Round Top Film Festival Coming to Texas

Round Top Film Festival Coming to Texas

The inaugural Round Top Film Festival (RTFF) is now accepting film submissions for the 2024 festival, taking place November 7-10, in Round Top, Texas.

Shanna and Skylar Schanen (photo by Alice Loayza)

Founded by Shanna Schanen and Skylar Schanen, a dynamic mother-daughter duo, Round Top Film Festival embodies the spirit of creativity, education, and community enrichment. Nestled in an idyllic stretch of road halfway between Houston and Austin, Round Top has evolved from a quiet retreat to a vibrant hub of year-round activity. The Festival will contribute to its cultural growth while celebrating and preserving the unique charm of this special place.

Dubbed the ‘Aspen of Texas,’ Round Top is long renowned as an escape for curious creatives, worldly wanderers and style forecasters. The town is perhaps most notable for its bi-annual Round Top Antiques & Design Show, one of the largest and most prestigious in the United States. In addition to antiques, Round Top offers visitors a variety of shops, art galleries, and eateries to explore along with an array of boutique hotels and cozy retreats with five star amenities. Its historic buildings and beautiful natural surroundings add to its appeal, making it a beloved destination for those seeking a blend of culture, history, and Texas hospitality.

The centerpiece venue of the festival will be held at Round Top Festival Institute’s 210 acre campus, Festival Hill. Founded in 1971 by world-renowned concert pianist James Dick, the Concert Hall has been host to notable performances and educators from around the globe. Festival Hill takes the spotlight as the Festival’s premier screening venue, doubling as the host of the Opening Night party, and various ‘intermissions’ where passholders can enjoy culinary delights between films.

This passionate women-led RTFF team is dedicated to bringing the excitement of the film industry to the community. Through film screenings, panels, workshops and events, the festival aims to educate audiences and inspire the next generation of filmmakers, by celebrating the diverse avenues within the art of filmmaking and the beauty of Round Top, Texas.

“Launching the film festival here in Round Top isn’t just about showcasing cinema; it’s about honoring roots and nurturing connections,” explains Shanna Schanen, Round Top Film Festival Co-Founder. “Growing up in La Grange, I’ve always felt deeply connected to this community, and after spending the last 17 years with a home here in Round Top, the ties run even deeper.”

For years, the Schanen family has championed independent filmmaking, helping fund projects in need of support to overcome obstacles on their path to completion. As a filmmaker herself, Skylar’s formative years spent in this rural Texas town also ignited a creative spark that led to her own journey in filmmaking. Despite having won multiple awards in both writing and directing, she understands firsthand the challenges that first-time and independent filmmakers face getting their work in front of audiences.

“Some films never see past the final edit; film festivals offer a vital platform for artists to create and exhibit their work, potentially launching careers in an industry hungry for fresh voices,” says Skylar Schanen, Round Top Film Festival Co-Founder “We’re excited to welcome the film community to the best little town in Texas and eager to cultivate opportunities for networking, support, and celebrating the beauty of storytelling.”

With over 40 films set to screen across four days, the program will be selectively curated to reflect the laid-back atmosphere and fun-loving attitude of Round Top. Featuring a diverse selection of features and short films, each screening will offer audiences an opportunity to immerse themselves in captivating storytelling and cinematic artistry, along with Q&A’s with members of the film teams. Programming Director Mickey Duzdevich shares “I’m excited to curate the inaugural Round Top Film Festival lineup, promising a diverse array of captivating films, carefully selected to delight audiences. I eagerly anticipate unveiling this unforgettable cinematic experience in our one-of-a-kind location.”

Film categories will include Narrative and Documentary Features, as well as Short Films, and special highlights on Music Videos and Texas throwbackTs, ensuring a dynamic and engaging experience for all attendees. Submissions are open and Early Bird Passes are now on sale for the 2024 Festival!