Cat Fly Film Fest held its inaugural event over April Fools weekend in Asheville, North Carolina. The festival was an immense success, not only because it was a wonderful event for networking with other emerging filmmakers, but because it sold out all three nights! I know how hard the founders– Brittany Jackson, Madeleine Richardson, Keeley Turner, and Cat Wityk– worked to make the festival such a meaningful and memorable event, so the hype was all well deserved!
Opening Night presented a slew of dramatic shorts such as THE SMOKE TRILOGY which was co-directed by MJ Slide and GOOD HAIR’s own Catherine Dee Holly as well as BEATERS which I produced and Rome Widenhouse directed. The rest of the lineup was filled out by Asheville based filmmakers Kira Burksy, Katie Damien, Kendra Warren, Ryan DuVal, Wayne Wandering, and Amplified Media‘s Jared Kay.
The Asheville School of Film was gracious enough to allow us to host a workshop in their classroom space on Saturday morning which was led by myself and the aforementioned MJ Slide and Catherine Dee Holly. We talked about how to produce short films on a tight budget, focusing on the legal and logistical aspects of the production process that you simply can’t skimp out on no matter how large or small your budget, specifically how to strategize for indie films below or around $10,000 which is considered ultra-low budget by SAG-AFTRA standards.
Comedy Night was an absolute blast, especially with standup from Asheville locals Cory Thompson and Minori Hinds as well as Atlanta’s own Dedrick Flynn and Fray Forde, both primary actors in GOOD HAIR which screened later that night under the COMEDY & CURLS umbrella. The first film was my directorial debut THE REPLICA RAID, starring Jeff Alexander who hosted the event. Multiple web-series were also showcased, including Stefan Liner’s WHEN FACT MET FICTION which also starred Jeff Alexander across from Rebekah Babelay, and Andrew Vasco’s TRANSPLANTING, a series about a woman who adjusts to Asheville after moving from New York. Keeley Turner and Katie Damien also played comedic shorts.
The Filmmakers’ Brunch on Sunday morning was one of the more heartwarming and intimate affairs of the entire weekend. It was a pleasure to casually hang out over breakfast and mimosas with all the amazing creative people pictured above. I could list everyone in the photo, but I bet if I allow a few years, many of these faces will become very well known as the filmmakers and artists they strive to be.
The entire weekend was simply amazing, and it was all thanks to the talented team pictured above, especially the founders. None of this would have happened without their coordinated efforts and talents for marketing and event planning, as well as everyone who volunteered their time as festival staff. If the Asheville community didn’t want a classy film festival that honored local talent before, they surely recognize now that it was a niche that needed to be filled. Here’s to next year!