Tess Harper to be honored at Asheville Film Festival

Tess Harper, an Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated actress with a 24-year career in film, will be honored with the Career Achievement Award at this year’s Asheville Film Festival, which runs Nov. 8 to 11.

Welcome back: Oscar nominee Tess Harper, shown here in Loggerheads — part of which was filmed in Asheville — returns in November to receive a Career Achievement Award at the Asheville Film Festival.

Parker began her film career in 1983’s acclaimed Tender Mercies, for which she got a Golden Globe nomination. In 1986, she received an Oscar nomination for her role as Chick Boyle in Crimes of the Heart. Harper has been in 70 movies and TV films, including Silkwood, Flashpoint, Man in the Moon, The Jackal and Loggerheads. The last of those films, by Tim Kirkman, was filmed and set, in part, in Asheville, and has a strong local following.

In her time, Harper has “shared the screen with Robert Duvall, Meryl Streep, Sissy Spacek, Jessica Lange, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman and Bruce Willis—and held her own with them all,” notes an announcement from festival organizers.

Harper tells Xpress that she has a particular attachment to Asheville and the Western North Carolina mountains, which remind her of the Ozarks, where she grew up.

“This whole area has a very mystical feel to it—like something very old,” she says. “It’s so beautiful, and I feel filled with life whenever I visit.”

The area’s past is another draw for Harper, a history enthusiast who minored in the subject in her college days.

“I want to see where poor Zelda [Fitzgerald] finished off her life and pay my respects—and of course pay my respects to Thomas Wolfe too. You really can’t go home again,” she says with a laugh. “I’ve heard so much about this festival and about how great a time everyone has here—I’m looking forward to it.”

Harper describes her time here filming Loggerheads as “absolutely wonderful. For me, the filming of a movie is as much a part as seeing the final product.”

As part of the celebration of Harper’s career in film, the official announcement notes, “several of her best works will be screened throughout the event.”

Visit www.ashevillefilmfestival.com for more information about Harper and the latest on the Asheville Film Festival.

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