They limited submissions to films made by, or otherwise involving, people who have, in his words, "lived, worked or played" within 50 miles of downtown.
"Ninety-five percent of film festivals accept films from anywhere," said Beery, who is the lead coordinator for Sunday's festival. "We wanted to take a little different approach. We said, ÔIf you went to UNC 40 years ago and have a film you made in the attic, we want to see it. If you're a film student now and have a film, we want to see it. If you live here, or have ever lived here, and have ever made a film just as a creative outlet, we want to see it.'
"Of course, having said that, we had no idea what we would see. Would it all be horrible? Would we get nothing but junk?"
You can hear the answer to that in the tone of Beery's voice -- excited, eager and yet somehow remarkably relaxed.
"I was blown away," he said. "Absolutely blown away. We got a lot of really wonderful films. We got some very powerful documentaries. We got some great works of fiction dealing with important themes, and we got some comedies that are lighthearted and great fun."
Beery and company pared down the 87 submissions to 22 films for the one-day festival, which will run from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday. The films are grouped into three blocks, with popcorn breaks in between and the presentation of the first annual best-in-show Kyser Award scheduled for the conclusion.
The festival has gone from a "what if" sort of idea floated by Carrboro Art Committee member Jackie Helvey -- who also had a hand in starting the successful Carrboro Music Festival -- to a full-blown event in just about six months.
It's come to life so quickly, Beery said, partly because once the idea reached the streets, it seemed so obvious that the only real question was why nobody had done it before.
"Every person we've told about it has said, ÔA Carrboro film festival? Oh, that's a natural,'" he said. "It just makes sense. We have the Carrboro Music Festival and the Carrboro Poetry Festival and the 2nd Friday Art Walk. Of course we should have a film festival. In the same way that we have so many musicians and writers and artists here, we also have a whole lot of filmmakers."
The 50-mile radius requirement actually accommodates a lot of people who may not actually live here. As Beery cheerfully acknowledges, "lived, worked or played" is a pretty broad standard.
"We have a guy from New Zealand who came here to visit a friend over the summer," he said. "Well, he played here. So, we said, 'Come on in.' He did, and he has a film in the show."
So do some local school kids; one category in which awards will be presented is K-12.
Local sculptor Mike Roig designed and created the unique trophy that will go the winner of the Kyser Award, named for famed bandleader Kay Kyser, who lived in Chapel Hill.
Beery said the movies are cued up and just waiting for the command to roll Ôem.
"I keep thinking, 'OK, we're ready,'" he said. "Let's do