Local filmmakers featured in Asheville movie fest

The Asheville Film Festival, which runs Nov. 8 to 11, has several events focused on local filmmaking, including a slate of local works-in-progress, a series of spotlights and forums for local filmmakers.

Down home at the ranch: The early days of protests at President Bush’s ranch are chronicled in Rebecca MacNeice’s Crawford, Texas.

“The festival’s got a lot of things that are bringing the local community together this year,” Rod Murphy of 6;14 Films, who’s been helping to organize the events, said.

At 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, the Fine Arts Theatre will, for the cost of one ticket, give festival goers a glimpse of unfinished films by several Asheville-based documentarians.

Among the movies to be screened are Rebecca MacNeice’s Crawford, Texas, about the beginning stages of the peace protest outside President Bush’s ranch, and A Piece of Heaven by Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood, telling the story of a West Virginia family facing changes wrought by a nearby mountaintop-removal coal-mining operation.

Also shown will be several scenes from films in progress by West Asheville-based 6;14 Films and the world premiere of Linda McLean‘s Wild and Free: A Screech Owl Named Pinkey, about the relationship between a Western North Carolina wildlife rehabilitator and a baby screech owl.

Born free: Linda McLean’s Wild and Free: A Screech Owl named Pinkey tells the story of a WNC wildlife rehabilitator and a baby owl.

Also at the Fine Arts Theatre the same day will be a block showcasing some notable local shorts, including Aaron Putnam‘s Cosmo of 1932, winner of this year’s 48-Hour Film Project, and Jaime Byrd’s Slow Down and Fast, which tells the story of Mike Alexander, an Asheville man who goes into the woods on a water fast for 30 days. Nikki Hassinger‘s Convergence, Terri Farley-Tervel‘s Finding McQueen and Amanda EdwardsThree Doors, also a 48-Hour Film Project favorite, will also be shown.

More information about any of these films, including trailers for some of them, can be found online (at www.ashevillefilmfest.com/filmfestival/films).

Other films in the festival are also locally made or have local connections, including Simple Things, which will play in a special pre-festival screening at the Fine Arts Theatre at 7 p.m. Nov. 7. The locally connected festival lineup also includes Xpress readers’ favorite local film of the year, Golden Blade III, Ghost Town the Movie, The Green Race Movie, The List, Cooking Up a Vengeance and Freedom Man 2026. A total of 14 local films will be screened.

An ‘act of God’ waiting to happen: Adam Wood’s A Piece of Heaven portrays a West Virginia family’s struggle against mountaintop-removal mining. In the past, coal companies have characterized their disastrous errors as acts of God.

In between the local showcase and the local spotlight, moviegoers will also be treated to a red-carpet themed fashion show by local designers Brooke R. Priddy and Paul Olszewski and featuring rides by West Asheville’s Lowrider Shop.

There will also be a variety of local events for filmmakers as part of the festival, including a discussion of the role of music and film on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Grey Eagle featuring remarks by Eric Scheffer, an HBO/Showtime producer who also worked on the legendary music documentary The Last Waltz and music by the May Family Reunion. Also held throughout the festival will be “Coffee Talk” sessions for features, documentaries and shorts intended to give filmmakers an opportunity to meet their colleagues and network. These events are open and free.

“This is an opportunity for filmmakers to get together, to share ideas and see how they can overcome some common problems,” Murphy said. “Everyone gets to bring what they can do best to the table.”

Visit www.ashevillefilmfest.com for more information about any of these events, or to purchase tickets.

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