The 2023 Full Bloom Film Festival is close at hand, and the tireless efforts of each of the FBFF committees will culminate in a stellar event for Downtown Statesville beginning on Thursday evening. All the hard work starts in January each year with the Film Selection Committee. I was honored to be a part of this committee this year.


“We open the call for submissions in late January each year and slowly the submissions begin to come in. We pull our committee together to begin the arduous task of screening every film,” explained Brandon Sproul, who chairs the Film Selection Committee.

This year the film selection committee consisted of 13 film lovers from diverse backgrounds. It requires a real investment of time, and each committee member puts a lot of effort and thought into reviewing each film.

This group was tasked to screen and review 140 film submissions. Those reviews culminated in the selection of 44 films from the United States, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Czech Republic, France, Iran, South Korea, Turkey, and United Kingdom.

This year’s festival is made up of eight Animated Shorts, four Narratives Features, four Documentary Features, 19 Short Narratives and nine Short Documentaries. The subject matter includes dealing with grief, the arts, music, relationships, life choices, inspiration, and adversity. 

Along with the events committee, which plans the parties and activities outside of the films, the technical committee guarantees the lights and sound are polished, and the venues committee provides the best locations in Downtown Statesville to view our selections. The marketing committee ensures the very best visuals and advertising for the festival. All these groups are led by an organizing committee under the flag of the Iredell County Arts Council.

FBFF Chair Charles Ashe expressed his appreciation for the efforts of all of the committees “who work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure an amazing festival weekend.”

While all of the filmmakers from our selected films are invited to our festival, this year 13 of the selected films will be represented. Help us welcome these filmmakers and their teams to our city. We hope they will experience our hospitality and take with them memories of just how special the Full Bloom Film Festival is and how much we appreciate what they bring to the world through film.

I spent most of my time reviewing the short films. While I enjoyed many of the films, “Happen to Happen,” “Wilderness Therapy” and “You Look Pretty Up Here” were my favorites.

“Happen to Happen” is a Korean film about a young girl who is trying to return her friend’s cat to her, but has many mishaps along the way. The film was light but also emotional.

“Wilderness Therapy” is a documentary that resonated with me with as it dives deep into wilderness therapy and the power of nature. This powerful film is beautiful and moving, a must-see from the students at the North Carolina School of the Arts.

“You Look Pretty Up Here” is a hopeless romantic film with beautiful imagery and a great soundtrack. The film wraps a blanket around forgiveness and the power of boundaries. 

I am looking to seeing you all downtown for the best Full Bloom Film Fest yet!

Amanda Caldwell is a volunteer for the Full Bloom Film Festival.


Visit for a complete lineup of films and ticket information.