Lindsey Festival Celebrates 17th Year with Screenplay Readings, Screenings of 18 Films Selected for Student, Professional Competition
Feb. 19, 2014
By Terry Pace, Communications and Marketing
FLORENCE, Ala. – Eighteen finished films and six unfilmed original screenplays have qualified for awards, prizes and audience recognition as the George Lindsey/UNA Film Festival celebrates its 17th anniversary on the University of North Alabama campus.
This year’s festival – scheduled for Thursday, March 6, through Saturday, March 8 – once again combines public screenings, workshops, panel discussions, table readings and a gala awards show honoring professional, student and young filmmaker entries in the categories of narratives, documentaries and screenplays.
“In its continuing efforts to support independent filmmaking and create the best possible festival experience for our audiences, we except a record number of filmmakers to be in attendance at this year’s festival representing their films,” according to Dr. Cynthia Burkhead, a UNA assistant professor of English who chairs the annual festival and film competition.
“Directors are traveling to the Lindsey fest from as far away as Taiwan and Spain,” Burkhead added, “highlighting the truly international character of the event.”
This year’s film screenings – which are free and open to the public – will take place all three days of the festival in Room 131 of the UNA Communications Building on Pine Street, just north of Norton Auditorium. Awards and prizes will be presented the evening of Saturday, March 8, at UNA’s Mane Room performance venue, located at the intersection of Pine and Tombigbee streets in downtown Florence. Tickets are required for that event.
"I think that the audience will really be pleased with the diversity of the films being screened at the festival this year,” noted Brian Ford, a UNA digital-media specialist who chairs the festival’s judging committee. “With each category of films having some international ties, this year's festival looks to bring a unique experience to its audience.”
Winners in the festival’s screenplay competition are announced in advance. The 2014 Feature Screenplay winner is A Second Last Breath, by Amanda Creiglow of Brooklyn, New York. Other finalists include Yellow Brick Road (by Alfredo Salvatore Arcilesi of Toronto, Ontario, Canada) and The Girl I Left Behind (by Stephanie Bain of Oxford, Alabama). The winner of the 2014 Short Screenplay competition is More Than Life, by Ashley Matteson of Warwick, Rhode Island. Death Expectancy (by Elisa Herrmann of Carbondale, Illinois) and You’re a Good Guy, Eli (by Cornelius Murphy of Winfield, Massachusetts) were named finalists in that category.
“The Lindsey festival focus this year is on the filmmakers themselves,” Burkhead explained. “We are excited to offer table readings from both the short and feature screenplays, and both screenwriters will be in attendance. The festival is also pleased to host a panel on activist filmmaking with Mobile filmmaker Robert Gray, Florence’s own Wes Wages and actor, director and producer Ethan Marten from Virginia Beach, Virginia.”
The festival was founded in 1998 by UNA alumnus George Lindsey (1928-2012), whose long and versatile career in the entertainment industry included Broadway musicals, feature films, prime-time television and stand-up comedy. Lindsey earned lasting fame and audience adoration for his signature role as goofy, good-natured garage mechanic Goober Pyle on the beloved television 1960s-era sitcom The Andy Griffith Show and its spinoff, Mayberry R.F.D.
The 2014 George Lindsey/UNA Film Festival will screen and showcase professional, student and young filmmaker works in the following categories:
Stock Exchange (Directors: Frederic Mosbeaux and Stephane Averaert, Auderghem, Belgium) – Kris, a young father, is ready to do anything to find his daughter, lost in the badly organized stock of Kosta’s dubious kidnapping corporation. (5:40 p.m. Saturday, March 8, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 12 min.)
Pechorin (Director: Khrushch Roman, Moscow, Russian Federation) – Inspired by a classic Russian novel, Pechorin shares the final hours of a soldier’s life as he reflects on past encounters. (1 p.m. Saturday, March 8, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 95 min., with English subtitles)
Love is Like a Snake (Producer: Bobby Yu, New Taipei City, Taiwan) – Based on a Taiwanese legend, Love is Like a Snake tells the story of a photographer transformed by love. (2:40 p.m. Friday, March 7, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 35 min., with English subtitles)
East of Kensington (Director: Kellen Moore, Moorpark, California) – Years after Peter Pan and the Lost Boys have overthrown the pirates, Peter visits London to return Wendy to Neverland and is kidnapped by a mysterious Stranger residing in the decaying remains of the Darling House. Peter is forced to confront a harsh reality that challenges his innocence in this dark, introspective look into J.M. Barrie's classic story. (4:45 p.m. Friday, March 7, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 20 min.)
Butterfly Dreams (Director/Producer: Venkat Krishnan, Culver City, California) – A nine-year-old girl in rural India, exploited by child labor, must find a way to pursue her dream – how to read and write. She has one last chance when an educated man comes to town. (5:15 p.m. Saturday, March 8, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 23 min., with English subtitles)
113 Degrees (Director: Sabrina Doyle, Los Angeles, California) – Francesca and Joe are astronauts who have become lovers. Bunkered up in their little spaceship, Earth is a distant reality: everything they want is right here. But now their mission is ending, and Joe’s wife is waiting for him back home. Thinking she is going to lose him, Francesca takes desperate measures, leading to terrible and unintended consequences. (3:25 p.m. Saturday, March 8, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 21 min.)
The Man Left Behind (Director: Gregory Tomlin, Fort Worth, Texas) – Paul Longgrear was sent to Vietnam to command an elite combat unit. At home, his wife tended to their newborn daughter and dutifully kept her promise to pray for her husband at war. The prayers never meant much to Longgrear until the early hours of February 7, 1968. Trapped in a concrete bunker with seven other Green Berets, Longgrear retreated to a corner of the shattered bunker and prayed his first real prayer. (1:30 p.m. Friday, March 7, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 91 min.)
Unstoppables (Director: Daniel Jariod, Barcelona, Spain) – Juan Mendez lost his left arm and left leg in a motorcycle accident twenty years ago. After a period of denial and sadness battling with the changes in his life, he decided to fight back and took up cycling. This led to his founding a cycling club, The Pirates, which helps others better themselves. The film follows Mendez – now considered the world’s No. 1 athlete in his class – on the road to the Para Olympics in London 2012. (3:25 p.m. Friday, March 7, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 71 min., with English subtitles)
Mobile in Black and White (Director: Robert Gray, Mobile, Alabama) – In many ways, Mobile, Alabama, has moved beyond the racial problems that plagued most American cities throughout the 20th century. This film takes a hard look at the ways racism continues to pervade the structures and institutions of a supposedly post-racial world. Expertly blending the insights and experiences of local residences and leading experts, as well as the poetry of Natasha Trethewey, Sonia Sanchez and others, the documentary provides a powerful, thought-provoking catalyst for constructive community conversations on race. (7 p.m. Block, Thursday, March 6, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 92 min.)
Ditching School to Whistle (Director: Ien Chi, Duluth, Georgia) – In April 2012, filmmaker Ien Chi set out to compete in the International Whistling Competition – and make a documentary about it. This film explores not only the fascinating people who converge once a year for this quirky event, but also tells the unexpectedly touching stories of people who discovered healing and therapy through a simple activity that could be dismissed by many as silly. (7 p.m. Block, Thursday, March 6, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 15 min.)
Not a Statistic (Director/Producer: Shelby Hadden, Franklin, Tennessee) – The story of a mother who dedicates every day to ensuring her son lives a happy, normal life, despite his incurable mitochondrial disease. (5:15 p.m. Friday, March 7, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 36 min.)
Arde Lucas (Director: Oscar Brais Revalderia Prieto, New York) – Some 1,700 years ago, the wall of Lucus Augusti (Lugo) watched over the so-called world. Today the people from the city celebrates that heritage during the last weekend of June every year, making it one of the most important and realistic festivals about the Roman era in the world. (4:05 p.m. Saturday, March 8, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 60 min., with English subtitles)
Young Filmmakers (Narrative or Documentary)
Writing the Big One (Director: Evan Sennett, Louisville, Kentucky) – Desperate for inspiration, writer H.W. Reed turns to the Film Noir Channel for inspiration on his new book. As the film unravels, Reed begins to live in the very film noir he is trying to write. (10 a.m. Block, Friday, March 7, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 19 min.)
The Models of Bekonscot (Director/Producer: Sophie LeNeveu, Jupiter, Florida) – A retro-style documentary about an English village dating back to the 1930s. The town has country manors, schools and an airfield. But as this film reveals, it is far from ordinary. (10 a.m. Block Friday, March 7, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 5 min.)
Regione Caecorum (In the Land of the Blind) (Director: Drew Goldsmith, Middleton, Wisconsin) – An evening of speed dating turns the tables on ability – and disability. (10 a.m. Block, Friday, March 7, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 3 min., with English subtitles)
System Preferences (Director/Producer: Anya Belkina, Boston, Massachusetts) – An animated documentary that tells the story of computer pioneer Bashir Rameyev, who is on a quest to achieve something extraordinary for his country in order to prove that he and his family are not ”the enemies of the people.” The result of his struggle is the invention of a computer used to launch Sputnik into space and, as a consequence, to spur the headlong development of Russian and American microelectronics. (2:35 p.m. Saturday, March 8, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 17 min.)
Judith (Director/Producer: Takahisa Shiraishi, Marina del Ray, California) – A silent short film based on the Book of Judith from the Bible. In the 18th year of his reign, Nabuchodonosor, king of the Assyrians, commanded Holofernes, the chief general of his army, to avenge the land of Jordan, which he tried to invade once and failed. Holofernes destroyed the cities of Israel one after another. Now the army surrounds the city of Bethulia. All of the men in the city tremble with fear of Holofernes’s brutal manner and decide to surrender without resistance. However, Judith refuses their decision and goes to the camp alone to kill Holofernes. (3:05 p.m. Saturday, March 8, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 9 min.)
Mt. Pleasant (Director/Producer: Raymond Clayton Thomas, Athens, Alabama) – Guilt. Regret. Religion. Life. Death. (7 p.m. Block, Room 131, UNA Communications Building; Running time: 23 min.)
High-resolution photos from the 2013 George Lindsey/UNA Film Festival are available for media use at the following link: http://www.unalionsden.com/archive/album.php?album=2013%20LINDSEY%20FILM%20FEST&year=2013
A high-resolution photo of festival founder George Lindsey (1928-2012) is available for media use at: http://www.unalionsden.com/archive/photo.php?id=1644