Blue Ridge Film Festival is scheduled for October12 and 13th at the Buchanan Theatre. Though a festival of the same name has existed, truly this is a whole new venue. Two cousins originally from Carrol County are organizing the event. One, Rick Bowman of San Diego, California is in the film industry and the other Mike Conner in Roanoke in auto mechanics on Williamson Road. Not just film but also bluegrass music will be part of the two day event.
Bowman has been in California 25 years where he works in the film industry, in sound mostly, but is also producing some films one on Carroll County’s the Hillsville Court House Shootings in 1912 and another on mandolins and those who play them. Bowman said, “I have always wanted to do a film festival and I love music, so this venue is somewhat combined into one. This is how film making begins with the independent film maker making movies and looking for places to show the finished product.”
This past spring he was in the area visiting and received a tour of the Buchanan Theatre from Sharon Coleman, Standing Room Only (SRO) president. “I hope it can grow and become a annual event for the Roan0ke Valley area.” The Buchanan Theatre is a restored early to mid 20th century theater run by the non profit SRO. It features second run films on Friday and Saturday nights for a $6 gate and $2 box of popcorn and provides music shows and other entertainment through out the year.
He advertised the festival in a film makers trade site called Withoutabox.com and received over 50 film submissions from around the world. Locally that has included Ian Kyle’s “Pragu Martii,” the Dracula movie filmed in Fincastle and the Bullying short film made by LBHS student Piper Gaul of Fincastle. Bowman said, ” We have some great films here and it is difficult to choose which ones will play.”
In the area, film makers have dropped off their submissions to Conner’s auto shop and he previews them to send Bowman in California. “A three jury panel will judge the films. there are some cash prizes. The independant film maker can meet the right people through festivals for distribution of their works. that is what makes or breaks a film. But nowadays, Hulu, Netflicks, and premier Cable are all showing these types of films. Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will be featured. as for music– it is quality! Bands include Carolina Rose, the Travelers and Pike City
Why does he do it? ” I do it for the love of film, for people to come out and support the industry. Watch, soon we will have our list of films out that will be shown that weekend It should be a great event for all in the area, not just Buchanan. A big community event.”
To see what Bowman is all about, try these two links to his websites: www.BackyardGreenFilms.com
www.LethalSounds.com. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to ahead and mark your calendar for Oct. 12 and 13!
Photos courtesy of Lethal Sounds.