Louisville’s International Festival of Film

The 9th Annual Louisville’s International Festival of Film (LIFF) welcomes filmmakers and film lovers from around the world to the historic city of Louisville, Kentucky. Home to the great Kentucky Derby, Louisville Slugger, and beloved Muhammad Ali, Louisville offers three days of screenings, educational workshops, and open dialogue with savvy audiences in a gorgeous setting. In year 4 we had filmmakers fly in from Japan, Australia, Dominican Republic, and France to name a few.

Louisville’s International Festival of Film debuted in 2009 with tremendous support from the city. Our partnerships with Louisville’s Sister Cities program lead to a great diversity of international films. Our marketing firm reported that we reached over one million people with news about our festival. Over the years we have built on that success and we partnered with distribution companies who review all of our accepted films. We are excited to announce that many of our past feature films have obtained various distribution deals. We have expanded our partnerships to include Final Draft and we are proud to announce that festival winners will be given the Final Draft program in addition to other prizes and awards.

Louisville’s International Festival of Film is proud to be in partnership with Louisville’s Science Center. Through this partnership we have now opened a new film category focused on 3D capable films.


LIFF realizes that one of the many goals for filmmakers is to find distribution for their work and to get their art seen. With this in mind we have worked hard to give filmmakers that important opportunity. We have signed agreements with two distributors in an effort to provide greater benefit to our filmmakers. Anthony King, Director of Acquisitions for Barnholtz Entertainment, will review our accepted films for North American distribution opportunities and 3DD Entertainment will review our accepted films for European distribution opportunities. Anthony King will also be attending this year’s festival and hold a seminar on strategies to obtain distribution deals for low budget films. We are in the process of expanding to other distribution companies to provide even more opportunity to our filmmakers.

Industry seminars produced by the film festival organizers are well attended with industry experts and the public. The strong connections and partnerships of the organizers enable our festival to continue to grow. LIFF is proud to announce that studio and development executives in Hollywood have agreed to return again to be part of the judging panel for entrance into the festival.

In addition to the Kentucky Derby, Louisville is a City of Parks, with one of the nation’s largest parks expansions underway, adding 4,000 new acres of park land and the 100-mile Louisville Loop trail encircling the entire community. Visitors from all over the world enjoy Louisville’s unique qualities and scenery. The city embraces the arts and there is growing excitement for the return of Louisville’s International Festival of Film


Kathryn Joosten

Kathryn Joosten best known as the crotchety but lovable Karen McCluskey on “Desperate Housewives”
and the president’s secretary on “The West Wing” won two Emmy awards for her portrayal of Mrs. McCluskey
keeping an eye on her Wisteria Lane Neighbors `on “Desperate Housewives”.

In real life Kathy was a psychiatric nurse and a single mother in Suburban Chicago when she began her
acting career at 42. She received her first break as a street performer at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Kathy served as fellow Governor with Conrad Bachmann at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for a period of eight years. Kathy was a very popular member of Louisville’s International Festival of Film and served since the beginning on the board of advisors representing the festival in Hollywood with her friends and celebrities.

Her favorite spot in Louisville is the fish bar in Al J’s bar at the Galt House. The festival will miss Ms. Joosten her in the future years.

Julian “Buck” Wheat

Julian “Buck” Wheat, who was a revered figure at Churchill Downs after spending more than six decades working and playing in various capacities there, died Wednesday afternoon at University Hospital following a Tuesday fall at his Louisville home. He was 78.

Wheat began working at Churchill in 1949 while still in high school before branching out into other racing-related endeavors, including training, while entrenching himself at Churchill and raising a family in Louisville. He ultimately endeared himself to countless numbers of horsemen, both regulars and visitors, as the director of horsemen’s relations for Churchill, earning the unofficial title of “mayor of the backstretch.”

Three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert, who befriended Wheat in the early 1990’s, said Wednesday from California that “everybody loved Buck. He was a huge part of the Kentucky Derby experience. Whatever you needed, that was Buck, that was his main thing. We got to be really good friends over the years. It really won’t be the same going back there without Buck Wheat.
Maybe there should be a little statue on the grounds there for him. He really was an icon there. He was one of the few people in racing that you never heard anybody say one bad thing about him.”

Wheat was honored in numerous ways by horsemen’s groups and other industry organizations, including the 2001 Dominion Award from Dogwood Stable for meritorious service of the racing industry.

LIFF Advisory Board

Gary Marsh – President & Creator of Breakdown Services / Actor’s Access – Hollywood, CA

Lily Tomlin – Emmy Winning Actress

Lesa Seibert – President, Xstreme Media, LLC

Carol Hamilton – Festival Coordinator

Michelle Care Wix –  LFAI Board Member & Designer