Festival features 31 films

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

WINDSOR – The line-up is set for the inaugural Pecan Pickling Short Film Festival.

Thirty-one films from directors, producers and writers hailing from all over the United States will be featured at the local event, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Bertie High School Auditorium. Those screenings begin at 8:30 a.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcomed.

“We encourage you to mark your calendars and invite your friends, family and coworkers to join us for a day filled with short films from filmmakers from across the country and from eastern and northeastern North Carolina. Let’s come together as a community to celebrate this historic event, support filmmakers and create lasting memories,” stated Patricia Ferguson, founder of Equity Films.

“Our goal is to bring together filmmakers from all over and provide a platform for them to share their unique stories with a wider audience. We believe that film has the power to inspire and unite people, as well as ignite economic opportunity as an industry in the east,” Ferguson added.

The first-of-its-kind in northeast North Carolina, the festival will kick off with a Red Carpet event on Friday, Sept. 8 at Chiefs Event Center in Windsor with special guests, heavy hors d’oeuvres, music, and a film screening.

In the comedy genre, the following films were selected for screening (runtime – in minutes – shown in parenthesis):

“I Mustache You” (13:35) directed by Shara Ashley Zelger is a whimsical magical realistic comedy, inspired by Buster Keaton, Looney Tunes, and NYC about Abby, a woman with social anxiety, OCD and agoraphobic tendencies who receives an invitation to love, self acceptance, and the outside world.

“The Line Jumper” (6:10) co-directed by Hugh Oyake Murchison and Rob Underhill.

Dramatic short films selected are:

“In the Pines” (18:00) directed by Dugan Bridges is set in in turn-of-the-century North Carolina. With their lives at stake, three young people must rely on their love and friendship to defy the forces of hate and violence that set their world ablaze.

“Launch at Paradise” (15:00) directed by Carrie Ann Quinn centers on the lines between life and death become blurred for John as he takes the risk to live forever.

“Rocketman vs Caterpillar Curly” (7:40) directed by Joshua Ferguson is a tale of reuniting under a rubric of playful animated characters, fictitiously created, was the perfect hiding place for two strangers to later expose deep emotions and perspectives around brotherhood beyond ethnicity and race.

“Parallel” (14:33) directed by David Mahmoudieh explores the dichotomy between two students’ sexual assaults within the school system, and how their contrasting reactions to it affect not just themselves but the safety of those around them.

“Cyverius” (9:35) directed by Alphoson Mcauley is set in 2120 where two young, gifted scientists travel to a foreign planet to acquire a rare plant needed to save their race.

“The Hunter” (10:39) directed by Luke Volk and produced by Malik Barnes is about an experienced hunter’s average day taking an unexpected turn.

“Deadly Conversation” (25:00) directed by David Pratt and written by Vincent Edwards is a tale about Detective John Powell who is seeking a killer to bring to justice for the murder of his family.

“The Good of Man” (11:00) directed by TJ Harper is based on the true events of Mohammad Sohail who fights back to save his store and hard earned money during a robbery attempt, but then another emotion takes over.

“Memory Finally” (6:03) directed by Kai Llewellyn Bixby shares the experiences of a boy grappling with the loss of his parents.

“Seek” (9:28) directed by Mong Vang is a short film about a woman is awash in long-term grief over the death of her husband until she meets the living recipient of his heart.

“Time Will Let Me” (16:38) directed by George Myers is about the impact of the choices made in life.

“Robo Hills Texas” (17:31) directed by George Myers is a tale of a sleepy Texas town that is quiet until two strangers arrive. Who will live and who will die? Is it the end of the story or just the beginning?

“Capeless” (7:42) directed by Nomar Juarez follows the lives of heroes we look up to and idolize.

“Vigil” (9:01) directed by Robert Munic shares the story of a teenager forced to relive a fatal tragedy until he finds a way to break the vicious cycle.

“Of the Lost” (10:52) directed by Pete Stogner is about a vagrant’s past relationship that begins to breathe new life following an attempted car theft.

“Don’t Get Comfortable” (12:20) directed by Brandon Broady follows three siblings trapped in the foster care system who must do everything they can to stay together as a family while being sent from foster home to foster home.

“Run” (14:43) directed by Brandon Broady tells a unique and authentic story about mental health, addressing the stigmas that cause people to hide their issues and/or prevent them from getting the mental health care help they need.

“Rent A Neighbor” (8:47) directed by Jim Morrison is a about Waylon, a stubborn local residing in a quaint seaside town, who is confronted by tourists searching for their short term rental.

The following short films will be screened in the Documentary category:

“Burnt Feathers, Broken Wings” (13:32) directed by Cady McClain is about four young girls in the foster care system who are on a mission to shatter stereotypes and overcome their past.

“Follow Me Home” (6:34) directed by Derek Felipe and Michael Gray is the tale of an ambitious Pacific Islander family migrating to Los Angeles chasing the American dream.

“Freedom Hill” (22:43) directed by Resita Hill explores the environmental racism that is washing away the town of 2,000 through the lens of Marquetta Dickens, a Princeville native who recently moved back to help save her hometown and whose grandmother casted the historic vote in 99’ as mayor against the federal and state government’s recommendation to simply move the town elsewhere.

“FuturePhobia” (8:57) directed by Henry Dane is an outrageous and hilarious look at the knots we tie ourselves in over the dreadful things to come.

“Malpelo: Mountain of Sharks” (14:53) directed by Kevin Mannens tells of a mythical underwater volcano. Beneath the waves is a bonanza of life.

“Marsh Clouds: the Oysters of Harris Neck” (13:50 directed Kevin Mannens documents the story of the

Timmons family that has been picking oysters in Harris Neck, GA for more than 100 years. The land they call home has a tragic history.

“Rosenwald: Toward a More Perfect Union” (9:06) directed, written and produced by Charles Poe is an extraordinary story of a forgotten philanthropist, a Jewish son of immigrants from Chicago who became a champion for black education in the Jim Crow South.

In the category of Different Shorts, the following films will be screened:

“Banana Tree” (16:36) is an animated film directed by Scott Kane set in a magical world where a peculiarly sentient banana plant is threatened by a fast-moving epidemic.

“Sweet N’ Salty” (5:00) is an animated film directed by Hunter Mascia about a mermaid’s biases that jeopardize her relationships and bakery.

“The New Light” (5:00) is a family short film directed by Joshua Ferguson and written by 6-year-old Nicholas Ferguson follows the story of a young child searching for his missing father.

“Eternal Eyes” (5:05) is a musical video by John DeMena where the main character, struggling to cope with modern society, seeks an escape from this world unsuspecting what he will truly discover.

For more information about the event, visit www.equity-films.org.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal