Just watch what happens when Nic Beery and Jackie Helvey get a handful of people in the same room at the same time. Especially when those people – Chris Beacham, Scott Conary, Tremayne Cryer, Catherine Devine, Pat Dillon, Mike Harris, Tim Scales, Rah Trost and Alison Weiner – make up the 2013 Carrboro Film Festival Committee. Some of them even sit on the Carrboro Music Festival Committee. I want a playdate with this group and I’ll bring the wine and beer.
The 2013 festival features 73 short and feature-length films from across North Carolina, including some international submissions. If you’re looking to brush up on your visual effects, screenwriting, or story creation skills, you’ll find a handful of workshops and panels tucked into the screening schedule. Unlike previous years, the committee decided to honor all the selected films so there will not be filmmaker awards handed out this year. Nic and Jackie graciously fielded my questions, and as a more-than-willing-to-suspend-disbelief movie lover, I had aplenty.
dpm: Since its inception in 2006, what are some of the more memorable moments of the festival?
Nic: Some of the more memorable moments have been the first festival when more people came to the fest than we ever imagined. In fact we filled the theater and have every single year. That’s a true statement to the quality of independent films made in this region. The other memorable moment is frankly the films. They move us, make us laugh, cry and cheer.
Jackie: Of course, my proposing a film festival to the Arts Committee in April of 2006, and seeing everyone’s eyes light up as they said “YES! What a great idea!” That was the absolute best! My favorite moment at the actual festival was when the Carrboro High Marching Band came marching into the Century Center, exactly in synch with the entry film. Perfect timing; that was SO great! My photo of Barbara Trent that first year, with her Kay Kyser Award on one shoulder and her Oscar on the other, that was way cool too!
dpm: How many people review the submissions, how many were submitted this year and how has that changed since 2006? Does each year bring a new sense of validation for the festival?
Nic: We have a committee of 10-15 people and we all review the films. This year we had hundreds of films to watch and review. We will be screening a whopping 73 films this year. Each year makes us acutely aware of how starved area residents are for great art in all forms, and The Carrboro Film Festival is honored to present such a wide variety of art on screen each year.
dpm: What are you most excited about for this festival? Any big surprises?
Nic: The committee is most excited about our expansion to two days. This is a big step, feature films and short films from around the world and around the corner. We also introduced online ticket sales, festival passes, two venues, The Century Center and The ArtsCenter. On top of that we have three great free workshops and an after party open to all at the Open Eye.
Jackie: Expanding to two days and adding the ArtsCenter as a venue, and adding feature films, longer than 20 minutes. I’ll be running the ArtsCenter venue on Saturday and the Century Center venue on Sunday, so this will be new adventure for me.
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Get out there and support these guys, I say. There is nothing like that moment when the lights dim and you never know what’s going to happen next.
Since we’re talking movies … I liked, no, loved Muscle Shoals so much, I watched it twice. Almost back-to-back if you don’t count running out to pick up Thai for supper.
If you have not seen Muscle Shoals, go now!
Don’t make me come out there.
There’s a sense of mystery and magic almost from the get-go. The Tennessee River that runs right up against Muscle Shoals, AL was known by the Native American Yuchi Tribe as “the river that sings.” Lore had it that the flowing waters sounded like a woman singing, sweetly most times, loud and angry when in a rage. It’s just proper mojo, as they call it, that the music would make its way landward. Right into a cinderblock building that would become FAME studios and later into Muscle Shoals Sound Studios where in 1969 Boz Scaggs would record a 12 minute/30 second version of Fenton Robinson’s “Loan Me a Dime” with Duane Allman sitting in on guitar.
The shoals are gone today, thanks to the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) and their dam work and residents claim they can not longer hear the singing river. But the music that was born from Muscle Shoals lives on, deep and abiding.
Shufflin’ with Muscle Shoals
I’ll Take You There (Mavis Staples)
Loan Me A Dime (Boz Scaggs)
Brown Sugar (Rolling Stones)
When a Man Loves a Woman (Percy Sledge)
I Never Loved A Man the Way That I Loved You (Aretha Franklin)
Kodachrome (Paul Simon)
Freebird (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
+ Land of a 1000 Dances and a thousand more songs!