After 13 years, The West Virginia FILMmakers Festival is trying something new.
For this year's festival, which will take place Oct. 4-6 at the Elk Theatre in Sutton, the organizers will accept film submissions from all over the world.
In previous years, submissions were only open to movies directly relating to the Mountain State.
Festival director Caitlin Campbell said the change is not an abandonment of the organization's founding objective to honor independent West Virginia, filmmakers, but an attempt to expand its horizons beyond the state's boarders.
"We're in a position to want to grow the festival," she said. "The only way this festival can really grow, since we're not a predominantly film state, is to have different films in it and different filmmakers to come and network so we can learn from each other."
Categories in the festival competition include: narrative feature, documentary feature, narrative short, documentary short, experimental/animation/music video and student films.
A three-person committee made up of past winners votes to choose the best selections in each category. Winners receive a $250 cash prize sponsored by local businesses in the Sutton area. Student film winners are awarded a $100 cash prize.
Throughout the festival the audiences can also cast their own votes for the "People Choice Award." This honor can be given to a film in any category that becomes a fan favorite.
Each year a "Filmmaker of the Year" is also selected. The award - the festival's highest honor - is reserved for native filmmakers whose work most embodies excellence in independent filmmaking that year.