Nacogdoches Film Festival Announces Line-Up


Special guest Charlaine Harris is best known for writing “The Southern Vampire Mysteries” series, which was later adapted into the hit TV series "True Blood."

The time is drawing near for the 2016 Nacogdoches Film Festival, an annual celebration of the art and entertainment of film in all its forms.

The festival, now in its fifth year, aims to build awareness of independent and short films as an art form while providing educational opportunities for local students and filmmakers.

The festival is set to take place Thursday through Saturday, February 25 through 27, and will include project screenings, question-and-answer sessions with featured guests, and panels discussing a variety of topics like cinematography, entertainment law, and directing.

New York Times best-selling author Charlaine Harris is set to attend as the featured guest and panelist. Harris is best known for writing “The Southern Vampire Mysteries” series, which was later adapted into the hit TV series True Blood.

Harris will participate in a book-signing on Saturday, February 27, and also will serve as a judge for a “Best True Blood Costume” Cosplay (costume play) contest during Nac-Con, a convention preview event that will include additional celebrity guests and vendors.

Also scheduled to attend are two local graduates who have flourished in the filmmaking business: Derek Wayne Johnson, award-winning director/writer/producer; and Brandon Polanco, a Brooklyn-based filmmaker from Austin.

The current schedule is provided below. A full schedule of events and ticket information is available on the festival website: Event location addresses are:

  • Cole Art Center (The Old Opera House), 329 E. Main Street (Events at the Cole Art Center are free, but space is limited to first 100 guests.)
  • Party 'N Things, Northview Plaza Shopping Center, 3801 North Street #3
  • Carmike 6 Cinema, 3801 North Street
  • Stephen F. Austin State University’s Baker Pattillo Student Center Theater, 222 Vista Drive
  • Hastings Entertainment, 4501 North Street

THURSDAY, February 25

6–7 p.m. Nacogdoches 1938 (2016, 30 minutes; documentary), Cole Art Center. A rare piece of Nacogdoches history — a forgotten film reel from 1938 — is discovered and restored, casting light on a by-gone era. A guest Q&A follows the viewing.

7–8 p.m. Brandon Polanco: Film Shorts, Cole Art Center. Short film projects by Brandon Polanco, including Alchemy (2015, 16 minutes), Vicky & Jonny (2015, 16 minutes), and Writer’s Block (2013, 14 minutes) with Bryan Cranston.

8–8:30 p.m. Q&A with Director Brandon Polanco (see 7 p.m. event), Cole Art Center

8:30–10:15 p.m. Christopher North Project, Cole Art Center. Film projects with composer Christopher North, including:

  • Think Ink (2015, 6 minutes) — An animated short film about outcasts and acceptance, a la psychology inkblots.
  • Karl Manhair, Postal Inspector (2014, 21 minutes) — A character-driven comedy about a down-and-out postal inspector struggling with his increasing irrelevance in the world.
  • A New High (2015, 91 minutes; documentary/action-adventure) — In the heart of downtown Seattle, a diverse group of men and women come together to climb out of homelessness and drug addiction through an unorthodox recovery program that uses mountain-climbing as a means of rehabilitation. After one year of intense physical and mental conditioning, the team attempts to summit one of the most dangerous mountains in the country, Mt. Rainier. Directors: Samuel Miron and Stephen Scott Scarpulla. Music: Christopher North.

10:15–10:30 p.m. Q&A with Christopher North (see 8:30 p.m. event), Cole Art Center

10:30–11:55 p.m. Bible Quiz (2013, 75 minutes), Cole Art Center. Mikayla hopes to win the National Bible Quiz championship and the heart of her team captain.

FRIDAY, February 26

5–6:30 p.m. VIP Party, Party 'N Things. Meet-and-greet VIP event with special guests and film panelists.

6:30–7 p.m. Red Carpet Event, Carmike 6 Cinema

7–8 p.m. Charlaine Harris Project: Writer of True Blood, Carmike 6 Cinema. The Nfestival welcomes New York Times Best-Selling Author Charlaine Harris, known for her Aurora Teagarden books and The Sookie Stackhouse fantasy series. Her writing successes led to director Alan Ball's creation of the popular HBO television series True Blood.

8–8:30 p.m. Q&A with Charlaine Harris (see 7 p.m. event), Carmike 6 Cinema

8:30–10:10 p.m. Stake Land (2010, 98 minutes), Carmike 6 Cinema. Martin was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed in an empty pit of economic and political disaster. A vampire epidemic has swept across what is left of the nation’s abandoned towns and cities, and it’s up to Mister, a death-dealing, rogue vampire hunter, to get Martin safely north to Canada, the continent’s New Eden. Director: Jim Mickle. Writers: Nick Damici and Jim Mickle.

10:10–10:30 p.m. Q&A with Nick Damici (see 8:30 p.m. event), Carmike 6 Cinema

SATURDAY, February 27

10 a.m.–2 p.m. Panel Series for Filmmakers, Student Center Theater. A variety of filmmaking panels will discuss topics include screenwriting, scoring music, and entertainment law.

10 a.m.–6 p.m. Nac-Con, Party ’N Things. Join the Nac-Con in its preview year for vendor highlights, cosplay (“costume play”), and a Best True Blood Costume Contest judged by film festival feature guest Charlaine Harris. Visit the Nac-Con Facebook page for details.

11 a.m.–1 p.m. Book-Signing: Charlaine Harris, Hastings Entertainment

2–5 p.m. 2016 Short Film Competition, Student Center Theater. Finalists from the 2016 Short Film Competition will be showcased, and an announcement of winners will follow.

5–5:15 p.m. Short Film Competition Awards (see 2 p.m. event), Student Center Theater

6–7:30 p.m. John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs (2016, 75 minutes; documentary), Student Center Theater. An examination of the Oscar-winning director who brought to life some of cinema’s most beloved motion pictures; starring Sylvester Stallone, Renée Zellweger, and Matthew McConaughey. Director and Writer: Derek Wayne Johnson.

7:30–8 p.m. Q&A with Derek Wayne Johnson (see 6 p.m. event), Student Center Theater

8–9:45 p.m. Frailty (2001, 100 minutes), Student Center Theater. A man confesses to an FBI agent his family’s story of how his religious fanatic father’s visions lead to a series of murders to destroy supposed “demons.” Director: Bill Paxton. Writer: Brent Hanley.

9:45–10:15 p.m. Q&A with Brent Hanley (see 8 p.m. event), Student Center Theater

10:30 p.m.–12 a.m. After-party, location to be determined

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