The Inaugural Apalachicola Riverfront Film Festival: A Beaming Success

By Nic Stoltzfus



Saturday, October 19th, 2013 was the inaugural Apalachicola Riverfront Film Festival, and I wasn’t gonna miss it for the world. My dad, Elam Stoltzfus, his intern, Joey Dickinson, and I produced the intro to the film festival; the three of us worked on this project for weeks, and we would finally get to see it on a large 40 foot HD screen.

 After stopping by for fried twinkies, cracklins, and goat tourin’ at Blountstown’s Goat Day, Joey, two of his friends, my sister, and I headed down together to Apalachicola. We would be meeting up with Mom and Dad there.


Elam and Esther hugging after the festival

The fall sun filtered through the pine dust, and I could see beams of light falling on the forest floor as we drove towards the coast. We arrived at Apalachicola Bay around sunset. After we parked the five of us walked to the film festival. Our table was set up to the left of the screen about 20 feet back and by the dockside. I looked down and, through the iron grill, I saw the water lapping under my feet. Viewers relaxed in their lawn chairs and were split by an aisle-way dotted with yellow lights; a movie theatre on the grass. Merrill Livingstone, the founder of the fest, opens the event; by now it is night and a cool gulf breeze is blowing inland. After Merrill’s opening comments the video that Dad, Joey, and I made began rolling. Chill bumps and memories: scenes pass before my eyes as I recall all the places we visited making the film. magical. After it is over I glance over at Joey and his eyes are twinkling, too. We bump fists and grin. We did it.

 The clouds of night parted and the delicate moon shine reached us. It began its arch across the sky and we continued watching movies.

 The first annual Apalachicola Riverfront Festival was a beaming success. I know that when the full moon rises next October I will be out on Apalachicola Bay taking in the salty air and fine movies. 

For more information and tickets for the second annual Apalachicola Riverfront Film Festival visit

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