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Enthusiastic fans turn out for Indigo Moon Film Fest, organizer says

Audience, juried awards presented as screenings return to live format


Indigo Moon Film Fest had an “amazing” return to in-person screenings over the weekend, with strong attendance and enthusiastic audiences, according to festival co-founder Pat Wright.

“Some screenings were packed,” Wright said in an email Monday. “Of course, opening night was a big hit. Even the repeat screening on Sunday had a good crowd.”

Films were shown by remote for the past two years because of COVID-19 crowd restrictions. This year’s screenings were at Cameo Art House Theatre and the Arts Council of Fayetteville-Cumberland County.

The festival opened on Friday night with “Mission: Joy — Finding Happiness in Troubled Times,” a documentary about the friendship between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. It was also shown Sunday afternoon.

More than 55 films were screened.

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For the first time, the festival featured a block of four short films by filmmakers with Fayetteville or North Carolina connections. That was a hit, Wright said.

“The locals block had so many (spectators), we had to put out more chairs,” she said. “A good problem.”

One of those films, “Friends of the Skatepark,” won the audience award for best documentary short. It was directed by James Throssel, 26, who is the manager of the Cameo theater.

The 25-minute documentary was filmed in Fayetteville and tells the history of skateboarding here. It features an interview with Terry Grimble, owner of Daville Skate Park on McPherson Church Road.

Both audience-voted awards and juried awards were presented Sunday at the end of the festival.

Audience awards went to films in these categories:

  • Narrative feature: “Under Spanish Skies.”
  • Narrative short: “Marie.
  • Documentary feature: “Women in the Front Seat.
  • Documentary short: “Friends of the Skatepark.”
  • Student film: “Underdogs.
  • First-time filmmaker: “The Alien Report.”
  • C. connection: “Birthday Boy.
  • Animation: “Lovely Rita.”
  • Best use of comedy: “Oh Crappy Day!
  • Film that inspires change: “Rock Island Woman.”

Juried awards were presented in these categories:

  • Narrative feature: “You Resemble Me.”
  • Narrative short: “Return to Sender.”
  • Documentary feature: “Women in the Front Seat.
  • Documentary short: “American Justice on Trial: People v Newton.
  • Student film: “Underdogs.
  • Animation: “There Is Always Enough Time.”
  • First-time filmmaker: “Sea Light.”
  • C. connection: “Tidal Alert.”

Wright and Indigo Moon co-founder Jan Johnson have set Oct. 13-15 as the dates for the eighth annual festival next year. 

Proceeds from this year’s festival will benefit Veterans Farm of North Carolina, a nonprofit organization that trains veterans in farming.

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