne University, will be holding the fourth year of the Footcandle Scriptwriting Competition in 2022.  Film script submissions from filmmakers around the world were accepted earlier in the year, and a committee reviews all applications and selects winners for this year’s awards.  The script submissions were for feature-length films, with all submissions being scripts for films that have yet to be produced at this time.  The awards will be presented at a special event on Lenoir-Rhyne University’s campus with a talk from each of the winners about their experience and background in scriptwriting.



The Youth International Film Festival (YIFF), hosted by the Footcandle Film Society and the Greater Hickory International Council, is a special showcase event to help expose school-age children to short films from around the world.  Films are submitted from around the world, with the best selections shown in a special in-person screening event during the course of the festival week.  The emphasis this year is on films for children in 4th – 8th grades.


Frequently Asked Questions


The Footcandle Film Festival is designed to bring unique, challenging and entertaining films to Western North Carolina every September. The festival is being held by the founders and members of the Footcandle Film Society, a 600-member group dedicated to screening and discussing films on a monthly basis.  The society was formed in late 2007 by Alan Jackson & Chris Frye.  The inaugural film festival was held in September of 2015.


The festival film selections and schedule have been announced!  You are able to see the full festival schedule and buy tickets or festival passes.  Please click this link to view this year’s festival schedule!


Both feature-length and short films will be screened at this year’s festival. At the award ceremony that ends the festival weekend, the following awards will be announced: “Best Narrative Feature”, “Best Narrative Short”, “Best Documentary Feature”, “Best Documentary Short”, and “Best Youth International Short Film”, which all selected by a jury, and then the “Audience Favorite Narrative Feature”, “Audience Favorite Documentary Feature”, “Audience Favorite Narrative Short Film”, “Audience Favorite Documentary Short Film” and the “Audience Favorite Youth International Short Film” which are all voted on and selected by those in attendance.


The festival schedule and films have been announced, and ticket sales are online now!  Please visit this link to purchase tickets or passes for this year’s festival!

This project has been supported in past years by the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, with funding from the State of North Carolina from the National Endowment for the Arts.