WACO, Texas – The Deep in the Heart Film Festival announced this week they would be returning to in-person at the Waco Hippodrome this July.
With people back in the theater, it allows the festival to get back to what it’s supposed to be.
“We’re big on not only having films for a film festival, but having a festival for our film festival,” Festival Artistic Director Samuel Thomas said. “We’re really big on panels and parties, which is another thing we’re doing again this year.”
Last year, the festival was moved online due to COVID-19. While they were itching to get it back to an in-person event, the directors were able to pull ideas from the 2020 experience.
“Something we’re going to be doing is if you come with your season pass to our in-person film festival, then your season pass is good also for the online version, as well,” Thomas said. “You get to watch everything.”
Film festivals like these aren’t just benefitting the movie makers or even the movie fans, but also the independent movie theaters like the Waco Hippodrome – which will use the film festival as their big comeback party.
“It feels really good. Especially to partner back with the Hippodrome,” Thomas said. “I know they’ve had some issues this year, but to pretty much be the first film event happening again at the Hippodrome is pretty cool. We’re so excited to be partnering with them.”
The directors feel the rumors of the movie theater experience’s death have been greatly exaggerated. They believe they are bringing something of a religious experience back to the film buffs of Central Texas.
“There was a film critic back in the 20’s [Phil Cooke] that said, ‘Theater is the new church of the masses. Where people in the dark sit, listening to the people in the light tell them what it means to be human,'” Thomas said.
The in-person viewing will be July 22-25, and tickets are available on the festival’s website.