And though films are readily available for home consumption, Pepper noted that there's still nothing quite like experiencing a film on the big screen.
"There really is something special about seeing it in a theater — and having that shared experience with others," he said.
Pepper is especially excited that the festival will feature several films with local connections.
West Virginia native Elaine McMillion's "Hollow" documentary will be shown free at 5 p.m. Saturday, and McMillion will take the stage to talk about her web-based storytelling project.
Braxton County native Mari-Lynn Evans also will offer a free screening of her documentary-in-progress, "Blood on the Mountain," about the history of the coal and gas industries at 7 p.m. Oct. 26.
And West Virginia State University graduate Tijah Bumgarner will offer a free screening of his 23-minute documentary "Hey Day," about the emotional process of pregnancy and birth at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24.
Popular films that played in big cities but not here include "Before Midnight," starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in a story of a long marriage and what it takes to make it over the long haul. Popular French film "The Intouchables," tells the story of a wealthy disabled man who hires an ex-con as his caretaker.
Pepper said film festival board members choose films based on their screenings of them.
"I think every single one has been vetted by someone," he said.
He hopes attendees will choose to do something he remembers most from his earlier days of attending the festival.
"Growing up, going to the film festival, I would see movies I wouldn't have otherwise seen," he said.
Contact writer Monica Orosz at mon...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4830.