Carrboro hosts its seventh annual Carrboro Film Festival

By Seth Muller

Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Nic Beery, the co-founder of the Carrboro Film Festival, bounced around energetically on Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Carrboro Century Center. He was in charge of managing the largest short film festival in the South and he did it with ease; everything from managing the movie screen, to checking on concessions, to laughing with festival goers. The seventh annual Carrboro Film Festival lasted from 1 to 7 p.m. and hosted 33 short films ranging from student documentaries to animations to music videos to horror movies.

Viewers watch Safe Haven by Chris Hugo at the Carrboro Film Festival on Sunday, Nov. 18.

Jackie Helvey and Nic Beery established the film festival in 2006 with support from the Carrboro Board of Aldermen and the Carrboro Recreation and Parks Department. Joy Preslar, a Carrboro Film Festival Committee member, recounts how the festival came about.

“Jackie and Nic were the force behind this,” she said. “Since Nic had the capacity to edit and Jackie had the capacity to reach a lot of people, it was like stone soup. We all had our different talents.”

Preslar said there are no eligibility requirements to submit a film to the festival except that the director must have lived, worked or been otherwise connected to Carrboro at some time in his or her life.

Beery said he appreciates that the film festival is so closely tied to the town, but he also wants to see the festival expand.

“We want to keep it Carrboro-connected, but we want 70 percent to be Carrboro-connected and then the other 30 percent to be directors like Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard,” said Beery.

He said there were over 100 films submitted, and around half of them were from Carrboro residents.

Preslar said the films are chosen based on their quality and not on the reputation of the director. It gives local artists a chance to express themselves, he said.

As a local filmmaker, Beery said he appreciates the chance for Carrboro residents to showcase their work.

From right, Joy Preslar, Mae McLendon and Charlie Stanfield volunteer at the Carrboro Film Festival on Sunday, Nov. 18.

“I love that the filmmakers get to have a full house to watch their films on a high definition screen with great sound. There is nothing better than your film shown to a full house,” said Beery.

The Carrboro Film Festival had a full house on Sunday, and Beery was very excited by the turnout.

“You’re taking a chance when you go to a film festival,” he said. “And what distinguishes us is that our audience has come to expect quality films from us. We are the largest short film festival in the South, and the reason for that is that people find it warm, inviting and family-friendly. It’s a roller coaster. You watch a doc and then a music video and then a comedy, and then we do it all over again. We really take the time to make sure we have the best image quality and production. We put on a good show so that everyone has a good time.”

The Carrboro Film Festival Committee is discussing expanding the event to a two-day festival. Beery would also like to see it expand to other venues around Carrboro in the same way the Carrboro Music Festival is dispersed throughout the community. He said he would like to see the festival spread to The ArtsCenter and the Hampton Inn.

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