Kyle McMahon attends Film Fest 919 for its 2nd blockbuster year
I've written about Film Fest 919 for the past two years. It's launch event was one of the early festivals that screened the eventual Oscar nominee The Florida Project. The following year, Film Fest 919 roared out of the gates for it's first official year with films like Roma, Green Book, Boy Erased and The Favourite. In fact, the films shown in the festival's first year went on to win 7 Oscars (including Best Picture) and numerous other industry awards. In 2018, I quite clearly stated that Film Fest 919 sets the bar for film festivals. The 2019 edition of Film Fest 919 continues that remarkable streak and cements that status.
In its second year, Film Fest 919, held at the luxurious Silverspot Cinemas in Chapel Hill North Carolina, once again proves that their motto is at the heart and soul of their film festival: "Catch the films before they catch on!" That's exactly what Film Fest 919 allows industry insiders and the general public to do. Proving that it wasn't a fluke, the organizers, co-founders Carol Marshall and Randi Emerman, along with programming director Claudia Puig, put together another incredible lineup of films that we'll all be talking about when awards season rolls around.
Opening with Marriage Story, the sold out crowd went on a roller coaster of emotions as a beautifully broken story of the birth and death of a marriage played out before our eyes. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson give career best performances in this piece that is sure to earn them both Oscar noms. This excellent film certainly set the standard for year 2 of the festival.
Among the other films screening at Film Fest 919 this year included By The Grace of God, Clemency, Ford V Ferrari, JoJo Rabbit, The Kill Team, The King, Pain and Glory, Parasite, The Report and nearly 35 other films that will be filling out the list of your Best of 2019 ballots.
In Film Fest 919's 2nd year, they have expanded their partnership with UNC Chapel HIll to offer a master class of sorts to interested students. The program, Offscreen: Interactive Student Symposium, gives students a chance to work directly with the festival organizers and offers special opportunities to meet with some of the filmmakers and industry professionals who attend the festival. This goes hand in hand with the festivals expanded workshops, meet and greets and panels that even the casual movie goer will love.
Co-Founder Carol Marshall told me at the launch event that Film Fest 919 aims to be "the festival with heart". With their thoughtfulness for the festival goer, their choices in the films themselves, the beautiful venue and their clear fondness for the gorgeous Chapel Hill, North Carolina backdrop, I say it's mission: accomplished.
Get more information on Film Fest 919 including the 2020 dates on their website.