Screen scene: Local film news

• The inaugural Montreat Film Festival is accepting submissions from local filmmakers through Monday, April 6. Entries must be shorter than eight minutes in length and reflect this year’s theme of hope.

According to Montreat College’s website, the festival’s goal is “to highlight stories that honestly express and explore the human condition through the power of visual story.” Drama and comedy will be equally weighed, though the festival’s judges “will place special value on the ultimate spiritual truths.” Filmmakers are advised to abstain from including gratuitous violence and obscenity.

The top 10 films will be shown at the festival on Friday, April 17, at 7 p.m. in Gaither Chapel, followed by a gala reception in Gaither Fellowship Hall featuring hors d’oeuvres provided by local restaurants. First place receives a Glide Gear DNA Professional Camera Stabilizer, while second and third place will be given prize baskets furnished by local Black Mountain stores.

Festival submissions should be sent to Dr. Jim Shores at or Montreat Film Festival, PO Box 1267, Montreat College, Montreat, N.C., 28757. Filmmakers whose works are selected for screening at the festival will be charged a $10 registration fee.

• On Tuesday, March 31, at 7 p.m., Caldwell Community College in Hudson is showing the documentary Who is Dayani Cristal? in the campus’ Broyhill Center. Part of the school’s monthly International Film Series on immigration, the Mexican production features actor and activist Gael García Bernal (Rosewater; Y Tu Mamá También), who joins migrant travelers as they attempt to cross the U.S./Mexico border and experiences firsthand the dangers they face along the way. The screening is free and open to the public.

• Fairview-based film composer Joel Christian Goffin is staying busy writing and recording scores for an array of Hollywood clients, all without leaving home. His soundtrack to the film Black November — starring Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger, Anne Heche and Vivica A. Fox — is newly available from iTunes, Amazon and over 200 retailers worldwide. He also scored the forthcoming romantic comedy Love Addict, which won Best Comedy at last December’s Los Angeles Comedy Festival, along with several recent short films.

Video conferencing, broadcasting scoring sessions live from his Bluestone Symphonics studio and ever-increasing Internet speeds have made it possible for Goffin to work remotely with directors, producers and sound mixers. “The screening stage will be broadcast over to my studio via Skype, and we have conversations as though I’m right in the room with them as we mark up the cues for their film,” Goffin says.

Goffin runs his studio from a Mac Pro with hardware and software that he says are fairly typical of what other composers in the business utilize. He uses Logic Pro to construct the score, software such as Omnisphere, VSL, LA Scoring Strings and Symphobia and a large number of hybrid platforms for instrumentation. “I am virtual-instrument based, using primarily keyboards to write the score,” Goffin says. “On occasion, I use score vocalists to provide emotion to certain scenes and an electric violin or cello to add a more natural tone to various string sections.”

Goffin usually likes to block off 20- to 30-minute sections of the film — which he says are “kind of like milestones” — and give the producers updates, though sometimes they prefer not to receive anything until the entire score is complete. During the writing process, the score will go through two or three phases of notes before the master arrangement score is sent over to the sound mixer for his or her final mix on a dub stage.


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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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