MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The annual Myrtle Beach International Film Festival has returned for its 17th year.

Jerry Dalton, the festival’s founder and director, said he puts close to 2,000 hours of volunteer work into the event every year.

“That’s called passion,” he said. “So you’re going to get something different than the Hollywood movie which is strictly scripted for a demographic. It’s scripted to make a lot of money, so they have to hit certain key points. These films [at MBIFF] are something that’s heartfelt.”

People from all over the world come to experience this festival, according to Dalton.

“We’ve got people that just drove in from Atlanta just got here, some people from California, people from Wisconsin, we’ve got a couple from Germany,” Dalton said. “They come back year after year because once you experience these films — I hate to say it — but you’re kind of let down when you go to watch a Hollywood film because you really think about these.”

The key to bringing people back every year, Dalton said, is passion.

“It’s passion,” he said. “I mean, that’s why we put so much time and effort into it without the so-called compensation. The compensation to me is the film — it’s the motion picture itself. To me, it’s one of the most fascinating arts there is, because you’re tying a lot of the disciplines together. Music is very powerful, it can change your mind in a couple of notes. Pictures are very powerful when you combine them it’s super powerful. I think that’s the medium I chose to work in my life — in art — and that’s what it means to me. It’s the passion. It’s what the art of the motion picture is.”

The festival runs from April 19-23 and includes various food events and 50 films.

Tickets and more information are available here.