Initial Film Programming Revealed

16+ Feature Films
50+ Shorts
Visiting Artists, Curators & Installations

The Public Cinema has curated a stellar lineup of film programming for Big Ears 2018. Here’s a taste of each of their programming angles:

Visiting Artist Lewis Khlar
Big Ears will host LEWIS KLAHR and present a multi-program selection of his films, including an installation at the UT Downtown Gallery.  Named one of the greatest avant-garde filmmakers working today by Film Comment, Lewis Klahr has been making films since 1977. He is known for his uniquely idiosyncratic films, which use found images and sound to explore the intersection of memory and history.

A Sense of Place: A Retrospective of American Regional Cinema, 1960-1989
Collecting ten films made over a thirty-year span, this retrospective will survey groundbreaking films by artists living and working outside the commercial film production centers of Los Angeles and New York.  Featured filmmakers includes major auteurs like Pittsburgh’s George A. Romero, Baltimore’s John Waters, and Portland’s Gus Van Sant. Also included are genre films with a deep sense of place (like Victor Nunez’s A Flash of Green), formally adventurous works like Trent Harris’The Beaver Trilogy, and seminal films like Eagle Pennell’s The Whole Shootin’ Match, which inspired Robert Redford to launch the Sundance Institute. John Waters’ Polyester will be screened with scratch-n-sniff Odorama! cards. 

Canyon Cinema at 50
In celebration of 50 years since CANYON CINEMA’s incorporation we will present three shorts programs – 36 films running 270 minutes – selected by noted avant-garde film programmer David Dinnell. Canyon Cinema’s unique collection of artist-made films – comprised of digital media, 8mm, Super 8, 16mm, and 35mm prints – traces the vital history of the experimental and avant-garde filmmaking movements from 1921 to the present.

Stereo Visions: A Survey of 3D Cinema
A survey of 3D cinema —  Stereo Visions will encompass and demonstrate the full visual and affective capacities of our favorite on-again/off-again format.  From Norman McLaren to Johnny Knoxville (imagine Jackass in 3D!), Ken Jacobs to Alfred HitchcockLillian M. Schwartz to Jodie Mack, the filmmakers showcased here have been unpacking the creative potential of 3D image-making for decades, with each representing unique incarnations, moments, and impulses. Stereo Visions has been curated in collaboration with Blake Williams, whose acclaimed new 3D feature, PROTOTYPE, will be a centerpiece of the program.Stay tuned for a full list of The Public Cinema’s film programming included in each retrospective as it gets closer to March!

Big Ears Festival film programming is made possible by support from Regal Entertainment GroupVisit KnoxvilleTennessee Department of Tourism, and the University of Tennessee School of Art 

Knoxville, TN · USA



Explore the lineup of upcoming Big Ears performances.


Discover travel, lodging, & dining options to enhance your festival experience.


Big Ears is made possible by the passion & generosity of our supporters.


Learn more about what The New York Times calls “one of the world’s greatest music bashes.”