New film festival puts spotlight on Carrboro
BY JENNIFER FERRIS : The Herald-Sun
CARRBORO -- Attention all Michael Moore and Martin Scorsese wannabes: Your big break might be just around the corner.
The first annual Carrboro Film Festival kicks off in November, so if you start now there is still time to write the scripts, set up the lights and get your cameras rolling.
If this is the first you've heard of the festival, you're not alone. It's a brand-new creation of the town's art committee designed to put local artists on the big screen.
"This is for anyone who's ever had a story to tell," said Nic Beery, one of the festival's organizers. "They can just let their creative juices flow in this way. They can already do a lot with music, art, painting and poetry. What we need here is a film festival."
The festival -- which will take place Nov. 19 at the Century Center -- will screen local filmmakers' creations and award the top submissions in each of three categories -- students K-12, college students and emerging artists (everybody else).
Submissions -- which are due by Oct. 20 -- can come from "anyone who lives, works, goes to school or plays" in Carrboro, said Jon Wilner, the director of the ArtsCenter and an organizer of the festival.
Wilner helped start a successful local film festival in Bucks County, Pa., six years ago, and has helped set out the standards for the Carrboro event.
The films should be no longer than 30 minutes, but Beery estimates most will be between five and 10 minutes. The submissions can be documentaries, animations, first-person stories or any other genre -- just as long as the action is recorded on some sort of film.
Anyone who has an interest in movies should consider participating, even if they've never looked through a viewfinder, Beery said. The film committee is offering to help anyone who needs direction in finding actors, editing or accessing software and equipment.
"Anybody can make a movie," Beery said. "All you need is your creativity. If you can't afford a camera, the commission is here to help you. We want there to be no obstacles."
If the pleasure of seeing your name on the silver screen isn't enough to motivate you, maybe the festival's award will.
Named after famous bandleader and local filmmaker Kay Kyser, the top prize will be the equivalent of a local Academy Award, Jackie Helvey, a festival organizer, said. The winning films will be shown several weeks later at a winners' gala at the ArtsCenter.
Of course, not everyone wants to be behind the camera. Helvey said there will be a need for actors, lighting and sound technicians, and -- perhaps most importantly -- sponsors.
The commission is asking for underwriters, and in return is offering to put donors' names on the advertisements for the festival. They are asking for minimal funding from the town and Helvey said the more sponsors they get, the more awards they can give.
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