Sunday | April 22nd

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+ 12PM | Film Event: DEGREES° TO EXTINCTION | Grail MovieHouse
Film Screening and Discussion with Director Joyce Ferder Rankin

A work in progress film screening of DEGREES° TO EXTINCTION: Can We Survive Climate Change?, featuring the film's director, 2x Emmy-winning journalist Joyce Ferder Rankin.

Join Emmy-winning journalist and director Joyce Ferder Rankin as she presents her work-in-progress documentary about how humankind is affected by a planet in crisis. Additional footage, photographs, and stories will be shared during the following Q & A session, which will also be attended by the film's producers, Lori Knight and Iz Web.

+ 12PM | Panel Discussion: The Dr. Gilmer Story - A Local Life Event Turns Into a Social Justice Movement | Asheville social hall
Feautring Dr. Benjamin Gilmer, Jenny Halper, and Zak Kilberg

When the THIS AMERICAN LIFE podcast aired "Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde," about Dr. Benjamin Gilmer's search for the truth behind his predecessor, Dr. Vince Gilmer's murder case, it launched a national conversation about mental health and our criminal justice system. Now expanding the story into a film based on his book, Dr. Gilmer and the film's producers discuss the role of media in raising awareness of socio-political issues, and in inspiring legal resolution (and proper healthcare) for Dr. Vince Gilmer.

+ 12:30PM | Performance: Prayer for the Earth | Central United Methodist Church
Prayerformance with StarHawk

Full details to be announced soon.

+ 1PM | Live Reading: “A Mouth is Always Muzzled” | Central United Methodist Church
Featuring Natalie Hopkinson

As people consider how to respond to a resurgence of racist, xenophobic populism, A Mouth Is Always Muzzled tells an extraordinary story of the ways art brings hope in perilous times. Weaving disparate topics from sugar and British colonialism to attacks on free speech and Facebook activism and traveling a jagged path across the Americas, Africa, India, and Europe, Natalie Hopkinson, former culture writer for the Washington Post and The Root, argues that art is where the future is negotiated.

+ 1PM | Casting Workshop for Filmmakers and Actors | Asheville Social Hall
Featuring Erica S. Bream

Whether you're an actor or filmmaker, the process of casting is crucial in the foundation of a great production. Join award-winning Hollywood casting director Erica S. Bream for this informative workshop exploring the film and television industry's best practices for casting.

+ 1:30 PM | Music Performance: Big Chief Juan Pardo and Isaac Kinchen of the Golden Comanche Mardi Gras Indians | Central United Methodist Church
Traditional Mardi Gras Indian Concert

The history of Mardi Gras Indian culture is controversial and mysterious. It is an oral culture where the histories are passed down via stories and oral traditions. The music of the Mardi Gras Indians tends to run the gamut of African American music from funk to jazz to hip-hop to rap over percussion. The lyrics combine street phrases with improvised boasts and exploits with call and response choruses.

Big Chief Juan Pardo is one of the up and coming Mardi Gras Indian performers in the world. Whether onstage or on the street, Big Chief Juan’s charisma and talent are undeniable. Dressed in his colorful Indian suit with its tall feathers, bright hues, and shiny beaded patches, he is a dynamic performer moving about the stage or street with a tambourine commanding the band and singing improvised lyrics to the Mardi Gras Indian songs that have existed for centuries.

Isaac came from a musical family. His mother sang, and he spent his youth surrounded by music. In addition to the drums, Isaac learned to play keyboards, harmonica, tambourine, and all percussion instruments. He always gravitated back to drumming. Once he joined the Golden Comanches, his unique drumming style caused his Big Chief Juan Pardo to name him “The Running Drummer.” Isaac says, “I’m the heartbeat. I make them run and jump. It energizes the tribe and it energizes me.”

+ 2PM | Fireside Chat: How Story Changes The Perception of Reality | Asheville Social Hall
Featuring India Osborne, Starhawk, Ari Gold, and Dr. Jack Monell

Stories have the power to influence human behavior and inspire social change. Join us as panelists discuss how changing the story narrative can affect our cultural trajectory, and possibly our future.

+ 2:30PM | Panel Discussion: Homegrown - Making good things happen in western NC | Central United Methodist Church
Full panelists to be announced soon

Wanting to give back, but having trouble taking that first step? Join these rock-star activists and organizers, who are working hard to make the world a better place, for their advice on topics such as the wide variety of volunteer opportunities available, finding your focus, and effective strategies for devoting yourself to a cause while still sustaining your own life and art.

+ 3PM | Panel Discussion: Keeping Score | Asheville Social Hall
featuring Composers Reinhold Heil, Ben Lovett, and Ethan Gold

A pivotal scene can be enhanced or underwhelmed by a film's score. In this panel, video clips are screened with contrasting scores while composers discuss the craft of co-creating a powerful story through musical compositions.

+ 3:30PM | Film Screening: Weed the People | the grail moviehouse

Cannabis has been off-limits to doctors and researchers in the US for the past 80 years, but recently scientists have discovered its anti-cancer properties. Armed with only these laboratory studies, desperate parents obtain cannabis oil from underground sources to save their children from childhood cancers. Weed the People follows these families through uncharted waters as they take their children’s survival into their own hands. Some of their miraculous outcomes beget the unsettling question at the heart of the film: If weed is truly saving lives, why doesn’t the government want people to access it?

CLOSING NIGHT SCREENING EVENT

+ 5:30pm | Film Screening: BLAZE | the grail moviehouse
The story of an unsung country music legend who gave up paradise for the sake of a song.

The fourth film directed by Oscar-nominated actor Ethan Hawke, BLAZE premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where star Ben Dickey won the Special Jury Award for Achievement in Acting for his portrayal of the titular Blaze Foley. The film was recently acquired for distribution by Sundance Selects.

BLAZE is inspired by the life of Blaze Foley, the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas outlaw music movement that spawned the likes of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. The film weaves together three different periods of time, braiding re-imagined versions of Blaze’s past, present and future. The different strands explore his love affair with Sybil Rosen; his last, dark night on earth; and the impact his songs and death had on his fans, friends, and foes. The braided storyline terminates in a bittersweet ending that acknowledges Blaze's profound highs and lows, as well as the impressions he made on the people who shared his journey.

FILM INFORMATION:
Director: Ethan Hawke
Producers: Ethan Hawke, Ryan Hawke, John Sloss, & Jake Seal
Writer: Ethan Hawke & Sybil Rosen


 

Friday, April 20th

+ 1PM | Dreaming Your Vision | Asheville Community Theatre
Fireside Chat with India Osborne

India Osborne is a producer, life coach, and managing director of the Oscar winning visual effects house BUF. In this session, India shares insights on how to think outside the box and achieve a focused vision - whether that's crafting a story with visuals, or applying it to life!

+ 1pm | CONNECT: SHORTS FIlm Screening | Grail Moviehouse
Featuring screenings of "ditch the van" and "JULIAN PRICE: ENVISIONING COMMUNITY. INVESTING IN PEOPLE."

ABOUT DITCH THE VAN
A reflective short film on musician Ben Sollee’s music tours by bicycle. Since 2009, the cellist has traveled over 5,000 miles by bicycle discovering the beauty of limitations.

Cellist, singer-songwriter and political activist Ben Sollee spent a lot of time on whirlwind tours, flying over and driving through America’s towns and cities. he was becoming burnt out, and his health was suffering. So he bough an Xtracycle cargo bike, strapped his cello to it and set off on a five-year, 5,000-mile journey. His Ditch the Van tour brings hardships, like broken wheels, tornadoes, unfriendly motorists, and takes twice as long as for half the money as a traditional tour. But it also offers meaningful experiences and a more human pace of life in a frantic world, allowing Sollee time to ponder the big questions such as: What is worth sacrificing? And What story is he trying to tell?

ABOUT JULIAN PRICE: ENVISIONING COMMUNITY. INVESTING IN PEOPLE.
Envisioning Community started as a way to remember a remarkable person, Julian Price. He was a kind and gentle soul that helped to rebuild downtown Asheville. The goal of the documentary was, "To inspire civic engagement by showing how Julian helped make downtown more livable for everybody.”

+ 2:15PM | Climate Listening Project | Grail MovieHouse
An Interactive Audience Storytelling and Listening Session

Learn More: ClimateListeningProject.org

Join Climate Listening Project Director Dayna Reggero for an interactive audience storytelling and listening session. The Climate Listening Project explores the connections that are important to each of us to cultivate hopeful conversations on climate and community.

“Since 2014, filmmaker Dayna Reggero, 37, has used her camera to expose the effects that climate change has on people all over the world. Despite the sometimes grim topics she covers, Dayna and her subjects remain hopeful.” - Hendley, Badcock, Woman’s Day Magazine, March 2018

“Showing great visual storytelling instincts, director Dayna Reggero follows the bird and its fans. It is especially the enthusiasm, love and respect Reggero shows for her subjects that makes us look forward to her next projects.” - Judges, Best Short Documentary, “Wood Thrush Connection”, Belize International Film Festival

+ 2:30PM | Fireside Chat: Interview with Billy Edd Wheeler | Asheville Community Theatre
Featuring Johnny Irion

In this conversation, musician Johnny Irion interviews the fascinating award-winning songwriter and "Hotter Than A Pepper Sprout" author Billy Edd Wheeler. Listen in as one generation of songwriter interviews another about his experiences growing up and escaping a small mining county in West Virginia, going to Yale, and writing hit songs for Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Kenny Rogers.

+ 3:30PM | Film Event: DEGREES° TO EXTINCTION | Grail MovieHouse
Film Screening and Discussion with Director Joyce Ferder Rankin

A work in progress film screening of DEGREES° TO EXTINCTION: Can We Survive Climate Change?, featuring the film's director, 2x Emmy-winning journalist Joyce Ferder Rankin.

Join Emmy-winning journalist and director Joyce Ferder Rankin as she presents her work-in-progress documentary about how humankind is affected by a planet in crisis. Additional footage, photographs, and stories will be shared during the following Q & A session, which will also be attended by the film's producers, Lori Knight and Iz Web.

+ 4:20PM | Film Event: Weed the People | The Orange Peel
Film Screening with Producer Ricki Lake and Filmmaker Abby Epstein

Film screening of Weed the People featuring the film's executive producer Ricki Lake and director Abby Epstein.

Cannabis has been off-limits to doctors and researchers in the US for the past 80 years, but recently scientists have discovered its anti-cancer properties. Armed with only these laboratory studies, desperate parents obtain cannabis oil from underground sources to save their children from childhood cancers. Weed the People follows these families through uncharted waters as they take their children’s survival into their own hands. Some of their miraculous outcomes beget the unsettling question at the heart of the film: If weed is truly saving lives, why doesn’t the government want people to access it?

+ 5PM | Film Screening: The Song of Sway Lake | Grail MovieHouse

A young jazz collector plots to rob his wealthy grandmother of a rare 78 record, but his plan is derailed when his accomplice falls for the glamorous matriarch. The Song of Sway Lake is a lush romantic drama about the vanished grace of America, and the spell cast by the melodies of the dead. Starring Rory Culkin, Robert Sheehan, Isabelle McNally, Mary Beth Peil, Jack Falahee, the late great Elizabeth Peña and narration by Brian Dennehy.

+ 5PM | From Story To Song: Exploring Stand Up That Mountain | Asheville social hall
Panel and Performance with Johnny Irion, John Goodwin, and Jay Erskine Leutze

Based on a true story, the novel "Stand Up That Mountain" written by Jay Erskine Leutze explores the battle to save a North Carolina small community from destruction. When Johnny Irion read Stand Up That Mountain he knew he wanted to turn it into a film -- Johnny and John Goodwin will talk about their process of creating songs to complement the storyline and share their works in progress with the audience. Jay Erskine Leutze will talk about the process of working with these two fine musicians and what it's like to have your story turned into song.

+ 5:45PM | Panel Discussion: Art Into Action | Central United methodist church
Featuring Starhawk, Ben Sollee, Joseph Hudak, and members of Rising Appalachia

What responsibility does an artist or creator accept by pushing a message of social change out into the world? How and when should you use your voice to raise awareness for a social justice passion or political cause? Panelists will discuss the best practices for using your artistic platform to tackle social justice issues, and will explore successful and unsuccessful practices from personal experience. This panel will also feature a short performance by Rising Appalachia.

+ 7PM | “Your Song Changed My Life” | The Orange Peel
Fireside Chat - Hosted by Bob Boilen with Sylvan Esso and Christopher Paul Stelling

Bob Boilen, host of NPR's All Songs Considered and NPR Tiny Desk Concert, will lead a fireside chat with pop duo Sylvan Esso and singer-songwriter Christopher Paul Stelling. The live conversation, based on Boilen's book “Your Song Changed My Life,” provides an intimate look into the minds of these cutting-edge musicians plus acoustic performances.

+ 7:30PM | Theatre Performance: "MIXED" | Central united methodist church
Performance Featuring Maya Lilly

The play MIXED has been described as the first truly multicultural portrayal of Americans ever. Finally, here we have the narratives of those ignored by the U.S. Census for years; those who have fallen through the cracks of the political system; those who were once told by doctors that they might be born “degenerate” or “deformed”. After centuries of misunderstanding, these stories make the audience understand what it is to belong to many cultures and, simultaneously, to none.

"Maya Lilly’s show Mixed is not to be missed. Winner of Best of Actor’s Rep based on audience votes, the show is the most groundbreaking new work." - Los Angeles Times

"Maya Lilly has almost as many characters inside her as she does nationalities in her multiethnic heritage. Latino, Asian, Black, Indian and Caucasian -- they all seem to be in there -- and each has a story to tell. […] Lilly’s one-woman show, “Mixed,” addresses the bafflement one faces when asked, ‘So… Exactly what are you?’" - Kyle Moore, The Tolucan Times (CA)

+ 7PM | FIlm Event: Milford Graves: Full Mantis | Grail MovieHouse
Film Screening with filmmaker Jake Meginsky and introduction by William Horberg

MILFORD GRAVES FULL MANTIS is the first ever feature-length portrait of renowned percussionist Milford Graves, exploring his kaleidoscopic creativity and relentless curiosity. Graves is a founding pioneer of avant-garde jazz, and he remains one of the most influential living figures in the evolution of the form.

+ 9PM | Book Signing: Bob Boilen's Your Song Changed My LIfe | The Orange Peel - Pulp Lounge

Bob Boilen, author of "Your Song Changed My Life" and host of NPR's All Songs Considered, will host a book signing following his interview of Sylvan Esso and Christopher Paul Stelling.

+ 9:30PM | Film Event: The Ritual
Film Screening with live commentary from filmmaker David Bruckner and composer Ben Lovett (The Orange Peel)

Intimate film screening of The Ritual featuring the film's director David Bruckner and music composer Ben Lovett. Based on the critically acclaimed book by Adam Nevill, a group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that's stalking them.

+9:30pm | Film Screening: More Human Than Human | The Grail Moviehouse

DEGREES TO EXTINCTION is directed by Emmy Award-winning journalist and photographer Joyce Ferder Rankin, who has worked for top broadcasters including BBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, ITN and RTE. Joyce’s photographs have appeared in National Geographic and many other publications around the world.


Saturday, April 21st

+ 10AM | Panel Discussion: The Art of Adaptation | Asheville Community Theatre
Featuring William Horberg, Lydia Diamond, Jason Lust, Albert Berger, and Scott Sherratt

The process of adaptation almost always affects the original storyline whether it began its life as a book, a film, a magazine article, a podcast or a song. Join us for an enlightening discussion on the principles and best practices for maintaining a story's roots while adapting it into a new format.

+ 11AM | Panel Discussion: Ready, Set, Action! | Central united methodist church
Featuring: Marie T. Cochran, Ricki Lake, Abby Epstein, Jay Erskine Leutze, Big Chief Juan Pardo, and Eva Maria Lewis

How do we take social change beyond the awareness phase and into actionable steps? Panelists will discuss and explore simple steps and tools that can actually move the needle on social justice issues, from grassroots activities to national movements.

+ 12PM | FIlm Event: Cold Mountain: Reunion Film Screening & Panel | Fine Arts Theatre
Featuring Charles Frazier, Albert Berger, and William Horberg

Celebrate the 15th Anniversary release of the award-winning film Cold Mountain with an intimate screening. Join National Book Award winner Charles Frazier, plus the film's producers for this unique event.

+ 12PM | FIlm Screening: Milford Graves: Full Mantis | The Grail MovieHouse

MILFORD GRAVES FULL MANTIS is the first ever feature-length portrait of renowned percussionist Milford Graves, exploring his kaleidoscopic creativity and relentless curiosity. Graves is a founding pioneer of avant-garde jazz, and he remains one of the most influential living figures in the evolution of the form.

+1pm | Fireside Chat: Under The Big Black Sun | Asheville Social Hall
The Project That Nobody Wanted: From Concept to Grammy Nomination with Scott Sherratt and Tom DeSavia

Featuring Grammy Nominees; author and music industry veteran Tom DeSavia and producer Scott Sherratt in conversation about Under the Big Black Sun, Tom's seminal book about the early Los Angeles punk scene co-authored with legendary rocker John Doe. The book that very few thought would ever get written, much less published, went on to spend seven weeks in the top 10 of the LA Times Hardcover Bestseller list, and nab a Grammy nomination for its critically lauded audiobook.

+ 2pm | Film Screening: More Human Than Human | The Grail Moviehouse

DEGREES TO EXTINCTION is directed by Emmy Award-winning journalist and photographer Joyce Ferder Rankin, who has worked for top broadcasters including BBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, ITN and RTE. Joyce’s photographs have appeared in National Geographic and many other publications around the world.

+ 3PM | Film Event: DEGREES° TO EXTINCTION | Asheville Community Theatre
Film Screening and Discussion with director Joyce Ferder Rankin

A work in progress film screening of DEGREES° TO EXTINCTION: Can We Survive Climate Change?, featuring the film's director, 2x Emmy-winning journalist Joyce Ferder Rankin.

Join Emmy-winning journalist and director Joyce Ferder Rankin as she presents her work-in-progress documentary about how humankind is affected by a planet in crisis. Additional footage, photographs, and stories will be shared during the following Q & A session, which will also be attended by the film's producers, Lori Knight and Iz Web.

Refreshmanes provided, and theyre will be an action station hosted by SameSide. An exhibition of ASheville street culture in the 1980s captured through the lens of a then 16-year-old photographer Steve Mann.

If ou aren't able to make the opening reception, be sure to visit the exhibit anytime over the weekend during the following hours:

  • Friday: 11am-6pm
  • Saturday: 11am-6pm
  • Sunday: 11am-5pm

+ 4PM | The Fifth Sacred Thing: The Journey from Book to Screen | central United Methodist Church
Panel with StarHawk, Maya Lilly, and Zak Kilberg

This underground classic has been an inspiration to countless activists, with the story now more timely than ever. Learn about the behind-the-scenes efforts to bring this beloved saga to the screen in this discussion with the author and producers.

+ 4pm | CONNECT: SHORTS FIlm Screening | Grail Moviehouse
Featuring screenings of "ditch the van" and "JULIAN PRICE: ENVISIONING COMMUNITY. INVESTING IN PEOPLE."

ABOUT DITCH THE VAN
A reflective short film on musician Ben Sollee’s music tours by bicycle. Since 2009, the cellist has traveled over 5,000 miles by bicycle discovering the beauty of limitations.

Cellist, singer-songwriter and political activist Ben Sollee spent a lot of time on whirlwind tours, flying over and driving through America’s towns and cities. he was becoming burnt out, and his health was suffering. So he bough an Xtracycle cargo bike, strapped his cello to it and set off on a five-year, 5,000-mile journey. His Ditch the Van tour brings hardships, like broken wheels, tornadoes, unfriendly motorists, and takes twice as long as for half the money as a traditional tour. But it also offers meaningful experiences and a more human pace of life in a frantic world, allowing Sollee time to ponder the big questions such as: What is worth sacrificing? And What story is he trying to tell?

ABOUT JULIAN PRICE: ENVISIONING COMMUNITY. INVESTING IN PEOPLE.
Envisioning Community started as a way to remember a remarkable person, Julian Price. He was a kind and gentle soul that helped to rebuild downtown Asheville. The goal of the documentary was, "To inspire civic engagement by showing how Julian helped make downtown more livable for everybody.”

+ 5PM | Film Screening: Weed the People | the grail moviehouse

Cannabis has been off-limits to doctors and researchers in the US for the past 80 years, but recently scientists have discovered its anti-cancer properties. Armed with only these laboratory studies, desperate parents obtain cannabis oil from underground sources to save their children from childhood cancers. Weed the People follows these families through uncharted waters as they take their children’s survival into their own hands. Some of their miraculous outcomes beget the unsettling question at the heart of the film: If weed is truly saving lives, why doesn’t the government want people to access it?

+ 5PM | Panel Discussion: Women in Media and Entertainment | Central United Methodist Church
Featuring Joyce Ferder Rankin, India Osborne, Maya Lilly, Natalie Hopkinson, Lori Knight, Jenny Halper, Chelsea LeBate, and Lydia Diamond

In the light of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, how are women walking the walk in crafting a new narrative, and leading by example in how we want to be portrayed in media and entertainment? What happens next? How do our actions line up with the end result - demanding the equality we deserve? A panel of leading women who are breaking down barriers in entertainment and media lead the discussion.

+6pm | Music Performance: Women in song | Central United Methodist Church
Songwriter in the round Featuring Chelsea Lebate, Hannah Kaminer, and Valorie Miller

+ 6:30PM | Panel Discussion - Character Development: How To Craft Unforgettable Characters | Asheville social hall
Featuring Lydia Diamond, Lori Knight, David Bruckner, Debra Immergut, and Ari Gold

No matter how interesting the plot, a story is only as dynamic as its characters. This session explores what makes a character vibrant and multi-dimensional, and explores the different processes veteran writers and producers utilize to develop unforgettable characters for the page, stage and screen.

+ 7pm | Film Event: The CatFly film Festival's award winning films | Grail moviehouse

Come enjoy the Audience Choice award winners and "Best Of" regional short films from The CatFly Film Festival, Asheville's home-grown film festival with a mission to promote the best short films and filmmakers of the Western North Carolina region.

+ 7:15PM | Panel Discussion: The Art of Pitching | Asheville Social Hall
Featuring Albert Berger, David Bruckner, Jenny Halper, and Jason Lust

You’ve created a great piece of art, now what? A panel of award-winning content creators share insights on the importance of crafting an enticing pitch in the promotional stage, and how to convince busy studio executives, top actors, agents, and financiers to sit up and take notice. Besides successes, they'll also divulge fatal mistakes to avoid when sharing your project.

+ 8PM | Panel Discussion: Bias and Divisiveness in the Digital World | the orange peel
Featuring Joseph Hudak, Lori Knight, Natalie Hopkinson, Joyce Ferder Rankin, and John Marks

Contemporary online media provides rapid fire custom news; even search engine results differ from reader to reader based on personal metrics. This creates a dichotomy in which bias is fostered, leading to greater levels of divisiveness in our culture. How do we as purveyors of truth bust out of our digital echo chamber? And how do we as creators ensure a more balanced viewpoint?

+ 9pM | Music Performance: Songs Inspired by Social Justice | The Orange Peel
Featuring Lyric, Big Chief Juan Pardo, Kat Williams, Johnny Irion, John Goodwin, and Matt Townsend

Backed by some of Asheville's finest musicians, an eclectic group of songwriters and performers will host an evening of original songs meant to create awareness as well as well known covers that have inspired social change.

+ 9PM | Film Event: The Song of Sway Lake | Grail MovieHouse
Film Screening and Q&A Session with filmmaker Ari Gold, composer Ethan Gold, and producers Zak Kilberg and Iz Web

A young jazz collector plots to rob his wealthy grandmother of a rare 78 record, but his plan is derailed when his accomplice falls for the glamorous matriarch. The Song of Sway Lake is a lush romantic drama about the vanished grace of America, and the spell cast by the melodies of the dead. Starring Rory Culkin, Robert Sheehan, Isabelle McNally, Mary Beth Peil, Jack Falahee, the late great Elizabeth Peña and narration by Brian Dennehy.