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The Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival (JTIFF) is returning for its seventh season, and is taking place from April 18-21, 2024 at the breathtaking Mauch Chunk Opera House. Nestled in the charming Victorian town of Jim Thorpe, this four-day cinematic and musical event boasts nine new first-run features and seventy-five short films from around the world. Further, there will be a sundry of sensational live music courtesy of the festival’s partner, GREAT CIRCLES.

The opening night music focused feature, DANDELION, premiered just weeks ago at SXSW to glowing four-star reviews. Writer/Director Nicole Riegel shares a story that centers around Dandelion, a desperate Cincinnati singer-songwriter, who takes a last-ditch gig at a motorcycle rally in South Dakota. The experience moves Dandelion from a narrow view of success to a deeper appreciation of her artistic journey, and the discovery of a voice that’s authentically her own. JTIFF’s Opening Night screening marks the film’s Pennsylvania premiere, and Nicole will be attending in person.

Many films presented by JTIFF derive from other prestigious pageants. For instance, there is TIGER STRIPES, which is a very original female coming-of-age / horror film from Malaysia. It was written and directed by Amanda Nell Eu, and premiered at Cannes Critics’ Week and took home the Grand Jury Prize. Next is PROPERTY, directed by Daniel Bandeira, and is a tense, disturbing tale of class struggle in Brazil. The film premiered last year at the Berlin Film Festival and won Best Picture at Fantastic Fest. GHOSTLIGHT, directed by Kelly O’Sullivan and Alex Thompson, was a tender and funny hit at this year’s SXSW and Sundance Film Festivals. It tells the tale of a grieving construction worker who unwittingly joins a local theater production, and the drama onstage starts to mirror his own life. There is the French-Canadian thriller, HUNTING DAZE, written and directed by Annick Blanc. It is another SXSW premiere centering around a tempestuous young woman named Nina who joins a group of hunters at a remote mountain cabin. In this male micro-society, she finally feels a newfound sense of belonging. However, the arrival of a mysterious stranger threatens the newfound balance of their pack. Excited to share that Annick will be in person at the festival.

Their closing feature film is HEY, VIKTOR!, directed by Cody Lightning. This project originally premiered last year at TriBeCa and TIFF. Twenty-five years after his time in the limelight, Cody, a former child actor, tries to revive his fame with a self-produced sequel to “Smoke Signals”. When his friends stage an intervention, Cody seizes the moment — and camera crew — to take one last shot at producing Smoke Signals 2. This film is an indigenous subject, comic meta mockumentary that is full of raucous and raunchy, but yet heartfelt, content.

In addition to the astounding feature films being presented, there are seventy-four amazing short films from around the world that make up the bulk of their programming. Despite the festival’s international flavor, JTIFF continues to encourage talent from their own backyard to create and take part in the festival. The festival also recognizes how crucial filmmaker networking is within the industry, and so they provide a potpourri of parties to facilitate this task. There is the Opening Night After Party, taking place April 18, 2024 at Marion Hose Bar. April 19, 2024 is the Filmmaker Gala, held at the cavernous Mauch Chunk Ballroom. Lastly, there is the Closing Night Wrap Party on April 21, 2024, located at Ouros – and commences after the Awards Ceremony.

To learn more, visit: JimThorpeIndieFilmFest.com


Information provided to TVL by:
Cindy Mich