Tryon International Film Festival kicks off October 6

Published 11:25 am Friday, September 29, 2023

TRYON—The Polk County Film Initiative (PCFI) is thrilled to announce the ninth annual Tryon International Film Festival (TRIFF), scheduled to take place from October 6 to 8, powered by Title Sponsor, New View Realty. This year, TRIFF offers a rich lineup of events and activities, promising an unforgettable experience for film enthusiasts of all ages.

Friday, October 6: The festival kicks off at Tryon Fine Arts Center, the hub for TRIFF23 education activities during the weekend. Thanks to grants from the Carolina Foothills Foundation, The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and generous donations, TRIFF will offer a menu of film education opportunities for youth grades 3 to college and adults. The day’s lineup begins with a career and education fair at 9 a.m. and includes keynotes by industry experts, with Linda Burns of PA Academy & Atlanta Film Society providing insights on starting a career in the film industry. Youth attendees have the chance to enter a mini-film competition (“Awe” Project) for awards on Friday and can participate in education sessions, including “Filmmaking for Kids” on Saturday morning. To register to attend at no charge, contact Ashley at  

The popular opening reception Gala at TRIFF HQ on Pacolet St. on Friday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. is a must-attend event. Due to high demand, this year offers two showings of Friday’s Feature Film, “Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game,” generously supported by the Tryon Theatre. The Gala promises a unique experience with heavy appetizers, vibrant decor, and live music by Seth & Sara. Tickets are selling quickly, so don’t miss out on this fantastic start to the festival.

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Saturday, October 7: Saturday offers a diverse menu of 65 films carefully chosen by the festival film selection committee. Attendees can choose from shorts, animated films, documentaries, feature-length films, and more, all available at three partner locations: Tryon Theatre, Tryon Depot, and Upstairs Artspace. Education sessions are available all day as well at Tryon Fine Arts Center.

Saturday evening’s feature film is “How to Break a World Record,” promising captivating storytelling and cinematic excellence. Co-founder Beau Menetre emphasizes the outstanding film lineup this year, catering to a wide range of tastes and interests. Additionally, a new feature this year is the Podcast Listening Venue at Upstairs Artspace, curated by TRIFF film curator Kirk Gollwitzer. This innovative addition enhances the festival’s accessibility and showcases the evolving landscape of film festivals.

Sunday, October 8: On Sunday, education sessions continue at 11 a.m. throughout the day. Two featured films will be showcased at Tryon Theatre in the late afternoon. “Bringle: Tale of Two Makers,” and “24 Behaviors of a Horse in Pain.” These films are accessible to both pass holders and the general public in exchange for a donation. We’re grateful for the generous support of Tryon Arts & Crafts School for hosting the Bringles and to Lydia Juenger and Jennie Surrett of Fox Meadow Farm, who are collaborating to bring Dr. Sue Dyson from the UK for an extended Q&A session, both enhancing the festival experience.

Who will win the Filmmaker Awards? Don’t miss the awards ceremony at Tryon Theatre at 7 p.m., sponsored by Around Tryon Properties, where the winners will be celebrated for their outstanding contributions.


TRIFF23 offers numerous social opportunities to engage with experts, filmmakers and fellow attendees throughout the weekend. On Friday, an afterparty with a cash bar will kick off at 9 p.m. at Brooks Tavern. Activities at Back Alley CBD will also be available to pass holders. On Saturday, both passholders and the public are invited to visit the Tito’s Bloody Mary & Mimosa cash bar and enjoy a free party pass for the 7 p.m. Tito’s Experience at TRIFF HQ, located at 69 Pacolet St., Tryon, NC, featuring live music by Rhythm Muscle.

For those unable to attend in person or who want to see more films than is possible during the festival, TRIFF23 offers Virtual Screening Passes for the Eventive platform. These screenings will be accessible October 9 – 16 after the festival, allowing viewers and students to enjoy the festival’s exceptional films from the comfort of their own homes, dorms or classrooms. Passes will be available to purchase soon. For free passes for Western NC students, contact Ashley at

Many thanks to all the businesses and individuals who have supported TRIFF over the years, to the Tryon Theatre for providing their beautiful venue for featured films and more, and to the Town of Tryon for supporting the festival each year. Special thanks to Barbara Bricker for her continued and tireless support for her design work, the graphics, and the ever-expanding festival program. 

The film lineup, schedule of events and more may be accessed via the 2023 program at

For more information and ticket purchases, visit