It’s not often that Tennessee residents get a chance to check out two of the year’s most anticipated genre films before their formal release dates, but the Chattanooga Film Festival is about to make that happen–and then some.

Fresh off of world premieres at the Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals, ROCK STEADY ROW and SUMMER OF ’84 have officially been crowned the opening night films of the 2018 CFF.  You’ve heard us cover SUMMER OF ’84 in the past (check this out), but ROCK STEADY ROW is a new one. Honestly, the following quote was enough to get our buy-in:

Put Mad Max, John Wick, The Warriors and even a bit of Animal House into a blender and then add BMX bikes and what you get probably still won’t be as much fun as ROCK STEADY ROW

The best part? There’s a lot more to come. Additional films will be announced as we grow nearer to the opening night of April 5th, and we’ll be updating the lineup right here as we can. Until then check out the official release, and snag a badge to come watch movies with me and Jacob.


Chattanooga, Tenn. (February 7, 2018) – The Chattanooga Film Festival (CFF) is proud to announce opening night films ROCK STEADY ROW and SUMMER OF ’84. Slated for April 5-8, this year’s CFF will also screen the world premiere of the highly anticipated documentary LIFE AFTER FLASH.

Put Mad Max, John Wick, The Warriors and even a bit of Animal House into a blender and then add BMX bikes and what you get probably still won’t be as much fun as ROCK STEADY ROW. Rad, funny, and a kinetically paced blast, this film perfectly sets the tone for CFF 2018. Director Trevor Stevens will be on hand to help kick things off.

If you fell in love at first watch with RKSS Films’ TURBO KID than you’ll get a sense of why CFF is so excited to share their follow up, SUMMER OF ’84. Centering around a group of young friends that spend their summer on a quest to prove that their neighbor is a serial killer, this film is for fans of everything from STRANGER THINGS to THE GOONIES, offering a lot to love with style and a bit more darkness than you might expect. Lucky for the CFF audience, RKSS Films, made up of François Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell will be present to answer any burning questions.

CFF is honored to hold the world premiere screening of LIFE AFTER FLASH, an inspiring and moving feature documentary that celebrates what makes that Mike Hodges enduring classic FLASH GORDON so iconic with audiences to this day. This film takes a looks at the real man behind the heroic mask, Sam J. Jones, including his successes, his battles, and his ultimate struggle for redemption. Director Lisa Downs, along with star Sam J. Jones and producer Ashely Pugh, will be in attendance for this once in a lifetime screening.

“The Chattanooga Film Festival has quickly grown over the last four years,” says festival executive director Chris Dortch. “Last year was our biggest, and for our fifth anniversary we weren’t going to settle for anything less than our best, most insane year yet.”

Badges for CFF’s full weekend are now on sale at Individual tickets to films, workshops and events will be available closer to April. To request a press credential, please email [email protected].


ROCK STEADY ROW | Director Trevor Stevens

Rock Steady Row centers around a young college freshman who, after his bike is stolen, lands on a college campus and is compelled to take action against the reigning fraternities and ultimately the dean. | Trailer

Q&A with Trevor Stevens

SUMMER OF ’84 | Directors François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell

After suspecting that their police officer neighbor is a serial killer, a group of teenage friends spend their summer spying on him and gathering evidence in, but as they get closer to discovering the truth, things get dangerous. | Trailer

Q&A with François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell

LIFE AFTER FLASH | Director Lisa Downs


LIFE AFTER FLASH explores the life of Sam J Jones since his iconic performance as ‘Flash Gordon’ in the 1980 classic of the same name, and the aftermath of the young stars’ clash with one of Hollywood’s biggest legends, producer Dino De Laurentiis.

Q&A with star Sam J. Jones, Lisa Downs, and producer Ashley Pugh

About the Chattanooga Film Festival

The Chattanooga Film Festival loves everything about cinema: the films, filmmakers and audiences; the critics, collectors and curators; and most especially the popcorn. The first ever Chattanooga Film Festival was held in 2014, and has been quickly making a name for itself among film-lovers, filmmakers and the film industry. The festival’s record-breaking fourth year drew more than 12,000 people to its films, workshops and special events.

We share films and events that are unique, challenging, critically significant and a helluva lot of fun. Our ultimate goal is to remember, discover and cultivate cinema worthy of everyone’s love and respect. As always, CFF is proudly continuing its mission to “Respect Cinema,” in hopes of increasing film exhibition, education and production in the state of Tennessee.

Year five of the Chattanooga Film Festival is set for April 5 – 8, 2018 at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. For more information, visit