Screen scene: Local film news

FILMMAKER'S WEEKEND: Seen here, a still from My Dear Americans represents one of multiple short works that award-winning filmmaker Arpita Kumar will screen during her visit to Asheville. Photo courtesy of the artist

Grail Moviehouse hosts an encore screening of Democracy for Sale on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m. The documentary follows North Carolina native Zach Galifianakis throughout his home state as he investigates its transformation at the hands of political spending. The Masterminds star looks into allegations that the current state government was put in power by moneyed interests and has since carried out a program — cuts to education, healthcare spending and environmental protection, lowering of taxes for the wealthy and corporations and the passage of laws designed to roll back access to voting — that only benefits its backers. Free and open to the public. Entrance will be on a first come, first served basis, and seating will begin 15 minutes before showtime.

Asheville Pizza and Brewing Co.’s Merrimon Ave. theater is the site of World Peas Animations’ Asheville Kids Make Movies day on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 10:30 a.m. The program consists of 30 minutes of stop-motion animations followed by an hour of live action shorts, all made in and around Asheville by local children. There will also be a red carpet parade finale at noon to honor the filmmakers. $3 per person /$10 per family.

Pack Memorial Library will screen Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m. The 2010 documentary follows the 60-day journey of Australian Joe Cross throughout the United States as he embarks on a juice fast to regain his health. Free and open to the public.

Mechanical Eye Microcinema presents Women Between Worlds: The Films of Arpita Kumar on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. at the North Asheville Public Library. Among the powerful stories of women pushing boundaries are Sita, My Dear Americans and an as-yet-unannounced new film. Kumar will be in attendance for an artist talk and post-screening Q&A. Tickets are $5, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.

On Sunday, Jan. 29, from 1 to 3 p.m., Kumar will lead a short-form screenwriting workshop at Mechanical Eye’s Coxe Ave. space. Students will work directly with the award-winning, internationally recognized independent filmmaker and screenwriter to develop their own screenplay and leave the session with an outline for a three-act short film. No prior screenwriting experience is necessary. The workshop is open to teens and adults and costs $30. Register

UPDATE: These events will not be held at this time. Mechanical Eye writes, “Due to a medical emergency, Arpita Kumar’s screening and workshop scheduled for this weekend (1/28-1/29) are postponed. We will let you know the new dates as soon as we confirm them with our visiting artist.”

• The North Asheville Public Library’s America, America film series — featuring films that wrestle with the idea and reality of America — continues Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 6 p.m. with a screening of Harlan County USA. Barbara Kopple’s Oscar-winning 1976 documentary centers on Kentucky coal miners who were brutally opposed in a 1973 strike. Free and open to the public.

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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