Four of a Kind: Joshua Overbay on the film scene in WNC

Photo by Kristen Glass

Editor’s note: This is part of “Four of a Kind,” a new Arts & Culture feature. Each month, four new artists will share their takes on the local art scene. In addition to individual online posts, you can find all four features as a single spread in this week’s print edition. 

Joshua Overbay is an Asheville-based filmmaker and the program director of the film and television production program at Western Carolina University. His work includes the 2018 feature-length drama Luke & Jo.

Xpress: Is there an upcoming film event happening in Asheville that you’re looking forward to seeing?

Overbay: The Controlled Chaos Film Festival happens near the end of every April inside the stunning Bardo Arts Center on Western Carolina University’s campus. This festival features the best work from the film and television students at WCU. I’m a bit biased, as I teach there, but over the past six years, the quality of filmmaking has continued to improve. And I can confidently say that if you can attend, you’ll be surprised by how engaging, entertaining and empathetic the films are.

Outside of film, is there an upcoming local arts happening that you’re looking forward to?

Probably the Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum. It’s always beautiful and a perfect way to kick off the holiday season with family and friends. We went last year and were blown away by the light artists’ imaginativeness and the coherence of the overall aesthetic. It was very immersive. Plus, the food and beverages were excellent.

What current project are you working on that you’re especially excited about?

My feature film, The Revelation, is my life’s passion project. My friend Nate Glass and I conceived the idea while our film As It Is in Heaven was playing at LA’s Downtown Independent. As we shared stories over hookah, we realized we had eerily similar upbringings, marked by religious trauma, a long-standing fear of hell and mothers who betrayed us in the name of God.

Vulnerability can often lead to creativity, and over four hours, we mapped out a terrifying cautionary tale about the horrors of religious fundamentalism. And while it’s taken longer to finance than expected, the script has benefited from the extra time, becoming more poignant, politically relevant and, hopefully, insightful. We hope to film it in the middle of 2023.



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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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