The Academy Awards are over, but the inaugural First City Film Festival is about to begin.

The four-day film festival begins Thursday in downtown Leavenworth and will conclude March 25.

The festival will include film screenings, VIP events, filmmaker panel discussions and an awards ceremony.

The festival will feature many categories for independent filmmakers and a special category for Leavenworth County high school students.

“The quality of the storytelling is impressive,” said festival coordinator Tisha Swart-Entwistle.

Industry professionals have screened the entries that will be shown during the festival.

Swart-Entwistle said 52 films were submitted and 42 were chosen to be included at the film festival.

She said the genres of the films include drama, comedy, documentary, animation and science fiction. She said the festival includes 10 international films.

VIP festival passes are available to purchase for $50 per person. The pass allows festival goers to attend all screenings and other functions during the festival.

VIP soiree tickets are $30 per person. The soiree will be held Friday at the Riverfront Community Center and will include film screenings, an awards ceremony and a party.

Tickets for individual film blocks are $6 per person.

There is no minimum age requirements to attend the screenings, but some of the films have adult content and are recommended for mature audiences only.

The festival gets under way at 6 p.m. Thursday with a student shorts screening and awards ceremony at Home2 Suites, 250 Delaware St. Short films by four students from Leavenworth High School will be featured.

Seven films will be screened beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at the Riverfront Community Center, 123 S. Esplanade St. There will be a reception beginning at 5:30 p.m., an awards ceremony at 8 p.m. and a VIP party at 9:15 p.m.

Approximately 15 blocks of short films of several genres will be screened Saturday at the Masonic Lodge, 423 Delaware St., beginning at 11 a.m. The final film of the day begins at 8:30 p.m. There will be two panel discussions Saturday as well.

Seven more blocks of short films will be screened March 25 beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge.

For more information and a schedule of the films, visit www.firstcityfilmfest.com

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