Word has finally come that, yes, we’ll be seeing another ActionFest in Asheville in 2012. So those of you who’ve been asking me — and that includes the intrepid soul who last year sat through 13 feature films — can finally stop asking, and now start planning how to spend those three days of high-octane movies in mid-April.
I freely admit that I wasn’t that taken with the first year of ActionFest. Yes, some of the movies were good, but they went largely unwatched amid the events and the focus on star Chuck Norris. Last year was a completely different matter, and it had a completely different feel. There was a sense of excitement — of something special and, dare I say, quirkily Asheville. It certainly didn’t hurt that there was also a solid batch of movies. Hell, it managed to get me to drag myself to a midnight show of Hobo with a Shotgun — and I gave up midnight shows a good while ago.
Last year also showed us that there are elements of action and stuntwork in films that we don’t think of as action pictures — as witness the Asheville Film Society bringing in Hal Ashby’s Harold and Maude for a special screening followed by a Q&A with last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Buddy Joe Hooker who’d done the stunts for that cult classic. There’s more here for film fans than might at first meet the eye. We’ll keep you posted on developments as they become known, but below is the preliminary info.
ActionFest, the only international film festival devoted exclusively to action cinema and its unsung heroes, returns to the beautiful Carolina Cinema in Asheville from April 12 through 15, 2012 for its third consecutive year. ActionFest will once again showcase the most exciting action films from around the globe, pay tribute to the stuntmen, fight choreographers and 2nd unit directors that make them possible, and thrill attendees with live stunts performed by Hollywood’s top stunt men and women.
“ This year’s ActionFest Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to legendary stuntman Mickey Gilbert. Gilbert’s amazing career spans seven decades and more than a hundred feature films, from 1959’s Ben-Hur to 2007’s Evan Almighty, with countless classics in between, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Wild Bunch, The Sting, Blazing Saddles, Hooper, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Blues Brothers, Rocky III, City Slickers, Apollo 13, Liar Liar, and The Last of the Mohicans, to name just a few. Gilbert will receive the award in person on Saturday, April 13, placing him in the rarified company of last year’s recipient, the famous Buddy Joe Hooker, and Chuck Norris himself, who was presented the award in 2010. This year also marks the first annual ‘Chick Norris Award,’ to be given to a woman working in film today who best represents the spirit, attitude, athleticism and grit of Hollywood legend Chuck Norris.
The film line up, information about celebrity attendees, the recipient of the Chick Norris Award, and ticket purchase information will be posted soon at www.actionfest.com.