After decades of producing content for film and television, North Carolina finally gets its own film festival this week. Film Fest 919 kicks off tomorrow at Chapel Hill’s Silverspot Cinema with a screening of Alfonso Cuarón’s critically-acclaimed Roma. Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira, the stars of the film, will be in attendance to receive the Film Fest 919 Breakthrough Award. I will be attending the event to represent Awards Daily over a handful of nights.
Also included in the 5-day festival are such major titles as Green Room, The Favourite, Destroyer, and Boy Erased. The full schedule of events, including seminars with creative talent, is located here.
The festival wraps Sunday night with a presentation of the Film Fest 919 Spotlight Award to Green Book co-writer and producer Nick Vallelonga.
Follow Awards Daily for reactions to the films and details on the inaugural film festival.
FILM FEST 919 ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL HONOREES
Chapel Hill, NC, October 1, 2018 – The inaugural Film Fest 919 launches this week with a stellar line-up of some of the most-anticipated films of the Fall season. Each year Film Fest 919 will shine a light on filmmakers and performers whose work has dazzled us with its depth, sensitivity and artistry.
Film Fest 919 is proud to present the FILM FEST 919 BREAKTHROUGH AWARD to rising stars Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira, of Academy Award-winning director Alfonso Cuarón’s critically-acclaimed film ROMA. The FILM FEST 919 SPOTLIGHT AWARD will be presented to Nick Vallelonga, writer and producer of Peter Farrelly’s GREEN BOOK.
Marina de Tavira is renowned for her diverse roles in stage, film and TV in her native Mexico. Cuarón struggled to find just the right person to play his mother for his autobiographical film. The minute Marina walked into the room he knew immediately that she was the right one for the key role of Sofia. Yalitza Aparicio, a pre-school teacher from Oaxaca, has become a film festival overnight sensation. She is the emotional heart of the film and her moving and nuanced performance marks an auspicious debut. ROMA has received some of the best reviews of the past decade and the coveted Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival. ROMA’s Opening Night Screening is Wednesday, October 3rd at 7:30 p.m.
Nick Vallelonga co-wrote and produced “Green Book,” directed by Peter Farrelly. He has a personal connection with the film, as it’s based on his father, Tony Lip, who was a bouncer in New York and served as the driver and security for Jamaican classical pianist Don Shirley (portrayed by Oscar winner Mahershala Ali). The green book refers to a guide for African American travelers that provided a list of safe locations for road trips during the Jim Crow era. GREEN BOOK’S Closing Night Screening is Sunday, Otober 7th at 8:00 p.m.
The awards were designed and created by Durham sculptor Renee Leverty. Leverty, the co-founder of Durham’s Pleiades Arts Gallery, was selected by the festival founders Randi Emerman and Carol Marshall because her work embodies the interconnectedness of life, just as powerful films do. Leverty finds inspiration both in nature and the human experience and works primarily in metal.
“This is a North Carolina festival, so we wanted our award recipients – visiting filmmakers – to take home a piece of our state,” says Randi Emerman, Film Fest 919 Founder, CEO and Chapel Hill resident. Adds FF919 co-founder and director Carol Marshall, “Renee believes that art can foster dialogue and community, and that when we gather in our similarities, as well as our differences, there is the possibility of discovering new truths. This perfectly aligns with our festival’s mission.”
Her Film Fest 919 creation captures a tree-like image with a film strip encircling the tree, representing the 36 award-winning and audience favorite films coming to Chapel Hill from festivals such as Cannes, Venice and Toronto. It’s also a nod to North Carolina’s rich natural beauty.
More About Film Fest 919
Introducing a new adventure in the cinematic arts, FILM FEST 919 will present a five-day event, Wednesday, October 3 through Sunday, October 7, 2018, celebrating the finest in feature films and the artists behind them. Situated in a vibrant community with discerning tastes, as well as a passion for the arts and global issues, FILM FEST 919 is a collaboration among established film-industry veterans, Randi Emerman (a Chapel Hill local), Carol Marshall and Claudia Puig. Film Fest 919 promises to be a one-of-a-kind event the Chapel Hill community will be proud to call its own. The festival takes place at Silverspot Cinema at University Place. Tickets and passes are on sale now at www.filmfest919.com.