Culture watch

Hitting the Big Screen

2006 has been an active year for local filmmakers. Writer/director Lis Anna recently announced that two of her short films, The Joy Cafe and Rutherford County, will have their world premieres at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Another of Anna’s short films, Waiting for Jilly, recently screened at the Fiery Film Festival in New Mexico. Out of the Way, Anna’s production company, recently announced plans to complete two further shorts and a feature film before the end of 2007.

Breakin’ Out

Expect to catch a lot more of local breakdance unit Hunab Kru & Fresh Trix. According to member Joe Adams, the troupe plans on holding a number of impromptu street shows in downtown (as well as more organized events) in preparation for the upcoming festival season. The group, which emphasizes the positive side of hip-hop music and culture, has been given props by a number of regional showcases in recent years, most notably having performed at the last two Bonnaroo festivals. For more information, email

Theater on a String

Local puppet-wrangler Pamella O’Connor, the creative force behind the noted puppetry production The Anatomy of Melancholy, recently announced her two newest long-term projects. On Power, an adult-audience show about the nature of many types of power, should debut in August of 2008. The following season, O’Connor plans to debut A Romeo and Juliet Story, a modern-day interpretation which incorporates hip-hop and other themes into the classic story. For more information, visit

Not All Spiders are Scary

Asheville-based photographer Jacquelyn Schechter beat out an international crowd to win at the 2006 Black and White Spider Awards in London. She took First Place Outstanding Achievement award for Silhouette for her photo “Wild Mouse.” For more information, visit

Big News, Small Screen

A concept by one of Asheville’s own may soon find its way onto the airwaves. Better Homes and Husbands, a novel by UNCA’s Great Smokies Writing Program Co-Director Valerie Ann Leff, was bought for development by NBC. There’s no word yet on the specifics of the purchase, or when the proposed show might debut.


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