The after party

Mary Elizabeth Small

From hosting a night out with friends to organizing a red carpet after party, Newburgh's Mary Elizabeth Small is the woman who can do it all.

Next week, Small is hosting three nights of back-to-back after parties during the inaugural Victory International Film Festival in Evansville next weekend, starting off with a good time at Myriad Brewing Company on premiere night Thursday, Sept, 12, then on to Kevin's Backstage Bar and Grill on a Friday night, and lastly, The Rooftop Saturday night.

"Myriad is going to be a great stopping point for people to have a beverage and snack after the red carpet at The Victory," Small said. "Saturday night might start later because it will be after the award ceremony. And at The Rooftop, we have a huge room booked with a bar and people can go outside and talk, and grab some good food and drinks. It will be a big, end of festival party."

Small said she is working hard to make the premiere party a night people won't forget.

"With a red carpet, there is literally every little detail," she said. "There is lighting to set up and making sure there are photographers set up to capture it all."

Tickets for the Victory International Film Festival are $15 for the opening night celebration, $10 a day for Friday and Saturday and $25 for a three-day pass, and can be purchased at

"You'll receive a lanyard with your purchase," Small said. "And that automatically allows you to get into that after party."

Although Small isn't in one of the 120 featured being showcased at the festival, she has acted in several local films and commercials since 2015.

"In one of my first roles ever, I played three different characters," she said. "I was in a party scene, in another one I was a groupie for a rockstar and in the third one, I was a court reporter with a tight bun and business suit and black glasses. So, I am very versatile and can do a lot of different looks."

Small said the Victory International Film Festival is a perfect opportunity for people to expand their idea of cinema and to engage with other actors, screenwriters, cinematographers, producers and directors.

"You go to Showplace Cinemas everyday and see these big forty million dollar films, but you don't realize how many filmmakers are out there who have made little shorts and documentaries," she said. "And this gives people time to come together and to network like, 'Let's get together and collab' and make a movie.'"

Small said she also appreciated all of volunteers who are helping to make the film festival an incredible occasion.

"So many people are coming together and working so hard to get this accomplished because it's a huge event," she said. "And I just wanted to say 'Thank you' to them."

The inaugural Victory International Film Festival will also cast a spotlight on the tri-state in an economically positive way from food and lodging profits, Small said.

"There are international filmmakers who are coming to our little area and it's a really great thing," she said. "And when everyone comes to the film festival, money comes to the area."

Marisa Patwa is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in journalism and minor in political science.

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