Culture Watch

Moon Europa Gets Mainstream Media Mentions

Is 2007 the year that will put the Asheville film community on the map? Quite possibly. It seems that many long-awaited local flicks are finally gearing up for actual release. Perhaps the most notable of the bunch is Moon Europa, which recently completed the Independent Feature Project’s (IFP) Narrative Rough Cut Lab in New York, a four-day workshop that offers advice from top experts in the field to a select group of emerging filmmakers. Inclusion in the Lab is a pretty big deal on the indie film circuit, and should improve the odds for Moon Europa‘s eventual release to the film-festival market. In a way, the Lab is already paying off for the Chris Bower-directed film, as it has already been mentioned in relation to the IFP workshop in the online versions of industry magazines such as The Hollywood Reporter, Filmmaker Magazine and Variety. No release date has been announced, but in an interview with Xpress last month, Bower said that he expects local audiences will be seeing the film in the next few months. (For publicity reasons, it won’t be “officially” debuting until film-festival season.) Learn more at

Golden Blade III Debuts, If A Year Late

Last year, Magnetic Media released a video announcing that the final chapter of the Golden Blade saga, their locally produced kung-fu comedy series, was soon to be released. Filmed for less than $10,000 using a mostly local cast and crew, Golden Blade III: Return of the Monkey’s Uncle looked like a potentially brilliant film. The film’s trailer, released in early 2006, hinted at excellently choreographed martial arts, great costume design and a very clever script spoofing the clichés of low-budget martial-arts cinema—all to be released in May of 2006. But it wasn’t, and further news about the project has been practically nonexistent. Until now, that is. It was recently announced that the kung-fu parody flick, set “before electricity in a mixed-up Appalachian China,” will debut on Friday, July 20, at the Fine Arts Theatre, and will run through July 26. Will it be worth the wait? If the trailer is any indication, yes. For more info, visit

And In Other Minor Film News

Buried Pictures is still in pre-production on Wilding, its follow-up to last year’s feature The Nudger. Filming is expected to begin later this year. Meanwhile, as we reported several weeks ago, 207 Pictures was able to get a mass-market release for their 2005 film For Catherine, making it available for rent through online services such as Netflix. That’s all well and good, but what are people outside of the area actually saying about it? Unfortunately, the cheaply produced indie film is currently rated 1.8 stars out of 5 in Netflix, as judged by 157 viewers. And last, there are no updates or news from highly anticipated local films Rank Strangers or Asheville: The Movie, both of which were expected to be released by this time last year.


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