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Real to Reel Film Festival

September 9 - October 9, 2020

Kings Mountain, NC

Your ticket to the 21st Annual Real to Reel Film fest will provide you with an entire month of docs, shorts, animation, & children’s films. Filmmaker Q&A sessions will also offer a behind the scenes look at filmmaking.  Nearly 150 films were submitted from international countries like India, Japan, Iran, Russia, Germany, and Slovakia, among others. Explore a diverse world of cinematic art at this year’s Real to Reel Film Fest Sept. 9 - Oct. 9.

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Beyond Dreams
Documentary Features 75 min Action & Adventure, Documentary Directed by Rafael Duarte

Beyond Dreams follows Roman Romancini, one of the most important Bazillian mountaineers, as he deals with possibly never climbing again after being hit by a car, how he fought cancer & how he kept his dream to climb Mount Everest alive as motivation to heal. 

Finding Courage
Documentary Features 80 min Documentary, Foreign Directed by Kay Rubacek

A former journalist for the Chinese Communist Party (YIFEI WANG), living in exile in San Francisco, struggles to settle into life in America while working to heal her family’s wounds from their tragic past. She is seeking justice for the murder of her sister at the hands of the Chinese authorities. Rare undercover footage of a meeting with the director of the labor camp where Yifei’s sister was killed reveals shocking admissions of torture, slave labor, corruption, and a general disregard for human life pervading the camp system today. Exclusive interviews with former Chinese Communist Party officials provide a unique insight into the hidden world of terror that many Chinese citizens live without ever knowing that life can, and does, exist with freedom outside their world. 

Keepers of the Bees
Documentary Features 57 min Documentary Directed by Jesse Bradley

In 2017, a group of UNCW students founded the UNCW Beekeeping Club. They’d been inspired by the passion of Dr. Anthony Snider, an associate professor in Environmental Sciences. But they would ultimately find themselves on a journey to expand their environmental awareness, learn the biological and public intricacies of beekeeping, and follow in the footsteps of generations of beekeepers before them.  The emerging beekeepers soon discovered they would be joining a much larger community: farmers, scientists, legislators and hobbyists in North Carolina who work together to ensure the honey bee population thrives. This is an ecosystem that affects the agriculture of our state and, ultimately, the food on our tables. The honey bee is one of the most important contributors to our environment, and their survival depends on beekeepers. What started as an interest in creating a club has evolved into a passion for cultivating and protecting a species and a sense of duty to honor the sacred legacy of beekeeping.

Sockeye Salmon. Red fish
Documentary Feeatures 51 min Documentary, Foreign Directed by Dmitriy Shpilenok , Vladislav Grishin

Sockeye, a species of wild salmon, is born in Kamchatkan waters and spends its entire life in the Pacific Ocean. Only once does it return to fresh waters - to give offspring, start the circle of life, and die. It is an inexhaustible resource that feeds billions of people on the planet, restored every year! But soon, we may find ourselves facing the unimaginable: humans will exhaust the inexhaustible! 

The Mayberry Effect
Documentary Features 90 min Documentary, Family Directed by Christopher Hudson

The Mayberry Effect is feature length thought provoking documentary investigating the topic of nostalgia through the lens of The Andy Griffith Show asking the questions; did a simpler time actually exist, how did the show influence our American culture and society and will future generations continue to enjoy the sitcom?

The Story Beyond a Cup of Sake
Documentary Features 63 min Documentary, Foreign Directed by Hironori Sakurai

The documentary film The Story Beyond a Cup of Sake is a year of tale that features the rice wine “sake” produced by a small brewery in Japan and “passion” how people love it. 

Documentary Shorts
125 min

For over 20-years, Real to Reel has featured docs from around the world. This year, our slate of doc shorts will carry you from abandoned mines in Canadian ghost towns, to alpine huts in the White Mountains, to rivers in Ellsworth, Maine. You’ll also be offered environmental poetry with a thought-provoking stroll through the forest, a ride with a young rodeo talent, and a seat next to a 104-year-old church organist in rural North Carolina.

Narrative Shorts
228 min

Drama, action, dark comedy, coming of age & horror are all on display for the official short films of the 21st Annual Real to Reel Film Fest. Since the inception of the festival over two decades ago, the film short has been a staple of this multi-category film fest. You’ll find works from professional filmmakers w/ connections to the Hollywood industry, student projects from film schools & amateur filmmakers with a love of the art of cinema.

Kids Fest!
25 min

We are all children at heart. You’re invited to rediscover that childhood (and maybe even find out something about your present and future) with the Real to Reel Film Fest official selections for this year’s Kid’s fest. Varied styles of animation from around the world are featured in this Kid’s Fest block of films. A sci-fi story of friendship; environmental awakening, and anti-bullying are a few of the themes you’ll find this year.

Reel Conversations with Rafael Duarte (director, writer, cinematographer) of Beyond Dreams
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(18 mins.) Reel Conversations host Thomas Manning speaks with Rafael Duarte, (writer, director, and cinematographer) of the documentary, Beyond Dreams. This documentary has been selected to more than 20 film festivals around the world, and Real to Reel is honored to host this feature for the 21st Annual Real to Reel Film Fest. Beyond Dreams tells the life story of Roman Romancini, one of the most important Brazilian mountaineers, in his endeavor to reach his greatest dream: climbing Mount Everest. 

Reel Conversations with Devin Peluso and Travis Stewart (Writer and Director for Spread Among Us)
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(18 mins.) Thomas Manning speaks with Travis Stewart (Director) and Devin Peluso (Writer/Producer), on Reel Conversations. They are the filmmakers behind the post-apocalyptic thriller short film, Spread Among Us. Real to Reel is honored to host this short for the 21st Annual Real to Reel Film Fest. Spread Among Us tells the story of a young couple who must decide what to do after an infection from a horrifying disease rapidly spreads across the country... and hits close to home.

Reel Conversations with John Gray (Director of Extra Innings)
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(9 mins.) On this selection of Reel Conversations, Thomas Manning speaks with John Gray (Ghost Whisperer, Grimm), the writer and director of the short film Extra Innings. Real to Reel is honored to host this short for the 21st Annual Real to Reel Film Fest. Extra Innings follows a reporter as he interviews the manager of the Boston Red Sox in an attempt to uncover secrets from his past. 

John Gray was the youngest recipient ever of an American Film Institute Independant Filmmaker Grant.

Real Conversations with Kay Rubacek (Writer/Director for Finding Courage)
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(16 mins.) Thomas Manning talks with Kay Rubacek on Reel Conversations. Kay is writer/director for Finding Courage. Finding Courage explores politics, oppression, torture, Chinese labor camps and religious persecution. Through the voices of those with first-hand knowledge (former prisoners, party leaders, media, & families of victims), Kay offers a fascinating glimpse at a culture, place and people … and asks the question … what can we do about the pain and suffering that continues to happen each day.

Reel Conversations with Chris Hudson, director/producer for the Mayberry Effect
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(20 mins.) Thomas Manning speaks with Chris Hudson, producer/director for The Mayberry Effect. This doc explores how The Andy Griffith Show has influenced individuals and audiences for over 60-years. From Bible studies, to fan celebrations, to tribute artists, to the philosophy of nostalgia, The Mayberry Effect asks the question … is Mayberry more than just a place? Hudson, a filmmaker for more than two decades, felt drawn to examine the lasting power of the Andy Griffith show, and its continued impact.

Reel Conversations with Echo Wilson, writer/director for In Our Nature
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(9 mins.) Thomas Manning speaks with Echo Wilson, writer/director for the animated short In Our Nature. This film explores the complex relationship between humanity and the natural world. Echo Wilson is an animator from Chapel Hill, N.C., and a graduate of UNC School of the Arts. She has been fascinated by the world of animation since childhood & is especially interested in hand-drawn 2d animation. Echo aspires to create animated works that inspire & educate people on the topics of nature and science.

Reel Conversations with the filmmakers of Mike
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(29 mins.) Thomas Manning speaks with filmmakers connected to the short film Mike. For more information on Mike visit dreammike.com.

Mike is the story on an intellectually challenged man choosing to follow his dream by visiting a distant shore. Kent Smith (writer, producer, director), Patrick G. Keenan (actor – Mike) and Steve Saxon (cinematography) share the stories of the making of this Real to Reel Film Fest selection.

Reel Conversations with Amanda Rodriquez (director of Stories Happen on Forests)
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(12 mins.) On Reel Conversations, Thomas Manning chats w/ Amanda Rodriguez, director for Stories Happen in Forests

Stories Happen in Forests explores the power of story & our connections to the environment. Through faith, community, recovery, songs, sanctuary, physical connections and more … the forests will communicate with humanity … if we only listen. Director Amanda Rodriguez is a first-time filmmaker, and here, she offers insight into making this film. 

Visit more storieshappeninforests.com.

Reel Conversations with Rachael Morrison (director, Elvers)
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(12 mins.) Thomas Manning speaks w/ director Rachael Morrison (Elvers). 

Elvers takes viewers to Ellsworth, Maine & into an exploration of the highly lucrative international seafood trade of baby eels (elvers). Director Rachael Morrison follows an eclectic cast of characters who describe what happened when the fishery exploded into a goldrush and black market. 

On Reel Conversations, Rachael shares with Thomas some thoughts and lessons gained from making this film. Find Rachael at rachaelmorrison.com.

Reel Conversations with Tianze Fan (director, Con Amore)
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(5 mins.) Reel Conversations highlights filmmakers responsible for some of the official Real to Reel Film Festival Selections. Here, on Reel Conversations, Thomas Manning speaks w/ Tianze Fan, director of short film Con Amore.

Tianze Fan is a 3D animation major student in Savanah College of Arts and Design (MFA program), and his animated short, Con Amore is an official selection for the 21st Annual Real to Reel International Film Festival. Con Amore is a fantasy exploring love, sacrifice & freedom.

Reel Conversations with Morgan Holub (writer, director, producer - Lost in Place)
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(9 mins.) Reel Conversations highlights filmmakers featured in the 21st Annual International Real to Reel Film Festival. On this episode of Reel Conversations, Thomas Manning speaks w/ Morgan Holub, writer, director, producer for Lost in Place

Lost in Place is a sci-fi animated journey of a young girl & her robot as they search for inner and outer peace. Morgan shares her adventure in making this film with Thomas Manning. 

For more information on Lost in Place visit morganeholub.com.

Reel Conversations with Rebecca Kirsh (director, A Mind's Eye)
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(10 mins.) On this episode of Reel Conversations, Thomas Manning speaks with Rebecca Kirsh, the co-director of the short film, A Mind’s Eye. A very personal project for Kirsh, she seeks to tell a story about one of her greatest fears: blindness. In this film, a man must somehow find his way out of the darkness, learning to appreciate his four remaining senses in new ways, and focus on the everlasting bond of love.

Reel Conversations with Samantha McLeod (writer, director for The Thief)
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(16 mins.) On this episode of Reel Conversations, Thomas Manning speaks with Samantha McLeod, writer, director, for The Thief

The Thief is a dark, suspenseful short with elements of twisted comedy. It offers a lesson for us all, that all is not what it seems. Samantha offers a behind the scenes glimpse into making this film through the assistance of the London Film School and she addresses some of the challenges of searching for props to use as movie murder weapons in the UK.

Reel Conversations with the crew behind the short film The Journal
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(12 mins.) On this episode of Reel Conversations, Thomas Manning speaks with the crew behind the short film The Journal, including director/actor Sydney Rowlette, DP and editor Connor Thomas, and producers Miracle Smythe and Brian Segovia. Through poetry in action, this short narrative explores the power of writing our thoughts and the therapeutic nature behind letting some of them go. The Journal offers a journey that is raw, honest, authentic, and tragic, but also hopeful and inspiring.

Reel Conversations with Jim Picariello (writer, director for the Mushroom Huntress)
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(16 mins.) Reel Conversations highlights filmmakers behind official Real to Reel Film Festival Selections. On this episode of Reel Conversations, Thomas Manning speaks w/ Jim Picariello (writer, director for the Mushroom Huntress).

Jim Picariello is a Real to Reel alumnus, & The Mushroom Huntress is a fantasy/drama short that explores family, roots, the search for home … and the call of nature. Jim offers his insights into filmmaking and the making of this film on this edition of Reel Conversations.

Reel Conversations with the cast and crew of A Modern Romance
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(6 mins.) Reel Conversations highlights filmmakers behind official Real to Reel Film Festival Selections. On this edition of Reel Conversations, Thomas Manning speaks w/ the cast and crew of the romantic comedy A Modern Romance

The cast and crew offer insights into filmmaking and the making of this film on this edition of Reel Conversations.

Reel Conversations with Real to Reel Film Fest Founders Will Eskridge & Noel T. Manning II
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(23 mins.) Reel Conversations explores the genesis of the Real to Reel Film Festival with co-founders Will Eskridge and Noel T. Manning II. From VHS screening tapes, borrowing a projector from the county library, and connections to indie pioneer filmmaker Earl Owensby ... Manning and Eskridge will cover all that and more.  Over two-decades later, the festival still thrives by offering an avenue for artists and audiences to explore indie film. 

Reel Conversations with writer, actor and director Donald Wilson of the Sound of Silence
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(13 mins.) On this episode of Reel Conversations, Thomas Manning speaks with Donald Wilson, writer/director/actor for The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence explores the meaning of "loss" and seeks to answer the question ... can memories help us recover happiness?  Donald Wilson is an EMMY® Nominated cinematographer, photographer, poet, film - music video - and television commercial director, and video editor."

Reel Conversations with director Daniel Smith (Sideways)
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2020
8:00am - 9:00am

This event is available for the duration of the festival.

(25 mins.) Reel Conversations highlights filmmakers behind official Real to Reel Film Festival Selections. On this episode of Reel Conversations, Thomas Manning speaks with Daniel Smith, director of the short film, Sideways. Exploring friendships, gravitational anomalies, and the challenges to keeping relationships grounded - Sideways offers a unique perspective of looking at how we "get along."

Where do we go from here? Film After the Pandemic
Thursday, Oct 8, 2020
6:30pm - 7:30pm

Featuring:
Haley Joel Osment
John Gray
Celeste M. Cooper

Moderators:
Noel T. Manning II
Thomas Manning

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