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Deep in the Heart Film Festival back in person this weekend

The event kicks off Thursday evening through Sunday and they also have a virtual option July 25-31.

WACO, Texas — Deep in the Heart Film Festival is rolling out the red carpet in Waco. This is the fifth year, but first time back in person since the pandemic.

The event kicks off Thursday evening through Sunday and they also have a virtual option July 25-31.  

Samuel Thomas the artistic director said the festival has gotten a lot of great reviews over the years. 

"Across the five years we've been consistently ranked in the top 100. Usually we're in the top 50. I think right now we're about 25. So out of thousands of film festivals we are consistently ranked by filmmakers who submit to film festivals in the top 100 and it's just a great complement," Thomas said.

He added that everyone is excited to be back in person again to connect with the community. 

They'll have over 150 projects including features, shorts, and some screen plays. They will also host panels and workshops for people in the industry and film buffs. As well as films for the entire family.

Thomas said with this event the Waco Hippodrome will show films for the first time since the pandemic began. 

"There's something about seeing a story on a big screen that engages people way more than seeing it on a phone or on a tv and that's something that we celebrate," Thomas said. 

Creative Waco played a role in getting the film festival started five years ago. Fiona Bond, the executive director of the non-profit said this event sends a message that Waco is a film-friendly city. 

"It's a great way of showcasing that not only is Waco a great place for bringing together filmmakers but it's a great place for making films," Bond said. 

At the new pedestrian plaza on 7th Street there'll be a mobile vaccine clinic as part of a new collaboration called Civic on 7th, where the Waco Civic Theater will have pop-up productions. 

Bond said events like these are a great celebration of the arts among other things. 

"It's good for everyone. It's good for business, it's good for a sense of vibrancy, vitality. It's good for reconnecting people and it's good for our community," Bond said. 

For tickets and more information about Deep in the Heart Film Festival, click here.