Get ready for an evening of cutting-edge cinematography when the Apalachicola Riverfront Film Festival makes its debut on October 19.

This independent film festival, at Riverfront Park on Water Street in downtown Apalachicola, will focus on thought-provoking films portraying today’s culture, art, environment, local and global issues.

The festival will feature local filmmakers, national and international films and student films. Organizers have collaborated with Florida State University and Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) film schools and will showcase student films from both schools.

The program will also feature a discussion with special guest Kevin McCarey, professor of film at SCAD who is a film director, oceanographer, author and aspiring playwright. His latest film “Extinction” is featured in the program.

Filmgoers will enter through a tent where they can purchase food from a menu of locally prepared cuisine created by Chef Brett Gormley of Up the Creek Restaurant. A selection of fine wines, beverages and popcorn will also be available.

Passing through the admission tent, attendees will enter the park where a 40’ screen positioned at one end of the park will provide an optimal viewing experience. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for a more comfortable experience on this fall evening. Please, no coolers.

The gate opens at 6 p.m. providing time to enjoy the food and pick a good seat. Showtime is 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Co-Emcee and Chair Merrill Livingston is an Apalachicola native who received a bachelor of fine art in film and television at SCAD in 2008. She then directed the documentary, “A Different Way of Doing Business”, about the inspiring story of a rural Florida community’s revitalization through a partnership.

She relocated back to Apalachicola in 2010 where she is in pre-production of her next film.

Co-emcee is local filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus of Blountstown, the creative force behind the Live Oak Production Group. He brings skills and experience as a producer, cinematographer, editor, and director.

Stoltzfus, a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in media communications, for the past 25 years has documented diverse aspects of Florida's natural resources including estuaries, rivers, swamps, and aquatic preserves. A gifted cinematographer; as executive producer of several documentaries, he combined his love of nature with his love of art.

In celebration of its premier year, Stoltzfus has produced an introduction for the festival which will feature distinct landmarks, iconic waterfronts, and colorful locals all highlighting Apalachicola.

Stoltzfus’ most recent documentary, the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition, will also be shown. The documentary features four explorers who hiked from the Everglades to the Okeefeenokee Swamp. In 2012, the group hiked 1000 miles in 100 days to call attention to opportunities for a connected wildlife corridor in Florida’s heartland.

For more information and tickets visit