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SCC's 2018 Arnow Conference to include Film Festival; Submissions accepted through February

Somerset Community College’s Harriett Simpson Arnow Conference will hold its first Appalachian Film Festival as a part of the 2018 conference. The Arnow Conference will take place on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7, 2018, with the film festival screening on Friday evening. The Appalachian Film Festival is now accepting submissions for consideration.

Films under 30 minutes in length will be considered for inclusion in the festival. Screening of the official selections will take place on Stoner Little Theatre’s “big screen” on Friday, April 6 following the initial day of Arnow Conference sessions. There is no submission fee for films.

“I hope that we can provide a vital platform for Appalachian filmmakers as well as for our local cinema artists,” said Steve Cleberg, coordinator of the film festival.

Cleberg is the director of the Theatre & Film Department at SCC and has been hosting various film festivals at the college for over ten years, including the Autumn Shorts Film Festival, which boasts over 300 submissions from over 20 countries annually. This year, he decided to put his film festival experience to work for the Arnow Conference.

“SCC’s annual Arnow Conference is an important outreach to writers in the region,” Cleberg said. “A couple of years ago, the organizers asked me to contribute with workshops in playwriting and filmmaking. Hosting a festival for filmmakers in the region seemed like a logical next step.”

All films from filmmakers who reside in the Appalachian states of Kentucky, Tennessee, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi will be considered. The festival will accept films of any genre including documentaries and animated shorts.  While submissions focusing on the Appalachian experience are encouraged, it is not required for entry.

To review submission details, visit

The deadline for entries is February 9, 2018. The official selections for the festival will be announced on March 9, 2018.

Further details regarding the Appalachian Film Festival may be obtained by contacting the festival producer at Inquiries about the Harriet Simpson Arnow Conference should be directed to Erin Stephens at