Humans of Galveston: The Woman Behind the Galveston Island Film Festival

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Humans of Galveston: The Woman Behind the Galveston Island Film Festival

Updated 157 days ago

Lights, camera, action!

Galveston native Sherrill Hilton has stepped to center stage with ambitious plans to bring the first annual Galveston Island Film Festival and Conference (GIFF-CON) to the island on Oct. 5-7, 2018.

For three days this fall, Galveston will be bustling as filmmakers, Hollywood executives, producers and stars soak in the sights and sounds of the island, and attend screenings and panel discussions.

Tapping her Hollywood connections, Sherill has enlisted a stellar panel of judges to select the winning films in six genres: drama, action, comedy, fantasy/sci-fi, inspirational and musical/dance. The festival’s celebrity ambassador is actor/writer/producer Michael DeLorenzo of “New York Undercover” and “CSI: NY” fame, as well as movies.

Sherrill lives to create and entertain. She has an extensive background in the dance and musical theater communities in Texas and California. Now, she is taking on the film industry with the career goal of becoming a film and television producer and director.

Her efforts have paid off. She has received accolades as the “Woman to Watch for In Film” Award (2010) from the Los Angeles Film School for her work as a line producer and art director on several projects.

She also received the 2012 Los Angeles Web Fest “Outstanding Achievement Producing Comedy, Sketch Comedy, Translated Comedy or Mockumentary Series” Award as an associate producer for the web series, “Sound Advice.”

Sherill took time out of her busy schedule to chat with Humans of Galveston. Here’s what she had to say:

HG: What was it like living and working in Hollywood?

Hilton: My experience in Los Angeles was wonderful. I was able to meet and work with music legends like Dionne Warwick and Chaka Khan. I also had the chance to meet Tom Cruise and to work with actress Kate Beckinsale. The best film I had the privilege to work on as a script supervisor and to develop a great working relationship was called “The Employer” with Malcolm McDowell and Michael DeLorenzo. Working on a full-featured film was an eye-opening experience to what really goes on a film set from scheduling, logistic, locations, table reads rehearsals and more. There is a lot that happens and why it cost so much to make a film.

HG: How did you get involved in the film industry?

Hilton: I attended Los Angeles Film School in Hollywood, California. My experience at LAFS was great. They teach you everything from script writing and development. to pre-production to production to post-production. It is very hands-on. You have to learn every aspect of production from camera to lighting to set design to drafting, and from sound design to editing to scheduling and producing.

HG: What do you hope to accomplish by bringing the film festival to Galveston?

Hilton: We’re an international film festival, so we are pushing for people from Galveston County and all over the world to submit their films, so their voices can be heard. We want voices of every walk of life and from everywhere to be heard. The conference will cover just about every aspect of the film industry landscape, from distribution deals, to production incentives, and partnering with the Texas Film Commission.

A major goal of the conference is to assist filmmakers in choosing Galveston as a prime location for future movie projects. So, the attendees will have the opportunity to tour the island on trolleys, golf carts and shuttles.

HG: So, diversity is the major theme?

Hilton: The festival will address issues of integration, diversity and new technology in the entertainment industry. It will provide a platform for aspiring creators who are not yet in the mainstream but use their unique voices to express their artistic points-of-view.

HG: Why did you choose Galveston as the festival site?

Hilton: Galveston is unique for being a coastal island, the weather here is pleasing, and you have a lot more versatility in venues. We want to spotlight diverse up-and-coming filmmakers across the world. With our film festival, we want to compliment the island's other major events, like Mardi Gras-Galveston, the Lone Star Rally, Dickens on the Strand and the Historic Homes Tour.


Who:     Gathering of filmmakers, actors, directors and producers.

What:    Galveston Island Film Festival and Conference

When:    Oct. 5-7, 2018.

Where:   Various venues throughout the island.

Why:      To spotlight diverse filmmakers from around the world.

For film submission details, as well as volunteering, sponsorship and investment information, visit here. Or email:


Article written by Robert Stanton - Isle Guy