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‘Heartwarming’ story opens sixth annual Indigo Moon Film Festival


Jan Johnson and Pat Wright, founders of the Indigo Moon Film Festival, will tell you that “Peace by Chocolate,” based on a true story, is exactly the kind of film everyone needs to see right now.

“We need to see some triumph and some diversity and some understanding,” Johnson said. “It’s the most heartwarming, good news story.”

Happily, the film will open the sixth annual Indigo Moon Film Festival, scheduled for Oct. 8-15. Though most of the schedule of some 80 films will be presented virtually due to the pandemic, a screening of “Peace by Chocolate” will take place on the Jumbotron at Segra Stadium on Oct. 8. Filmmaker Jonathan Keijser will be on hand for a reception and question-and-answer session after the film.

The film depicts a Syrian family that flees war-torn Lebanon after their chocolate factory is bombed.

“The son wants to go and do his own thing,” Wright said. “But his family has a history of being chocolatiers. They want to start making chocolates again.”

The reception will include chocolates from the family business.

On Oct. 7, a free family film night, also at Segra, will feature Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

Johnson and Wright had hoped until recently to have held the festival in person at various locations, including the Cameo Arthouse Theatre and the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County.

“Thanks to the City of Fayetteville, we’re able to have two in-person events at Segra,” Wright said. “The free family film night will be open to the public where people can come in, grab a seat, get a popcorn or drink and watch a great movie.

“I think people are looking for fun things to do with their kids,” she said. “It will be a safe event where people can space out and there are covered spaces if the weather turns bad.”

 Film lovers will be able to purchase passes to watch the rest of the screenings and filmmaker interviews online or through Roku. Go to indigomoonfilmfestival.com for tickets and more information.

The festival donates its proceeds of its box office each year to a local nonprofit organization. Johnson and Wright said this year’s proceeds will go to the Autism Society of Cumberland County.

The festival is made possible in part by grants from The Terri Union and Carlos Zukowski Endowment for the Arts through the Cumberland Community Foundation and from The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County.