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River’s Edge International Film Festival returns to Paducah

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River's Edge International Film Festival
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A far western Kentucky film festival is returning to Paducah this weekend.

The River’s Edge International Film Festival (REIFF) is back for its 18th edition, with screenings hosted at Maiden Alley Cinema and the Yeiser Art Center in downtown Paducah Nov. 10-13.

Festival director Rebecca Madding, who also serves as the executive director of Maiden Alley Cinema, has been volunteering and working with REIFF since 2014. She’s excited about the potential for this year’s festival, which she says is programmed with “really fantastic quality films that you wouldn't see anywhere else.”

This year REIFF will feature 24 films, including narrative, documentary and animated feature-length films and shorts.

Madding noted some films she thinks western Kentucky festival goers will find especially interesting, like 165 Miles: Catastrophe in Kentucky – which tells the stories of the lives who were affected by the December 10, 2021 tornado outbreak in western Kentucky – and The Mental State – which follows a high school senior and his struggle with his true identity and the intentions of a dangerous town shooter.

The festival’s lineup will also feature films from students at Western Kentucky University and some from overseas, including entries from Germany (Land Gewinnen), Israel (Cherry) and Spain (Human Trash).

Madding said her biggest challenge is marketing these films.

“[These films] don't have big Hollywood movie stars in them or anything like that, but that doesn't mean that they're not important and it doesn't mean that their story doesn't deserve to be told,” she said. “A lot of these films, because they're independent, have a lot of heart and so much passion that you don't sometimes see in these big Hollywood movies.”

Madding said the festival is still going because Paducah’s film community is invested in its success.

“So there are a lot of different struggles, but we have a lot of supporters behind Maiden Alley and the film festival,” she said. “We are 18 years old, and we wouldn't be that old without any type of support from our loyal fans of film and in Maiden Alley.”

Tickets will be available in nine blocks showcasing over 16 hours of film, in total. REIFF also offers all-access passes that give patrons the opportunity to participate in Q&As with filmmakers, a Saturday morning brunch and an afterparty Saturday evening following the awards ceremony.

High school and college students can get in for free with their student ID. An all-access pass is $50, while individual tickets for blocks are $10. Tickets and volunteer opportunities for the festival are available on the REIFF website.

Morgan Puckett is a sophomore from Olney, Illinois, majoring in both public relations and journalism/mass communications with a minor in sports communications at Murray State University.
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