Our State magazine seeks docs that rock in short-film competition

by Mark Burger

Our State magazine is now accepting entries for its very first documentary short-film competition, which is open to both professional and amateur filmmakers in the region.

The theme of the competition is “Why I Love North Carolina,” and each film must include original footage shot in North Carolina and run no longer than 8 minutes. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older. Any entrants under the age of 18 must submit a signed parental consent form. Entrants must be a resident of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia or Tennessee to be considered eligible to participate.

The creator of the winning entry will receive a $500 cash prize and the chance to have the film screened at the eighth annual Carrboro Film Festival, which will be held Nov. 23-24 this year at the Carrboro Century Center. This year will mark the festival’s expansion to a two-day event.

“North Carolina is filled with spectacular filmmaking talent, and I can’t wait to see our sense of home, the people we know, and the land we love showcased on film,” said Nic Beery, the founder of the Carrboro Film Festival, the owner of and one of the judges of the contest.

Among the other judges on the panel are Ted Mott, director of production at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham; NC-based filmmaker Cynthia Hill, whose feature documentaries include 2003’s Tobacco Money Feeds My Family — which yours truly saw at one of the very first RiverRun International Film Festivals — and The Guest Worker (2006); and members of the Our State staff.

Filmmakers selected as finalists will be determined by Nov. 1 and the winner will be announced on the opening night (Nov. 23) of the Carrboro Film Festival.

Last year, Our State inaugurated its first singer/songwriter competition, which proved so successful that the decision was made to create a similar contest for area filmmakers in an effort to promote the region’s filmmaking talent and the best of life in the state.

From personal experience, I can certainly attest to the high level of quality in the region’s filmmaking realm. There’s plenty of talent here, and sometimes it seems to be taken for granted. Consider such films as Elephant Sighs, Dogs of Chinatown and Susie’s Hope, all independent features made right here in the Piedmont Triad. Each boasted a considerable contingent of local filmmakers on their crews, and the end result was certainly on par with bigger-budgeted, big-studio counterparts. Simply put, the filmmakers here know their business and do it well — and here’s another chance for them to demonstrate it. They just have to do it in eight minutes.

To submit an entry, filmmakers can register at: ourstate.

com/documentary-film-contest. Submissions will be accepted until Sept. 30.

For a complete list of contest terms and conditions, check out: Documentary-Film-Contest-Rules.pdf The official Our State website is, appropriately enough,