BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - After three days of screenings and conferences, the inaugural Southern States Indie Fan Film Festival wrapped up what was largely an international affair at Palace Casino in Biloxi.
"We have film makers here from two different films from Australia," said festival director Susan Forsythe Craig. "We also have people here from Canada and from Northern Ireland. We've had films submitted from Japan, Iran, Russia, Korea."
Film makers from 30 different countries submitted nearly 300 films in the first year of this event. Working out of Waveland, Craig hopes this festival will shine a spotlight on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
"We're really trying to promote the southern states, in particular Mississippi, for hopefully getting more people interested in filming down here," Craig said.
Venezuelan actor Antonio Carlos Leon believes these festivals help make the path to film-making easier for those getting into the business.
"We do need these kinds of things because film makers, independent film makers, need a place to showcase," said Leon. "There's a lot of different politics involved in bigger film festivals and sometimes an indie film maker never gets in. So, I think that it is important that we have more venues to show us and to showcase our talents."
Actress Tiffany Phillips emceed the event and was really impressed by the product.
"I think everybody has been just having a great time and the quality of the films that they've brought in is just phenomenal," said Phillips. "Every film was so so good."
A product she believes could become a staple in South Mississippi.
"I can just see this being a long-lasting thing in this city," Phillips said.
Submissions for next year's event are already being accepted. You can submit your work at the Southern States Indie Fan Film Festival website.