Films Abound: UNCW’s campus will host two free film festivals this weekend

Feb 18 • ARTSY SMARTSY, FEATURE BOTTOM, FilmNo Comments on Films Abound: UNCW’s campus will host two free film festivals this weekend

The UNCW campus plays host to a number of cultural happenings throughout the year. With an accredited film department, King Hall and Lumina Theater routinely come alive with cinema. Hot on the trails of DocuTime, which took place at King Hall last month, this weekend will see two more film festivals whisk attendees through an array of perspectives.


Real Teal Film Festival

Lumina Theatre • UNCW campus

Friday, February 21st, 7 p.m. • Free


Embarking on its eighth year, The Reel Teal Film Festival once again will roll out their teal carpet this Friday, February 21st. “[The event] is an opportunity to see what these students have learned and to meet the future of the film industry,” event coordinator Liz Bernardo divulges.


When UNCW’s Flicker Film Society, an organization of student-film enthusiasts, first began, one of their goals was to start a film festival. After much brainstorming, Reel Teal was born. The festival found its footing in King Hall auditorium; however, growing interest resulted in the festival moving to Lumina Theater, which seats 333 people. The festival’s utilization of Withoutabox, a film-submission method used by high-profile festivals such as True/False, permitted the inclusion of international films.


Completely student-run, Reel Teal cultivates an award’s show atmosphere wherein prizes like the coveted Deloran Grand Prize, which grants recipients $150, and the Flux Capacitor Audience Choice award, which pays $50, are given to stand-out films. The films are judged based on criteria such as best animation, production design, direction, cinematography, editing, sound design, performance and original concept. Last year’s winner was “Light Me Up,” a submission from Dodge College in California. Its witty dialogue and premise of a family of light bulbs certified the fully animated film’s edging out of the competition. Rounding out the awards show vibe will be the event’s signature teal carpet complete with photographers.


Decided upon by the Reel Teal committee, this year will boast a theme of time travel. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite time-travel-themed character. As with every Real Teal, question-and-answer sessions with the filmmakers will follow screenings. Local comedian Wills Maxwell Newcomers Seth Photopoulos and Tyler Wood will host and keep attendees entertained between films.


The 2014 installment will include several world premieres, such as “Sheltered Love,” “L’AMI” (Japan), “Fart Rudy” (China), “Mind Games” (Mexico), “Sailor’s Rhapsody,” “The Help” (China), “Without You” (Norway), “For God’s Sake” (India), “A Lullaby” (India), “Somatic Self,” “Swonderment,” “A Ride Towards the Sea” (France), “Dolls” (UK) and “Curio.” It will also feature local film “Drag Him Out” by Chase Kliber.


Funding was procured from Jungle Rapids, Wilmington Yoga, Hops Supply Co., Nerdvana and the Browncoat Pub and Theatre. UNCW affiliates ACE Films and STAGE Company provide volunteers and space for the event.


Cape Fear Environmental Film Forum

King Hall Auditorium • UNCW campus

Friday, February 21st, 7 p.m.

Saturday, February 22nd 11 a.m. • Free


The Cape Fear Environmental Film Forum began six years ago as a one-time festival headed by then-film student Sean Carr. At the time it went by the name UNCW’s Environmental Film Festival and featured a day of earth-friendly inspired documentaries. A consultant for the event’s first venture, Andre Silva saw the potential in the idea and brought it fully into fruition three years ago.


“With this new incarnation, panels were added and focus was placed more on panelists addressing what was being done locally to address the issues raised in the film,” Silva explains.


The 2014 forum will partner with local environmental group Stop Titan Action Network to present the inaugurating film “A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle of a Living Planet.” The environmental activists put Silva in contact with the film’s creator, Mark Kitchell, who will serve as a panelist. The event also will team up with Amy Hall and her art students at Friends School of Wilmington to include a kids’ block. The portion of the film festival will spotlight the premiere of a short documentary the Friends School students created over the past few months.


“We try and choose films that don’t tackle the usual environmental issues—not that these subjects aren’t worthy of attention—but rather, one of our goals is to broaden the scope of what is considered an environmental issue,” Silva edifies. “The hope here is to spread the message that every aspect of our lives is tied, in one way or another, to the environment and that the environment is not something “out there.”


Two years ago the film festival programmed “Play Again,” which tells the story of tech-addicted youth giving up their modern-day conveniences and reacquainting themselves with nature. Though not explicitly about saving the planet, the film comments on the growing divide between humans and their natural surroundings. As well they’ve also screened a film called “The City Dark,” which highlights the issue of light pollution.


This year forum highlights will include “Bringing it Home: Industrial Hemp, Healthy Houses, and a Greener America.” Co-director and local resident Blaire Johnson will serve as a panelist, along with Dulaine Ellis who will be there in support of her film, “Ground Operations: Battle Fields to Farm Fields.”


Representatives from several local environmental groups will attend to share in information and field questions about becoming involved. Folks can expect to learn more about: Sierra Club, Citizens Against Titan, Thumos Project, Cape Fear’s Doing Green, Conscious Integration, Cape Fear Community College and the Island Wellness Center. Likewise, lcoal nonprofit and activists Working Films will have representatives at the event.


Refreshments will be served, including cookies, vegetable and cheese trays, coffee and lemonade, thanks to UNCW’s catering service. Funds for the event were raised through an Indiegogo campaign which secured over $1,000—double their initial goal.


“If I do have another environmental cause [aside from the Environmental Film Forum], it’s taking my 5-year old out to the beach and nature parks as much as possible,” Silva states. “I don’t think we can expect future generations to go out of their way to protect the environment if they haven’t spent much time in it.”


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