It's a festival that keeps on growing.

Given the steady expansion of the Kent Film Festival since it began in 2006, festival co-founders Frank and Patrice Galterio have taken it in a broader direction in hopes of better serving patrons in Litchfield County.

Now known as the Litchfield Hills Film Festival, it has moved to a new home as well -- in the New Milford village center.

The festival will remain the intimate venue it has been for the past five years, Mrs. Galterio said. However, screenings will now be offered at the Bank Street Theater, as well as in other venues within walking distance of the Village Green, and in Kent.

"Mainly, we needed the movie theater," Mrs. Galterio said.

With five years' experience as an established film festival and being a non-profit, the festival required for desired acceptance in the Academy of Motion Pictures and Film Science was a theater.

"We want to become aligned with the Academy," she said. "They give grants and, once aligned with them, short films that win our festival could go on to viewing at the Academy Awards."

The Litchfield Hills Film Festival is a non-profit, grass roots organization dedicated to the development and education of artists with an independent vision. It is a platform for filmmakers to reach the broadest audience for their work.

The Galterios vision is to eventually develop a permanent cultural film center, they explained.

Joseph Consentino, artistic director of the Ridgefield Playhouse Film Society and an award-winning documentarian, held a documentary filmmaking workshop during the 2010 Kent Film Festival season.

He feels the move of the festival's base to New Milford as a positive.

"The festival is a small one that works very well," said Mr. Consentino, an Emmy Award winner. "It's well run and has some nice quality films that show. I'm not surprised by the move."

"I'm sure coming to New Milford will expand the viewing audience the festival draws," he added. "It should be a successful venture for them there."

George Norfleet, director of the Connecticut Office of Film, Televsion and Digital Media, agreed the move is a good one.

"Great learning (about) the shift in location that will allow you to expand what I think is truly the hippest film festival in the state," Mr. Norfleet wrote the Galterios. "I am certain the festival will only get bigger and better with each succeeding year."

The 2011 Litchfield Hills Film Festival will be April 7-10. For more information, check www.hillsfilmfestival.org or call 860-799-7331 at 26 Bank Street in New Milford.