Hot off a very busy holiday and Oscar season, Winston-Salem’s a/perture Cinema has teamed up with the Piedmont Triad Film Commission and New Winston Museum to present Made in Winston-Salem, a series of special screenings and events meant to commemorate and celebrate films produced in Winston-Salem and the Piedmont Triad.
The event, which opens March 12 and continues through July, was made possible via an Innovative Project Grant from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem. Those who attend these free events will receive a collectible “Made in Winston-Salem Location Scouting Guide,” a map highlighting the filming locations from each film.
“I’ve wanted the film commission to organize something like this for year’s, but haven’t had the staff support to pull it off,” says Rebecca Clark, the Piedmont Triad film commissioner, “so I was very happy that a/perture, and New Winston Museum allowed me to collaborate.”
“The primary objective,” a/perture curator Lawren Desai explains, “is to celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of films produced in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and to put a spotlight on the important role they have played in our community, both in artistic achievement but also in economic development. It’s going to be a really fun series of free film screenings, exhibitions and panel discussions — plus a really cool location scouting guide designed by the talent at Airtype.”
Opening the series is Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg’s award-winning 2006 documentary The Trials of Darryl Hunt, which details perhaps the most infamous murder and miscarriage of justice in Winston-Salem of the 20 th century. Yours truly saw the premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah that year with Darryl Hunt in attendance, and it was an electrifying experience.
On April 19, the series will host the “River- Run International Film Festival NC Filmmakers’ Panel,” a self-explanatory seminar that will take place during the annual film festival in Winston-Salem.
On May 14, UNCSA graduate David Gordon Green’s award-winning 2000 feature debut George Washington will be screened, followed on June 11 by the acclaimed 2005 comedy/drama Junebug, directed by Phil Morrison, written by Angus MacLachlan, and featuring star-studded cast including Embeth Davidtz, Alessandro Nivola, Scott Wilson, Celia Weston and Amy Adams, who earned her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
This correspondent did an on-set report during the shooting … and spent probably far too much time talking to Scott Wilson about his extensive career, not that either of us minded!
On July 9, Ramin Bahrani’s Goodbye Solo (2008) will be screened, an atmospheric character study that explores the unlikely friendship between an immigrant cab driver (Souleymane Sy Savane, in his screen debut) and a mysterious older passenger (Red West). The final screening of Made in Winston-Salem will take place July 19 in Winston Square Park, with an outdoor showing of the 1990 comedy Mr. Destiny, starring James Belushi and the great Michael Caine, who automatically makes it worth seeing.
“I’m looking forward to seeing all of these films again with an audience who supports and appreciates filmmaking in the region,” says Clark, who hopes to attend every screening and likely will be moderating some of the post-screening panel discussions with guests involved in the making of each film.
In its five years of existence, a/perture Cinemas has truly become “one-stop shopping” for film fans throughout the region, playing independent and foreign films while also incorporating special screenings and ongoing film series.’ “That’s a great compliment,” notes Desai.
“We just want to find a way to be a home for a diverse audience of film-lovers and to try and get people to come out and sit with a crowd to watch a film. Programming is never easy but it sure is one of the most rewarding jobs I have.” !
Made in Winston-Salem opens March 12 with screenings taking place 7:30 p.m. on the dates specified above at a/perture Cinemas, 311 W. Fourth St., Winston-Salem, except the July 19 th screening of Mr. Destiny, which will be shown in Winston Square Park, 310 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem. For more information, call 366.722.8148 or visit the official a/perture website: www.aperturecinema.com. The official website for New Winston Museum is www.newwinston.org, The official website for the Piedmont Triad Film Commission is www.piedmontfilm.com.