Screen scene: Local film news

THE MESSENGERS: This still from the film 'Deej' features autistic nonspeaking artist/advocate DJ Savarese, right, and Jen Brooks. UNC Asheville screens the documentary on Sept. 28, followed by a a panel discussion with local autistic and neurodivergent creative writers. Photo courtesy of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Nothing Sacred: The Cinema of William Wellman, by Asheville film historian Frank Thompson and John Andrew Gallagher, is available for preorder. Nearly four decades in the making, the full-color, coffee-table book is illustrated with hundreds of images, many never before published, and covers in exhaustive detail every movie Wellman (Wings; The Public Enemy; A Star is Born) worked on over his 50-plus-year career. The presale will last until Dec. 5, after which no more copies will be sold or printed. The book costs $150 and may be ordered online.

• On Thursday, Sept. 28, 4-6 p.m., UNC Asheville hosts a screening of Deej in Karpen Hall. Robert Rooy’s 2017 documentary chronicles the life of David James “DJ” Saverese, a nonspeaking autistic young man who found purpose through filmmaking and poetry. The film will be followed by a panel of autistic and neurodivergent creative writers — including UNCA students and Jade McWilliams, an autistic community member — who will discuss their own creative processes, the way their neurodivergence may (or may not) play a part in their writing, and share their responses to the documentary. Free.

• Pack Memorial Library is the exclusive Asheville host for the 19th annual Manhattan Short Film Festival. On Thursday, Sept. 28, at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m., viewers will get to see a program of 10 short films and vote for their favorite selection. The overall winner from the tally of votes, from more than 250 cities across six continents, will be named on Monday, Oct. 9. The event is free, but tickets are required and may be picked up at Pack Library’s front desk.

• The Carolina Cinemark and Regal Biltmore Grande Stadium 15 will both show Steve McQueen: American Icon on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. The documentary explores the movie star’s little-known faith journey. The film is narrated by Gary Sinise, hosted by popular pastor Greg Laurie, and features interviews with McQueen’s widow Barbara Minty McQueen, Mel Gibson, stuntman Stan Barrett, McQueen biographer Marshall Terrill and actors Barbara Leigh and Mel Novak. It also includes a performance by MercyMe. Tickets are $12.50 and available online and at each theater’s box office.

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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