HAGERSTOWN, Md. (DC News Now) — The Maryland International Film Festival kicked off on Thursday.

The event draws both veterans and newcomers to the world of filmmaking. It’s a time to celebrate as many new movies are introduced to the public for the first time.

“We receive anywhere from 200 to I think the biggest year was 350 film submissions,” President of the Maryland International Film Festival Nicole Houser said. “We usually, every year, end up with over 100 films from all over. All states, different countries, I believe it’s 17 different countries and 22 states that we have that were selected for this year.”

During this year’s festival, several actors will be honored with awards including William H Macy who will receive the Nora Roberts Foundation Award for his contribution to the television and film industry. The festival also features its biggest submissions of student films.

“We have and a lot of them were submitted to film freeway and then Barbara Ingram School for the Arts also have been over the past three years encouraging their students,” Houser said. “So, we have close to 30 student films this year.”

Filmmaker Drew Broadhurst first got his start filmmaking through contacts he made at the Maryland Film Festival. Now, eight years later he has had six films to his credit.

“We actually won best short at the film festival last year with a black and white film about domestic violence, so it was neat and so I’m happy to be back again this year for a romantic comedy directed by Ricky Stern,” Drew Broadhurst said.

The festival will be happening over the span of three days, and multiple films will be shown and celebrated.