The city of Knoxville and the movie "Dog Years" made a strong showing at a New York film festival.

The screening of the movie has been a hit at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

It stars Burt Reynolds, Ariel Winter and Chevy Chase, and was filmed in Knoxville last summer.  In fact, producers, including Gordon Whitener of Knoxville, rewrote the script so it could be shot in East Tennessee.

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"I'm a little overwhelmed tonight to be honest with you," Whitener said. "The city of Knoxville and the state of Tennessee really got behind us, and it's just a magic moment honestly."

Gordon Whitener son the set of "Dog Years" as it was being filmed in Knoxville.
Gordon Whitener son the set of "Dog Years" as it was being filmed in Knoxville.

Whitener took a dream born in East Tennessee to one of the biggest film festivals in the world.

"God is good," Whitener said.

With his signature cowboy hat getting attention of its own, Whitener couldn't shake a smile that went from one side of the brim to the other.

"Dog Years" had a packed house for its screening at the Tribeca Film Festival.

"This is such a great moment that a lot of people played a role in," Whitener said.


Some of his family and friends were on hand at the screening, including his daughters who said proudly "he's the best dad in the world."

He's hoping people will feel as passionate about the movie as he is. 

Burt Reynolds poses with WBIR Channel 10 anchor Russell Biven at the afterparty for the Tribeca Film Festival premiere. 
Burt Reynolds poses with WBIR Channel 10 anchor Russell Biven at the afterparty for the Tribeca Film Festival premiere. 

Curt Willis, the film office director for Visit Knoxville, hopes the success of "Dog Years" in New York will also be a success for future movie shoots in Knoxville.

"This may kick-start things, so we're excited about it," Willis said.

The film is about an aging movie star played by Reynolds who has to live with the fact that his Hollywood star is burning out.

While he appeared to be slow getting around the red carpet physically, Reynolds' career is still moving at a steady pace. This movie just might pick that pace up to a full sprint.

A clip from the movie features Reynolds and Winter standing on Volunteer Landing, with Neyland Stadium and the Tennessee River behind them.

10News anchor Russell Biven got to speak with Caley Chase, daughter of Chevy Chase during the red carpet event. 

Biven said Caley could not have been more delightful as she talked to about an upcoming movie she will be in with her dad called "Snowmen."

It's described as a "Grumpy Old Men" meets "Fargo."

She clearly adores her dad saying, "He's funny all the time. I don't know how he does it."

Caley went on to say her father is really a teddy bear at heart who sometimes gets a bad rap for being so honest with people.

There's no release date for their new movie, but we will keep you updated.