Festival Directors

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* Best Feature-Length Documentary: “Tower” (Director: Keith Maitland)

* Audience Favorite: “Hear the Silence” (Director: Ed Ehrenberg)

The 2016 Festival Feature Films are Announced

We are proud to announce the feature-length films being shown during the 2016 Footcandle Film Festival!  This year’s thirteen feature films were selected from over 200 submissions by a panel of current film society members.  All films will be shown at the same location (The Drendel Auditorium at the Arts and Science Center of Catawba County) on the same screen starting throughout the weekend.  The schedule for the feature-length film screenings is as follows; you may click on any of the films’ names to see more information and watch a trailer for the film:

Friday, September 23rd
  • 1:00pm – The State of Eugenics:  “The State of Eugenics” shines a light on an often-forgotten chapter in American history— the forced sterilization of thousands of Americans thought to have “undesirable” genetic make-ups. The film follows researchers and journalists who delved into dusty archives to bring North Carolina’s extensive eugenics program into the sunlight, tirelessly insisting the state confront its sordid history.  Documentary; Intended for ages 13 & up (contains some adult themes)
  • 3:00pm – Deep Run:  Executive produced by LGBTQ supporter Susan Sarandon, DEEP RUN is a powerful verité portrait of trans life in rural North Carolina. Exiled by her family and rejected by an ex, 17-year-old Spazz has no one to lean on for support. But when Spazz falls in love again and summons up the courage to become Cole, a strong-willed trans man, his candid humor and steadfast, all-inclusive Christian beliefs counter the bigotry he experiences daily.  Documentary; Intended for mature audiences (contains adult language & situations)
Saturday, September 24th
  • 9:00am – Hear the Silence:  A small, lost unit of German soldiers is looking for shelter in a remote, snowy small village in the Ukraine in 1941. They got separated from their company during battle and now they are deep within enemy territory cut off from the German troops. “Hear the Silence” is a parable about the loss of innocence during times of war that results in brutal preventive actions.  Subtitled; Intended for mature audiences (contains scenes of violence, adult language & themes)
  • 11:00am – Occupy, Texas – Beau Baker, a washed out ‘Occupy, Wall Street’ protester, is woken up on the streets of NYC with news that his parents died and that he must return home to Texas where his parents have left him in charge of his two teenage sisters and their estate. This sets Beau off on a journey to search for and find the strength to reunite with his sisters, his past and himself.  Intended for ages 13 & up (contains some adult themes)
  • 1:00pm – OzLand – In a dry and dusty post-apocalyptic world, two wayfarers wander aimlessly until one of them finds a copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Using the world around them to interpret what they read, they allow the book to challenge the beliefs, friendship, and even the very survival of these two divergent travelers.  Intended for ages 13 & up (contains some adult themes)
  • 3:30pm – Remittance – When Marie takes a job as a maid in Singapore to support her family in the Philippines, she trades one set of hardships for another. Betrayed by her husband, she begins to build a new life for herself. As she gets caught up in the new life she is building in Singapore, she is forced to choose between her personal aspirations and family responsibilities back home.  Intended for ages 13 & up (contains some adult themes)
  • 5:30pm – Dragonfly – Told with heart and humor, DRAGONFLY explores the complicated relationship between a struggling artist and her family as they work to reconcile their turbulent past in order to make the most of their present.  When her mom is diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s, a struggling artist returns home to help but brings years of family baggage with her. As she unpacks her past, she rediscovers a mysterious mailbox from her childhood and embarks on a search to solve its mystery.  Intended for ages 13 & up (contains some adult themes)
  • 7:30pm – The Fits – Eleven year-old Toni is a tomboy struggling to assimilate into a tight knit school dance team in Cincinnati’s West End. Enamored by the power and confidence of this strong community of girls, Toni eagerly absorbs routines, masters drills and even pierces her ears to fit in. However when a mysterious outbreak of fainting spells and incapacitating episodes begins to plague the team, Toni’s desire for acceptance is cast in a different light.  Intended for ages 13 & up (contains some adult themes)
  • 9:00pm – Bear With Us – “Bear with Us” is a modern farce about a guy who attempts to propose to his girlfriend in the most romantic way possible, but his meticulous plan starts to fall apart when a ravenous bear stumbles upon their charming cabin in the woods. It’s a total comedy of errors that takes a close look at just how far we’ll go to preserve our relationships.  Intended for mature audiences (contains adult language & situations)
Sunday, September 25th
  • 10:00am – Arlette. Courage is a Muscle. – The film centers around Arlette, a 15-year old girl from the Central African Republic who suffered severe injuries during the last war. In Berlin a surgery frees her from her year-long pain. This changes her both physically and mentally: suddenly Arlette is in her puberty.  But then war breaks out again in her homeland. What was planned to be a short stay in Berlin turns into a journey without a foreseeable end.  Documentary;  Intended for ages 13 & up (contains some adult themes)
  • 12:00pm – You See Me – Filmmaker Linda Brown’s father embodied 1960s masculinity. But when a devastating stroke leaves him vulnerable and dependent, Linda decides to confront the silence surrounding his troubled and violent past. Drawing on home movies, family photos and interviews, she reveals secrets, uncovers lies, and discovers a redeeming treasure in a lost family video. The result is an engrossing journey about the danger of carrying unresolved grief to our graves. Documentary;  Intended for ages 13 & up (contains some adult themes)
  • 2:00pm – Off the Rails – The remarkable true story of Darius McCollum, a man with Asperger’s syndrome, whose overwhelming love of transit has landed him in jail 32 times for impersonating New York City bus drivers and subway conductors and driving their routes. Documentary; Intended for ages 13 & up (contains mild adult language)
  • 4:00pm – TOWER – Combining archival footage with rotoscopic animation in a never-before-seen way, TOWER reveals the untold stories of America’s first mass school shooting, which took place in 1966.  Documentary; Intended for mature audiences (contains images and descriptions of gun violence)

Special Event: Thursday, September 22nd

vwsWe are excited to be partnering with the Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Visiting Writers Series as they host a night with screenwriter and director William Stribling as he discusses the art of writing for film and video.  The evening will also feature his film “Bear With Us”, that is also playing during the festival weekend.  This event will be taking place in the P.E. Monroe Auditorium on the Lenoir-Rhyne University campus.  More details will be available soon!


Special Event Announced: A partnership with UNC-TV Public Media

UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina is back in Hickory and the Catawba Valley Region!

UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina with support from Footcandle Film Society of Catawba County and Hickory Metro Convention Center and Visitors Bureau are proud to present an exclusive preview screening of UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina’s CATAWBANS.

Thursday, September 27, 7:00 – 9:00 PM, Drendel Auditorium on the Salt Block

Coming in November to UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina is a new documentary that surveys the arts renaissance, economic resurgence and educational innovation of the Catawba Valley region.  Public Media North Carolina seeks to share with the world what those of this area already know – Catawba is Making. Living. Better. But you can celebrate this dynamic film first, as a special guest.  You and your guests are invited to join us as we celebrate you, your friends, neighbors and fellow Catawbans at a special preview screening and dessert reception.

Space is limited, registration is required. Please RSVP via Eventbrite.

If you have any questions, or to register via email or phone, contact Karen Nowak at knowak@unctv.org  1-866-752-0025.

  • Doors open at 6:30 PM
  • Welcome Remarks and Screening 7 PM
  • Dessert Reception 8 PM
  • Event Concludes 9 PM

This event is made possible with support from Footcandle Society of Catawba County and Hickory Metro Convention Center and Visitors Bureau.

LRU’s Visiting Writers Series presents William Stribling

vwsIn partnership with the Footcandle Film Society, Lenoir-Rhyne University will host a night with screenwriter and director, William Stribling on Thursday, September 22 at 7 p.m.in PE Monroe Auditorium.

During the event Stribling will discuss the art of writing for film and video. He will also share a screening of his film, Bear with Us, which is currently making the rounds at film festivals worldwide and has garnered several awards along the way.

Stribling is an award-winning filmmaker who holds degrees from New York University in Film/TV Production and Dramatic Literature as well as a Masters in Screenwriting from Chapman University in Orange, California. His short film Down in Flames: the True Story of Tony “Volcano” Valenci was recently released on Amazon after a long and successful film festival run. Stribling’s first feature film Lies I Told My Little Sister was released in 2015 by ARC Entertainment as a “Geena Davis Selection”. Most recently, Stribling directed the web series Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party for Shipwrecked Comedy. He lives and works in Los Angeles where he is currently writing and directing a digital series for Adaptive Studios.

Stribling’s Bear with Us will also be shown as part of the Footcandle Film Festival, scheduled for September 23 through the 25th. The inaugural film festival was held in September of last year in an effort to bring unique, challenging and entertaining films to Western North Carolina. The event is presented by founders and members of the Footcandle Film Society, a 650-member group dedicated to screening and discussing films on a monthly basis. The society was formed in late 2007 by Alan Jackson, President and CEO of The Jackson Group in Hickory and Chris Frye, Media Producer at The Jackson Group.

LRU’s Visiting Writers Series presents Chip White and Shea Sizemore

In partnership with the Footcandle Film Society, Lenoir-Rhyne University will host a night with screenwriters, directors and producers Chip White and Shea Sizemore on Thursday, September 21st at 7 p.m.in PE Monroe Auditorium.

During the event White and Sizemore will discuss the art of writing for film and video. They will also share selections of their work during the discussion.

Chip White is originally from the shores of South Carolina and is the younger brother of Wheel of Fortune’s famous letter-turner Vanna White. He has over 30 years experience in the film, TV and video business. Chip moved to Los Angeles in the early 80s and spent the next 20 years working for some of Hollywood’s biggest companies, including King World, Sony, MTV, Vh1, Nickelodeon, and Discovery. In 2005 Chip relocated back to the Carolinas where he continues to produce and develop projects under the Stack 3 Productions banner

Co-founder of Our Films LLC, Shea Sizemore is a writer and director whose heart is fully committed to making movies. From his humble beginnings in the world of Claymation, to documentaries about hurricane Katrina, to scripted narratives about killer Port-A-Potties, the Civil War, and shrimp boats on the high seas, Shea is a born storyteller who is heavily influenced by the world around him. From his roots in the coal mining towns of Virginia, to the flats of Texas, to living in the swamps of Florida, over the mountains and into the cities of North Carolina, Shea draws inspiration from all walks of his life. Shea’s spent time at INSP TV, where he wrote and directed feature films for theatrical and television release. In 2016, Shea directed his first feature Heritage Falls for INSP. He has produced programming for SPEED and Fox Sports, he also wrote and directed 2013’s A Chess Player, the 2015 My Luchador and the 2017 Crab Trap with producer Chip White.

Sizemore’s Crab Trap will also be shown as part of the Footcandle Film Festival, scheduled for September 22nd through the 24th.  The third year of the festival will bring unique, challenging and entertaining films to Western North Carolina. The event is presented by founders and members of the Footcandle Film Society, a 650-member group dedicated to screening and discussing films on a monthly basis.

Footcandle Film Society Provides Grants to Two North Carolina-Based Productions

The Footcandle Film Society is happy to announce the first recipients of its Filmmaker Grant program.

The Filmmaker Grant Program provides financial support to projects that help to further the use of film as a story-telling medium and have a majority of their production work take place in North Carolina.  The grant money is intended to help a filmmaker move towards their goal of completing their project so that it can be submitted to national film festivals or secure a distribution arrangement.

The 2018 recipients of the Filmmaker Grants are:

Santuario, a documentary about a small church community in Greensboro, North Carolina, that offers sanctuary to Juana Tobar Ortega, a Guatemalan grandmother threatened with deportation after 25 years of living and working in the United States.  The film is directed and produced by Christine Delp and Pilar Timpane.

Box Brown, a film based on the true story of Henry “Box” Brown, a 19th-century Virginia slave who escaped to freedom at the age of 33 by arranging to have himself mailed in a wooden crate in 1849 to abolitionists in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The film is written, directed and produced by Rob Underhill and will star acclaimed actor and playwright Mike Wiley.

Both projects are in various stages of development and expect to be playing at film festivals over the course of the next year.

The grant recipients will be recognized at the Footcandle Film Festival’s Closing Awards Ceremony and Dinner on Sunday, September 30th.

Congratulations to the first recipients of Footcandle Filmmaker Grants!

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