Round Top Film Festival Announces Call For Entries For Inaugural 2024 Festival
Celebrating Creativity And Community In A Picturesque Texas Setting

Round Top, TX — May 15, 2024 — The inaugural Round Top Film Festival (RTFF) is now accepting film submissions for the 2024 festival, taking place November 7-10, in Round Top, Texas.

Founded by Shanna Schanen and Skylar Schanen, a dynamic mother-daughter duo, Round Top Film Festival embodies the spirit of creativity, education, and community enrichment. Nestled in an idyllic stretch of road halfway between Houston and Austin, Round Top has evolved from a quiet retreat to a vibrant hub of year-round activity. The Festival will contribute to its cultural growth while celebrating and preserving the unique charm of this special place.

Dubbed the ‘Aspen of Texas,’ Round Top is long renowned as an escape for curious creatives, worldly wanderers, and style forecasters. The town is perhaps most notable for its bi-annual Round Top Antiques & Design Show, one of the largest and most prestigious in the United States. In addition to antiques, Round Top offers visitors a variety of shops, art galleries, and eateries to explore along with an array of boutique hotels and cozy retreats with five-star amenities. Its historic buildings and beautiful natural surroundings add to its appeal, making it a beloved destination for those seeking a blend of culture, history, and Texas hospitality.

The centerpiece venue of the festival will be held at Round Top Festival Institute’s 210-acre campus, Festival Hill. Founded in 1971 by world-renowned concert pianist James Dick, the Concert Hall has been host to notable performances and educators from around the globe. Festival Hill takes the spotlight as the Festival’s premier screening venue, doubling as the host of the Opening Night party, and various ‘intermissions’ where passholders can enjoy culinary delights between films.

This passionate women-led RTFF team is dedicated to bringing the excitement of the film industry to the community. Through film screenings, panels, workshops and events, the festival aims to educate audiences and inspire the next generation of filmmakers, by celebrating the diverse avenues within the art of filmmaking and the beauty of Round Top, Texas.

"Launching the film festival here in Round Top isn’t just about showcasing cinema; it's about honoring roots and nurturing connections,” explains Shanna Schanen, Round Top Film Festival Co-Founder. “Growing up in La Grange, I've always felt deeply connected to this community, and after spending the last 17 years with a home here in Round Top, the ties run even deeper.”

For years, the Schanen family has championed independent filmmaking, helping fund projects in need of support to overcome obstacles on their path to completion. As a filmmaker herself, Skylar's formative years spent in this rural Texas town also ignited a creative spark that led to her own journey in filmmaking. Despite having won multiple awards in both writing and directing, she understands firsthand the challenges that first-time and independent filmmakers face getting their work in front of audiences.

“Some films never see past the final edit; film festivals offer a vital platform for artists to create and exhibit their work, potentially launching careers in an industry hungry for fresh voices,” says Skylar Schanen, Round Top Film Festival Co-Founder “We're excited to welcome the film community to the best little town in Texas and eager to cultivate opportunities for networking, support, and celebrating the beauty of storytelling.”

With over 40 films set to screen across four days, the program will be selectively curated to reflect the laid-back atmosphere and fun-loving attitude of Round Top. Featuring a diverse selection of features and short films, each screening will offer audiences an opportunity to immerse themselves in captivating storytelling and cinematic artistry, along with Q&A’s with members of the film teams. Programming Director Mickey Duzdevich shares "I'm excited to curate the inaugural Round Top Film Festival lineup, promising a diverse array of captivating films, carefully selected to delight audiences. I eagerly anticipate unveiling this unforgettable cinematic experience in our one-of-a-kind location.”

Film categories will include Narrative and Documentary Features, as well as Short Films, and special highlights on Music Videos and Texas throwbackTs, ensuring a dynamic and engaging experience for all attendees. Submissions are open and Early Bird Passes are now on sale for the 2024 Festival!

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About Round Top Film Festival

Founded by Shanna and Skylar Schanen in 2024, the Round Top Film Festival (RTFF) is committed to enriching our community through the power of film and the arts. Ourˇ mission is to ignite creativity, encourage learning, and provide a magical cultural experience that leaves audiences inspired. We are dedicated to curating a program that includes the best films from around the world for a unique, sophisticated, distinct audience, creating opportunities for open dialogue, appreciation, and the celebration of diverse voices of cinema. The festival takes place November 7 - 10, 2024. The Round Top Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information on passes and events, visit


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Shanna Schanen, Round Top Film Festival Co-Founder

Originally hailing from La Grange, Texas, and with lifelong ties to the Round Top area, RTFF Co-Founder Shanna Schanen boasts a diverse background that enriches her commitment to community engagement and providing platforms for the arts to flourish. Graduating from the University of Houston with a degree in Psychology, she embarked on a career journey spanning sales roles at Houston Cellular and the Houston Symphony Magazine. Transitioning into motherhood, Shanna dedicated herself to her family while channeling her energy into numerous fundraising events. Her passion for philanthropy led her to serve as President of the Board at Houston's Uptown Dance and hold various positions in the National Charity League, where she spearheaded a multitude of charitable galas, educational events, and kid clubs. Beyond her philanthropic work, Shanna finds joy in interior design, entertaining, architecture, fashion, antiquing, pickleball, and golf, as well as travel and quality time with loved ones. In 2024, Shanna co-founded the Round Top Film Festival alongside her daughter, Skylar Schanen, melding her love for film with her dedication to fostering artistic expression and community enrichment.

Skylar Schanen, Round Top Film Festival Co-Founder

Round Top Film Festival Co-Founder Skylar Schanen's formative years in Round Top, Texas, instilled in her a profound appreciation for storytelling. At the age of 17, Skylar's talents gained recognition when her screenplay for the short film SPACE CASE caught the attention of local filmmaker Zachary Scott. Building on her innate storytelling abilities, Skylar pursued her passion further by attending Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University, where she honed her skills in screenwriting. With an expanding portfolio that includes feature film THE SECRET OF SINCHANEE, as well as writing and directing short films ANGEL and PRETTY BOY, Skylar has garnered acclaim and received awards within the industry. Up next for Skylar is the short film CALL OF THE VOID, which is currently in post-production. In 2024, Skylar co-founded the Round Top Film Festival alongside her mother, Shanna Schanen, with the aim of providing an inclusive platform for emerging filmmakers and artists to exhibit their work and offer fresh perspectives to the cinematic landscape.

Mickey Duzdevich, Programming Director

Mickey Duzdevich is a seasoned professional with over 15 years of experience in the film festival industry. Before joining Round Top Film Festival, he made significant contributions to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) as their Senior Programmer/Festival Director for over 10 years. During his tenure, Mickey played a pivotal role in shaping the festival's programming and enhancing its reputation as a premier cinematic event. With his passion for cinema and extensive industry knowledge, Mickey continues to shape the festival landscape.

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Round Top is getting its very own film festival in 2024!