Downtown Film Festival


In partnership with the Cookeville Performing Arts Center and The Storyteller Agency, this event will illuminate Cookeville’s Historic West Side on August 29, 2020 and welcome thousands from the Upper Cumberland who have been in isolation. This social distancing festival is a celebration of the best in non-fiction film, including a one-minute competition of viewer-submitted content via the PBS American Portrait digital platform, starring citizens in our community. Many seeing themselves and their stories on the big screen for the first time in their entire lives.

While the event is a free event, there will be some competitions taking place in the performing arts center. Winning entries will be the highlight of the evening along with the stories of more than a hundred locals. With the cooperation of and partnerships with local police and officials, roads in the historical district will be closed to allow for larger than expected crowds giving ample opportunity for this event to grow in numbers and still be a safe event to attend and support.

Downtown Film Festival is open to submissions from filmmakers around the world, and winners will receive an award and a direct pipeline to public media, with winning work shown on WCTE.

Downtown Film has been an idea in the works for years, and WCTE is proud to partner with Cookeville Performing Arts Center and The Storyteller Agency to offer a new community initiative and creative outlet, something that can continue to offer a voice and storyteller platform for our region and home. Storyteller Agency founder and Film Festival Director Laura Holloway said, “It’s wonderful that this will provide a new experience for the community, but also that it gives the opportunity for creative people to do what they need to do: create.”