Third annual Boone Film Festival celebrates stories from the Appalachian Region


A sign advertising the Boone Film Festival.

Cameron Stuart, Associate News Editor

Former Footsloggers worker Jason Berry always wanted to create a successful film festival. He has now done so for the third year in a row.

Along with friends Bill Ireland and Russ Hyatt, Berry created the concept for a film festival in 2016, which has since raised over $6,000 for local non-profits, such as The Mountain Alliance.

“This is an opportunity to celebrate and share stories about the Appalachian region,” Berry said. “These stories will have a connection to the Appalachian region either by being filmed here and/or by being about people from here.”

The Boone Film Festival took place from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3, featuring films each day in different locations throughout Boone and operated 100 percent by volunteer efforts.

“This year, we’ve got over 50 films submitted from seven countries and 15 states, which is really cool,” Berry said.

Will Barrett, a Tennessee native who came to Boone for the festival said the diversity of the films stuck out to him.

“I love the uniqueness of this, where it kind of celebrates or looks for films that have some sort of Appalachian tie or heritage or culture,” Barrett said.

Many of the films also had direct ties to App State, with faculty and student submissions.

“One hundred percent of our proceeds are given to nonprofits locally,” Berry said

There were three categories for films: Appalachian culture, Appalachian environment and Appalachian adventure. Along with these categories, different awards were given out.

The film “Hillbilly” took home Best in Show, “Cornered: A Fighter’s Story” won Best Culture, “Don’t Think Twice” won Best Adventure Film, “Dahakhani, Nepal – A Story of Trenches and Tap Stands” won Best Environment Film and “Doofuses” won Best Youth Submission.

Story by Cameron Stuart and Rachel Greenland, News Reporters

Photo by Rachel Greenland