International film festival kicks off Friday with over 200 submissions

The annual South Texas International Film Festival will launch this week, and the city of Edinburg’s Library and Cultural Arts Department will be presenting the virtual event.

From Friday to Jan. 30, film lovers will be able to take part in STXIFF through its website, .

Some of the events lined up include premiers of short and feature-length films, regional and local competitions, panel discussions and educational workshops.

This year, the organization received more than 200 film submissions from 25 countries, of which 47 were selected to be screened throughout the week. Some of the categories include Texas feature film, Texas short film, RGV short film, RGV student short film.

Participants will also have the opportunity to listen to discussions between filmmakers and ask them questions in panels such as “Women in Film,” “RGV Talent” and “South Texas Film Industry.” Workshops slated throughout the event include “Guts and Gore for Movies,” “Listing Your Property as a Film Location.”

All panels and workshops will be free and open to the community.

The cost to watch the film screenings live or on demand is $2, which will cover all films throughout the event. The schedule can be found on the organization’s website.

For the first time, STXIFF will also be hosting a virtual 48-Hour Film Race, in which participants will be challenged to write, film, edit and upload a short film in two days. The race is set to start on 5:30 p.m. Friday, as prizes and awards will be distributed.

The STXIFF Award Ceremony is slated for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at , or via its Facebook page,