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Homegrown cinema celebrated in a/perture film series

In a summer filled with sequels, Winston- Salem’s a/perture cinema and the New Winston Museum have teamed up again for the second annual “Made in the Triad” film series, following the success of last year’s “Made in Winston-Salem” film and exhibition series.

The series, which opens June 27 with Harvest, and runs through November, speaks for itself: Each feature film that will be screened was filmed right here in the Piedmont Triad, and offers both a showcase of the region’s filmmaking talent and, hopefully, encouragement for fellow Piedmont Triad filmmakers to do likewise.

“I’m just so excited to be able to do the series again, and I think the collaboration between a/perture, New Winston Museum and the Piedmont Triad Film Commission is just such a cool thing to be a part of,” said Lawren Desai, a/perture cinema’s curator.

“I appreciate the collaboration of a/ perture and the New Winston Museum in producing this film series with the Piedmont Triad Film Commission this year,” said Rebecca Clark, executive director of the Piedmont Triad Film Commission, in an official statement. “Not only will this series bring recognition to the competitive business of film recruitment and why it’s important to this region of North Carolina, but it also showcases the strong talent we have living in this region, along with the projects they chose to film here.”

Many of the films will include a postscreening Q&A with filmmakers and special guests, who will discuss the production process, their experiences filming in the Piedmont Triad, and the state of independent filmmaking here in North Carolina.

The series opens June 27 with S. Cagney Gentry’s debut feature, Harvest, which stars John Gamble (in his screen debut) as Hank Colby, an aging loner whose simple life in the Appalachian Mountains becomes more difficult due to his advancing age. The film is not rated.

On July 19, producer/director David Mackay’s psychological thriller The Lesser Evil, will be screened. Colm Feore, Tony Goldwyn, David Paymer and Arliss Howard play friends who committed – and covered up – a crime committed when they were children 20 years before, but are now implicated when new evidence turns up. The film is rated R.

The Aug. 23 screening is the drama Homeless, which marks the feature debut of director/cinematographer/co-writer/ editor Clay Hassler, and stars newcomer Michael McDowell as a teenager navigating his way through life in a homeless shelter after his grandmother dies. The film, which is not rated, won the Grand Jury award (feature film) at the 2015 Dances With Films festival in Los Angeles.

Sept. 13 sees the screening of In the Treetops, a comedy about a group of high-school friends driving aimlessly all night long, none of them wanting to go home. The film, which is unrated, marks the feature debut of writer/producer/director/leading man Matthew Brown, and was nominated for the Zeitgeist award at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival.

Just in time for Halloween, the awardwinning sci-fi blow-out Eyeborgs will be screened Oct. 25. Working from a script co-written with wife Fran, director/ producer Richard Clabaugh’s paranoid futuristic thriller stars Adrian Paul, Luke Eberl, Megan Blake, John S. Rushton, Dale Girard, Robert Harris (from the original Cabin Fever, another North Carolina favorite), and Danny Trejo. Not only was yours truly a constant presence on the set during Eyeborgs’ production in 2007, but it also made for a spectacular YES! Weekly cover story (if I do say so myself). I was also an extra, but most of my “work” ended up on the cutting-room floor … for which I’m grateful! The film is rated R.

The “Made in the Triad” series concludes Nov. 15 with the award-winning comedy Goodbye to All That, the feature directorial debut of writer Angus MacLachlan, with a star-studded cast including Paul Schneider (UNCSA School of the Arts graduate), Melanie Lynskey, Heather Graham, Amy Sedaris, Ashley Hinshaw and Celia Weston (a graduate of both the UNCSA School of the Arts and Salem College). The film is not rated. Earlier this year, MacLachlan completed principal photography on his latest film, titled Abundant Acreage Available, filmed in the Piedmont Triad and due for release next year. !

WANNA go?

The “Made in the Triad” film series opens June 27 (Harvest), with further screenings July 19 (The Lesser Evil), Aug. 23 (Homeless), Sept. 13 (In the Treetops), Oct. 25 (Eyeborgs) and Nov. 15 (Goodbye to All That) at a/perture cinema, 311 W. Fourth St. Winston-Salem. Tickets for each screening are $12.50. For advance tickets or further information, call 336.722.8148 or visit the official a/perture cinema website: http://aperturecinema.com/.

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