The Rock Water Film Festival: Drive-In Edition

Films are one of the most commonly consumed art forms, with movie-watching as easy as clicking a button on your TV, tablet, phone, or computer. It is so common, I think some people can easily forget it is even an art form. Copious amounts of creativity and energy go into making a film, often with an enormous group of collaborators. It’s a wonderful thing, and it should be celebrated. And that is exactly what you can do at the Rock Water Film Festival (RWFF) on Saturday, September 12th at 7:00 pm. 

Supporting Local Filmmakers

The Rock Water Film Festival aims to project the visions and voices of independent, DIY filmmakers. They welcome the weird, low-budget films that artists of all kinds create. When learning more from Darcie Blake, one of the organizers, she shared with me some important thoughts on the event, stating:

I was initially tentative about doing the film festival this year, but Alex (Keown) pointed out that continuing to run the festival is more important now than ever, even with the challenges of the pandemic and fight for racial justice. It’s been RWFF’s intention since the very beginning to create a physical space to support and celebrate local filmmaking. Our goal has always been simple: we want to bring people together and watch each other’s work; we want to create connections and open up dialogue.”  

Though this year’s festival will look a little different to keep viewers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still going to be a fantastic outlet for filmmakers and creatives to display their hard work and talent with the world. So start your engines because…

We’re Going to the Drive-In

This year’s 4th annual Rock Water Film Festival will be a drive-in, allowing everyone to safely watch the films from the comfort of their cars. The location is still being determined, so RSVP here to stay up to date on where it will be held. Audience members are being asked to please wear masks if they have to interact with people outside of their vehicle. Also, attendees who require disability accommodations are encouraged to email RWFF at least one week ahead of time to make arrangements.

Because of this switch to drive-in style, the festival will be shortened to roughly 90 minutes. The organizers are requesting submissions to be under 12 minutes in order to fit in more filmmakers. Speaking of submissions…

Calling All DIY Filmmakers

Submissions are now open! The deadline to submit your short film is by midnight, August 31st. MP4 files and hyperlinks can be sent to In your email, the organizers ask filmmakers to please include their name, involvement with the film, the year it was made, a short synopsis, runtime, and whether or not they can attend the festival. The RWFF is also working towards becoming better inclusive, and are asking that filmmakers submit films with closed captioning embedded. The RWFF is also kindly offering their time to help with those who can’t. 

Even More Support for Local Creatives!

Submitting filmmakers can attend for free, but all others will pay the usual $10 admission. All proceeds continue to fund Sue’s Space and Wrong Brain, and this festival will probably be both organizations’ biggest fundraiser in 2020. 

If you’re not familiar with Sue’s Space and Wrong Brain, don’t worry; they are on my list to write about on this blog! But in the meantime check them out and follow them on social media. They are amazing creative hubs that really care about the community.

What He Said

If you’re unsure if you should submit your film to this festival, in the immortal words of Shia LaBeouf: just do it. Perhaps you’ve been working on a film for years or perhaps the free time from quarantining this year gave you a reason to tell a story. Either way, the story you’ve been making should be seen by others. So here is your chance. This is an opportunity to connect with peers who will respect and rejoice in your creative guts. 

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