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The 2024 -573 Film Festival

The 573 Film Festival has big plans this year, bringing fun and excitement to the film-friendly town of Perryville! I can tell you flat out that there is TALENT in these hills. These filmmakers give everything they have and more. They face insurmountable odds and do it anyway. THEY fight. THEY deal with the problems. THEY never give up. To watch their films and meet all these young people displaying such passion, truly is one of the biggest gifts I've been granted on this rock. My hat is off to everyone involved in this effort. You are ALL 573 Superheroes. The 573 Film Festival is 100% FREE to attend the festival and watch films.

573 FILM FESTIVAL is FREE thanks to help from our sponsors.

The festival is held every year with short films from all over the world, and it highlights many local filmmakers as well. In addition to showing films, the festival holds workshops, talks, networking events, and the super popular 573 Kids Film Workshop and Red Carpet Event.

A non-profit sponsor-supported community event, 573 Film Festival is on a mission to give a voice and a platform to filmmakers trying to get their start here in the local area. With no entry admission fee charged, 573 Film Festival and their awesome local sponsors have provided an amazing opportunity to area filmmakers and film fans alike.

Our sponsors are true heroes to the local art and film community for helping to make this happen!

An All-Star Guest Speaker lineup of Missouri-based industry professionals and multiple directors, producers, and actors from the films selected to be screened will be in attendance, giving ample networking opportunities for those seeking careers in the industry.



Award-winning filmmaker Peter Vincent Carlos is the Professor of Cinema Arts at Lindenwood University. Peter has a rich history of working in the film industry, including having been a film producer, director, and editor. During his presentation, he will be talking about the ins and outs of independent filmmaking as well as his film career, which includes a stint in Hollywood, where he worked with such notable names as Jim Carrey, Kirsten Dunst, Jay Leno, and more. Peter will be presenting his new short, Poke The Bear.


—Veteran actor Scott Michael Dunn is a talented actor located in St. Louis. He has participated in 70+ films over the last several years and built a wonderful portfolio of work. Scott is currently working on a lead supporting role in the location feature film THE SPRING, slated to complete filming this May in Perryville, Ste. Genevieve and Marquand. Scott will also present his new feature film, RED NIGHT AT SKYE'S.

STYLIST LaKrisha Moore - SATURDAY FEB 17 at 8 PM

LaKrisha Moore, of Jackson, Missouri, is a professional wardrobe stylist and hair and makeup artist for film, commercials, and print. She is a seamstress and costumer for both runway, stage, film, and bridal. LaKrisha has a degree in dance and has been a professional dancer and choreographer/instructor for over 24 years. She has danced professionally in England, Italy, USA... Her current credits include two feature length movies (credited to IMDb) along with several national commercial/print advertising. LaKrisha is also the talent director and choreographer for VintageNow fashion Show that is a yearly benefit for Safehouse of Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau.

DIRECTOR Karson Knudsen - SATURDAY FEB 17 at 7 PM

Karson Knudsen is an award-winning cinematographer turned director. In 2023, he made his directorial debut with the short film 'The Milk, Man,' which won multiple awards at the SATO48 Film Festival in southern Missouri. His most recent film, 'Trojan Horse,' is being screened at the Cannes Short Film Corner in May of this year."

Thomas Smugala — DIRECTOR  - FRI - FEB. 16 at 9pm

Writer, producer, director Thomas Smugala has produced and directed many music videos, shorts, and feature films.  Upon deciding to make the 573 his home, Thomas has developed many film projects along with actors and crew.   Thomas will present a sneak screening of his new comedic horror TWO HEADS. 

Visit for a full list of special presentations, guest speakers, and events.


This year some really great films have been selected to be screened during the festival. An eclectic collection of cinema masterpieces with a variety of genres, including experimental, drama, horror, documentary, comedy, animation, and stop-motion, there is something for everyone at the 573 Film Festival. With submissions from right here in the 573, across the country, and around the world—the 573 Film Festival International is a wonderful chance to support local art and experience multiple cultures.

Some of the OFFICIAL SELECTIONS include...

CATSKILL MANOR—An award-winning 48 hour festival winner...

CATSKILL MANOR was filmed in Cape Girardeau and directed by Bryan Schilligo, produced by Kristen Boren, and written by Adam Appleton. CATSKILL MANOR—When the ghost of a Haunted Airbnb stops doing his job, the property owner decides to take matters into his own hands by adding more ghosts.

The full film is 7 minutes and 55 seconds long. The 106 N Jackson event location will host a FREE screening of CATSKILL MANOR, along with many other awesome short films, on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 PM and at Perry Park Cinema | 800 City Park Ln | Perryville, MO 63775 Sunday, Feb 18, 2024 from 3:30 PM 



FORTUNE FAVORS THE DEAD—A greedy and exploitive fake psychic bites off more than she can chew when she takes on a strange new client with curious motives. FORTUNE FAVORS THE DEAD, directed by Joshua Rodriguez.

FORTUNE FAVORS THE DEAD will show Friday, Feb 16, at the 106 N Jackson location.


PARADISO by Jonna Volz. A heart felt drama.

PARADISO is a glimpse of a day in the life of an unhoused couple looking for shelter for the evening. As they find paradise in a vacant apartment, they start dreaming big with possibility until they are caught.


EXPENDABLE—A love letter to Film Noir.

EXPENDABLE—Inspired by Evan Hunter’s (The Birds, High and Low) early short story, The Last Spin, Xpendable tells the story of a dispute between two crime organizations and the decision to settle matters with a representative from each “club.” Whereas the original story dealt with juvenile males from rival gangs, Xpendable shifts the focus to age and gender, along with a dose of black humor. Filmed in Medford and Jacksonville, Oregon, over four days during 2022 and featuring actors Preston Mead, Annette MacGregor, Adam Lewis, Jeffrey Hunter, and Johnny Whelchel, along with a production crew consisting of family and friends, Xpendable is director/producer Walter Haussner’s love letter to Film Noir and David Mamet’s view that “Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance”.

EXPENDABLES—This film will show on Friday, Feb 16, at the 106 N Jackson location.


RED NIGHT AT SKYE'S a crime thriller.

The feature length RED NIGHT AT SKYE'S will play and be presented by Actor Scott Dunn.

When down on his luck family man and ex-soldier Cole Boyd gets drawn into a scheme to rob Skye's pawnshop, a front for a ruthless gang of meth-making bikers known as The Spiders, a group led by the enigmatic and evil "Doc", a bad idea turns into a blood-soaked nightmare. Written and directed by Chris Grega and presented by actor Scott Dunn. The film will run on Saturday at 9 PM at the 106 N Jackson location. A crime/horror/thriller.

RED NIGHT AT SKYE'S will run on Saturday at 9 PM at the 106 N Jackson location.


TWO HEADS—a comedic/horror. A tale of killer hypocrisy.

There will be a special sneak preview viewing of the new feature film TWO HEADS, produced by local production company Motion Dog Films.

A SNEAK PREVIEW before release.

Just completing final post-production and music, TWO HEADS will hit the market in fall 2024. Starring the young, rising star Ava Duffe, TWO HEADS is a funny, low-budget feature filled with complete crazy. TWO HEADS—A gay, conservative woman’s life is flipped upside down when her ID falls into the hands of a masked protestor at a political rally. Before she knows it, Samantha Eastwood and her daughter, Ava, are stalked and terrorized by a relentless group of nastys, quickly turning their world into a living hell. But their torturers make a fatal mistake—they don’t make sure their victims are dead.  Written & Directed by Thomas Smugala. Produced by AJ Koehler & Thomas Smugala for Motion Dog Films.

The film will play late Friday evening, Feb 16, at the JStreet Eats location at 106 N Jackson in Perryville.

CLICK HERE to view this year's full Official Selection list.

Special thanks to our festival judges: Kyle Hinton, LaKriska Moore, Sheena Standing Bear, and Thomas Smugala.

This year, the 573 Film Festival will be held in multiple locations.

On FRIDAY, February 16th, the screenings and special presentations will be located at the JStreet Eats at 106 N. Jackson Street in Perryville. Going from 6 pm to who knows when (estimated end around 11), this night is Mature Audience only. Be advised that Friday night films at JStreet Eats are not suitable for viewers under 16 years old. There will be servers on duty in the screening room ready to take your food & drinks order at any time and make your viewing experience very Mary.


On SATURDAY, February 17th, the festivities will be held at the Catalyst Event Center located at 508 N. Main St. in Perryville. Beginning at 1 PM with the 3-hour Kids Film Workshop, the fun goes on all day and late into the night. Screenings and presentations will start at 6 PM at JStreet Eats at 106 N Jackson Street, with films running until 11 PM.


On SUNDAY, February 18, The 573 Film Festival International will be hosting a Red Carpet Event at the Perry Park Center Theater. Scheduled screenings include the Kids Film Workshop Films & several winning films and awards presentations. Starting at 1 PM with photos on the Red Carpet and going until it ends, all Red Carpet Screenings will be scheduled and listed at, so be sure to check that schedule again after the update.

CLICK HERE to view the 573 Film Festival International 2024 Schedule.

As mentioned before, a very large part of the 573 Film Festival that has become very popular since its introduction is the 573 Kids Film Workshop. Children 18 and under are welcome to come and partake in the opportunity to help create a film, which will be screened the following weekend in a special Red Carpet Event. Each participant will be assigned to a crew, given a script, and will have the chance to learn whatever position interests them: director, actor, sound, lighting, set design, make-up, etc… And after they experience what it’s like to make a film, they will get to experience the joy of watching their creation on the big screen!

Pre-registration is required.

To become a 573 volunteer, contact Thomas @

Interested in becoming a sponsor or making a donation? Contact Denelle

Whether you're a filmmaker, a film fan, or just bored and want something to do that's FUN and FREE, be sure to join us at the 573 Film Festival this weekend. You don't want to miss it!

GET OUT THERE! Some of You are always saying nothing ever happens in the area—I'm calling BS to that. Crawl out of that sunken sofa and get your butt over to the 573 Film Festival—it's FREE. You like FREE, don't you?

T. Smugala

aka Supreme Leader

Be sure to visit all of our awesome sponsors who make these stories possible!


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