‘Tree Hugger,’ by Asheville’s Kira Bursky, selected as short for Cannes Film Festival

“Tree Hugger,” a film by 18-year-old Kira Bursky, has been selected for the 2015 Short Film Corner held at the Cannes Film Festival. Bursky is a former student of Asheville High School’s SILSA Program and Evergreen Community Charter School, and the daughter of Lauren and Jay Bursky of Weaverville.

Written and directed by Kira Bursky, “Tree Hugger” is a short fantasy drama that tells the story of Clara, a high school freshman who is in search of magic in her life. Clara becomes involved with Leo, a senior boy at the school, but the fantasy world in her head darkens when Leo takes advantage of her. The film was shot on location in Asheville, Weaverville and Greenville, S.C.

Since 2004, short film producers and directors have chosen Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner as a place to present their films.

Last year, Bursky won the Best Overall Film at the 2014 All American High School Film Festival for her film “We’re Okay.” She was also a 2014 National Young Arts Finalist in filmmaking, and named a 2014 Presidential Scholar in the Arts Semi-Finalist. A 2014 graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy’s Motion Picture Arts program, Kira has been working as an intern at documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s New York-based film production company, Warrior Poets.

“I am more excited than I can express to have the opportunity to share my film ‘Tree Hugger’ at the Cannes Short Film Corner, which will be held during the Cannes Film Festival,” Bursky said. “This is truly a dream. Traveling to Cannes would be amazing and a big step forward for my career as a filmmaker.”

Bursky has mounted a GoFundMe campaign to pay for her trip.

The Cannes Film Festival will be held from May 13-24, 2015 and is anticipated to attract around 35,000 film professionals and  4,000 international journalists for the world’s biggest film event.

Kira Bursky’s GoFundMe campaign can be found at http://www.gofundme.com/kiracannestrip.

About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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