The City of Kilgore is hosting its inaugural Reel East Texas Film Festival.

The event is at the historic Texan Theatre in Downtown Kilgore, with 55 independent films being shown.

Business is booming for Downtown D'Lites Cafe, a local restaurant in Kilgore. Owner Debbie Vandoren says the film festival is giving her the extra business.

"Oh it is a lot of fun having special events like this downtown,” VanDoren says. “I admire ChIp Hale for what he pulled together."

Festival Director Chip Hale has worked tirelessly to bring the event to Kilgore. He's hoping it will spotlight indie films and benefit his hometown.

"I've heard from the local hotel we are using, the Comfort suites, that we've had some good room nights,” Hale says. “I don't know the exact number yet I am just trying to enjoy the ride right now."

Hale tells me actors, filmmakers and tourists are helping to make his dream successful.

Filmmaker Cheryl Allison is one of many grabbing a bite at Downtown D'Lites Cafe, excited about trying out new restaurants while she's visiting Kilgore.

"It's incredible, that's one thing that we like to do when we go to local festivals,” Allison says. “We enjoy getting to know the local people and local culture of the different towns we are in."

You can catch movies through Saturday night in Downtown Kilgore. For more information on the festival and show times please click here.