PRESS / MEDIA
The Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival channels the rebellious spirit of the Molly Maguires, welcoming the boldest, most defiant filmmakers to present their work, shatter convention and incite spirited debate. Our credo is “eyes and minds wide open” and we mean it.
In 2014, founders Todd Morris and Jocelyn O’Neil, seeking a quiet place to raise their family, left the chaos of New York City for the quaint, historic jewel of the Poconos, Jim Thorpe, PA. Both passionate filmmakers themselves, they brought with them over 40 years of combined industry experience and connections, and were quickly able to create a respected international film festival that attracts the boldest, most daring filmmakers from all over the country and the world.
Last year, JTIFF screened 93 fantastic international films including 22 world premieres and many more US and Pennsylvania premieres. These films covered every style and subject matter, from gritty underground and experimental, to polished Hollywood level narratives.
Now, in its third year, the Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival is once again presenting films of every genre and budget, especially work by maverick filmmakers who strive to break boundaries and push buttons with no fear of controversy.
JTIFF cares deeply about diversity and continuously strives to give the under-represented filmmaker a fighting chance in this notoriously incestuous industry. So we make a concerted effort to program and promote films by women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and young student filmmakers.
This year, JTIFF continues its popular Lehigh Valley Student Filmmakers block on Saturday morning at 11:00am, and the Local Heroes Block, on Sunday at 11:00am. Both programs provide budding filmmakers in our own backyard the opportunity to screen their work alongside bigger, more established filmmakers from around the world.
On Saturday night at midnight, watch out for the late night Grindhouse program and be prepared for the bloodiest, most disturbing films that not only push the envelope, but rip it to shreds.
All in all, this ain't your Daddy's film festival. So come to JTIFF with your eyes and minds wide open!
AWARDS / ACCOLADES
JTIFF consistently ranks in “The Top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals" out of more than 5,000 international festivals on FilmFreeway
RECENT PRESS COVERAGE / CLIPS
Best Fests: Ultimate Guide to Indie Film Festivals Film Daily, March 2019
The Third Annual Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival FilmFreeway, March 2019
Jim Thorpe Indie Film Festival Go Pocono Mountains, March 2019
DIGITAL ART / PHOTOS
WHO WE ARE
FOUNDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & JUROR
Todd is an award-winning New York based commercial producer who's been working in the film industry for nearly three decades. He's also written and directed several short films and two indie features including the legendary feminist cult film, "A Gun For Jennifer," that's screened at dozens of festivals around the globe and can still be seen in Parisian art houses from time to time. Todd is also the owner of Search & Destroy Media, a commercial production company that produces content throughout the US and beyond.
CO-FOUNDER, CO-DIRECTOR & JUROR
Jocelyn is a filmmaker, screenwriter, and actress whose short films have played all over the country. Originally an actress, she's done everything from classical theater to commercials and feature films. After working as an artist in New York City for nearly two decades, she moved with her partner Todd Morris to the Victorian town of Jim Thorpe, PA where they co-founded The Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival in 2017.
FESTIVAL COORDINATOR & PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR
In addition to being a full-time film student at DeSales University, Tony is a working filmmaker, editor and still photographer. Tony's tireless efforts were crucial in the founding of the first JTIFF and he remains an indispensable member of the our festival team.
Aki brings together her big city marketing know how with her small town, mountain girl heart to join the JTIFF team for the first time this year. She started in sales and marketing with major companies in New York and Philly, then brought her brand of sass to shake up the Poconos. Her Jim Thorpe based company, 40 North Advertising, works with events and businesses they believe in, and helps them get noticed. Aki is your trail guide for all things JTIFF!
Guns blazin' and champagne bottles in hand, Amy - an award-winning graphic designer with over 20 years in the industry - left behind 14 years of living in the neon desert of Las Vegas and returned home to Pennsylvania. With her, she brought Somersault Letterpress - a boutique letterpress and creative studio that she founded in 2011, and moved here to the heart of Jim Thorpe with her eternal partner-in-crime, Mitch Hanson.