Year Nine: 2023

Longleaf Film Festivall 2023 was held at the North Carolina Museum of History

Introduction to Virtual Production is one of three workshops at Longleaf 2023; this one is presented by Creative Visions and The 541 Co. Directing for the Actor/Acting for the Director is one of three workshops at Longleaf Film Festival 2023 Legal Insights for Filmmakers with Shelia Huggins and Beth Yerxa Saturday, May 13, at Longleaf 2023


Click here for a list of all Longleaf 2023 Official Selection films
Click here for a list of Longleaf 2023 award winners
Click here to review some special events at Longleaf 2023
Click here for a look at some photos from 2023


Our 2023 Longleaf Film Festival was fun! And exhausting. And exhilarating! And tiring. And . . . amazing!

Over the course of Friday and Saturday, we screened 69 narrative and documentary shorts and features, animated films, high school student films, and music videos—more than two dozen of them premieres—and counted some 1,100 folks who found the time to venture from across the state, and beyond, to participate—and share their appreciation through comments like these:

  • “We really appreciate the work that you do to make Longleaf a success each year and for having a platform to showcase the talents of young filmmakers. Thank you so much! It was one of the best festivals we have been to. We plan on submitting films again in the future. Thanks again!”
  • “I thought you all did a great social campaign! You went above and beyond what most festivals do in making all the films and filmmakers feel that their work was being honored. Well done. I wish more festivals did the same thing.”
  • “You all did such a fabulous job! Can’t wait for next year!”
  • “I wasn’t able to stay for the Awards Ceremony, but I enjoyed it via the Vimeo stream. I found your opening remarks wonderful and heartfelt. This year, more than ever, for me, the festival felt like a town square in the film community. I ‘ran into’ so many good film folks I hadn’t seen in too long and had great conversations. I was happy just to be there, in addition to seeing a fascinating bunch of films and getting to share my film with an audience.”
  • “We are honored! Thank you for having us. You all did an incredible job!”
  • “Great festival; many wonderful films and filmmakers; relaxed atmosphere; and great workshops. Go, if you can!”
  • “Longleaf is a treasure. The best place to run into that filmmaker you met a couple months ago! And see her new film!”
  • “I was watching the Award Ceremony, so it was very exciting that you had that streaming live. I almost felt like I was there. Thanks again for all your hard work! It looked like the festival was a great success. Hopefully we can attend in person one day.”
  • “Longleaf is absolutely top-notch, and it is a reflection of your love of and dedication to this festival.”
  • “Congrats, as ever, on continuing to make these (and so many other films) available to the general public. I know it takes a lot of hard work and coordination. So, respect to you and your team!”
  • “Awesome festival! Longleaf really checks all the boxes when it comes to what makes a film festival great. The lineup of films was wonderful, and each block had a large audience who were really engaged. The opening night reception was a blast. You can tell they really put a lot of love into getting this festival together.”

The cast and crew—behind the scenes and on the “stage” of the festival—are, obviously, what filmmakers and film fans note. And, to the Longleaf team, thank you, as always, feels inadequate for the support, ingenuity, creativity, and physical labor given to make Longleaf Film Festival happen. But I do thank you, sincerely. Your professionalism, courtesy, friendliness, and expertise make the fest run smoothly and appear effortless.

The festival began on Friday afternoon, with a musical film block; a fun reception for filmmakers and friends; and a beautiful evening for Movies-N-Moonlight. Saturday kicked off a strong start with our inaugural off-site workshop at North Carolina’s first virtual production studio and two additional on-site workshops (Directing for the Actor/Acting for the Director and Legal Insights for Filmmakers); then continued with 10 more film blocks; our annual Awards Ceremony (distributed simultaneously via live-stream for the first time), where we presented 22 awards; and a crowded (and fun) Wrap Party.

During the festival run, our social media accounts reached more than 11,000 people on Facebook and more than 5,000 on Instagram. The Longleaf website had more than 14,000 views.

Speaking of the festival run—and for a few of us, that starts within a few weeks of the previous year’s Wrap Party—the list of folks who supported Longleaf this past year is both long and yet compact. I recognize that everyone fit Longleaf into their own already-full and uncompromising workloads (meaning, Longleaf is probably not “on your workplan”), but a few of you still managed to help—some for months in advance and some the week and days of—assisting with paperwork, nametags, marketing, poster placement, hospitality, photography, sponsors, budget, T-shirts, editing, graphics, website updates, setup, breakdown, cleanup, décor, Velcro dots, security, tech issues, and more. To those who wished us well, to the hardy people who were here for the endurance, and especially to those who patiently helped me wade through LFF planning angst, you are all truly appreciated.

Now, on to . . . our tenth anniversary? Next year . . .


Click here for a list of all Longleaf 2023 Official Selection films
Click here for a list of Longleaf 2023 award winners
Click here to review some special events at Longleaf 2023
Click here for a look at some photos from 2023