Deep in the Heart Film Festival returns for in-person viewing

January 01 2022 12:00 am

WACO, Texas – Filmmakers and fans gathered and walked the red carpet in downtown Waco Thursday for the fifth annual Deep in the Heart Film Festival, making its return to in-person viewing for the first time since 2019.

Coming back to the proper festival experience is important for everyone involved with the event.

“I’ve been very eager to get back into a movie theatre and to have popcorn, and to have soda, and to watch a movie with other people next to me who are laughing at the same movie and getting scared at the same movie,” John Wildman, the festival’s publicist said. “We’re all very eager to get back.”

The in-person experience not only benefits the fans, but it also empowers the filmmakers.

“I’ve seen that the couple of festivals have been so much more impactful audience-wise and also filmmaker-wise to get to see people and talk to people, hang out with people, it’s a lot more involved and a lot more personal,” Chen Darchman, whose film “Book of Ruth” will show at the festival this weekend, said.

Tonight’s premiere comes after the 2020 festival had to go entirely online due to COVID-19 precautions.

Even without anybody in the theatre, last year’s festival was not a total loss.

“They were able to introduce a lot of people throughout the state of Texas to what Deep in the Heart Film Festival does,” Wildman said. “They showed the personality, the quirky nature of this festival, beyond just the screening, beyond just the Q and A’s, and also welcome those filmmakers in.”

In fact, they even pulled from last year’s festival and made the 2021 installment a hybrid festival of both in-person and online viewing.

“This year, we’re combining both,” Wildman said. “What Deep in the Heart Film Festival has been known for, for the last four years in terms of the in-theatre experience, the fun character to it, the personality, all while keeping that statewide audience.”

The in-person viewing will run till July 25 and online screenings will be available July 25-31.

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