By Tiffany Edwards, University Relations

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Mystery pervades in a scene from

“Bedford” by Andres Sanz.

More submissions, bigger prizes and an expanded events schedule will make this year’s 28th annual Carolina Film and Video Festival, Feb. 23-26, one of the best yet.
The student-run competition at UNCG showcases the finest locally, nationally, and internationally produced films and videos. Audiences get the first look at developing filmmakers of all levels and films from all genres, from documentary to animation, narrative fiction to experimental.
The number of film submissions this year doubled to approximately 400. The screenwriting competition also drew increased interest, attracting more than 50 entries, compared to the typical 8-10 of previous years.
While the number of films submitted will raise the bar in the festival’s quality, the reduced cost of admission will make it more accessible to everyone. Ticket prices this year for the screenings in Elliott University Center will be $3 for students and $5 for adults. Tickets are available through the university box office, located in Elliott University Center, or by calling (336) 334-4849.
“We wanted more people to see what we have to offer, as opposed to this being a money-making event,” said Kimberlianne Podlas, faculty advisor for the festival. Chad Phillips will return as festival director for the fourth time, after taking a year off.
More than 40 of the best films will be screened in the Elliott University Center auditorium Wednesday through Friday, Feb. 23-25. Screenings begin at 8 p.m. Wednesday and 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Five of the films were produced by North Carolina filmmakers. Other competing films were submitted from France, Italy, Germany, Canada and England. The winning entries will be shown on Winners’ Night at the historic Carolina Theater Saturday, Feb. 26. Tickets for Winners’ Night are $8 adults and $6 students, and include admission to the closing reception. Musical entertainment will be provided by Blues World Order.
Awards totaling $9,000 in cash prizes will be given in the categories of screenwriter’s showcase, independent narrative, independent experimental/animation, independent documentary, college narrative, college experimental/animation, college documentary, the Albert Ahler Filmmaker prize for a high school student and the UNCG showcase.
Judges for the 2005 festival will be Vincent Pereira (writer/director of “A Better Place,” editor of “Dogma” and actor in “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”), Chris Abbott (writer for “Star Trek Voyager,” “Quantum Leap,” and Magnum P.I.”), and Scott Davis (founder of KIS Media). High Point filmmaker Sam Froelich, who donated money for the screenwriting award, will sit on the panel of judges for the screenwriting competition, named after his father Jacob Froelich. The younger Froelich recently was the producer for the horror film “Cabin Fever.” Other screenwriting judges will include L.A. director Michael Lilly and Zora Medor.
In addition to the annual film screenings, the festival will add new educational workshops, such as a discussion led by Rebecca Clark on “Filmmaking in the Piedmont Triad.” UNCG students will have their own showcase, giving the university an opportunity to highlight its own talent from a department considered one of the best by Moviemaker magazine, as well as give the students a chance to get direct feedback from the judges.
The festival will also premiere UNCG faculty member Emily Edwards’ film “The Root Doctor.” Produced in collaboration with Piedmont Community College, this project explores the history of the root doctor in North Carolina and features a documentary and dramatic re-enactment of root doctor practice. The fictional story follows four women as they seek the help of root doctor Onzi Jack. The soundtrack was written and performed by local artists, Blues World Order and Peter May.
Mick Ebeling, founder of the production company the Ebeling Group, will deliver the Ashby Dialogue lecture. His company has created eye-popping design-driven shorts, commercials and music videos for clients including Diesel, MTV, Nike, Ford, Levi Strauss and TNT, among others. Ebeling will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 in the Elliott University Center auditorium.
The Carolina Film and Video Festival is the oldest continuously operating film festival in the Carolinas. Growing from a one-day event in February 1978, its mission is to encourage and promote excellence among student, independent, and commercial film and video artists in the state, region and internationally.
The event is presented by the UNCG Department of Broadcasting and Cinema in association with the Department of Art and the Ashby Dialogues. For more information about the festival, visit www.carolinafilmandvideofestival.org or call (336) 334-4197.