By Kay Whatley, Editor
The sixth annual Praxis Film Festival is in the works. Films submitted have been screened, and the organizers are preparing a slate of films. Viewers may purchase tickets now, and enjoy watching a variety of independent films during the first weekend in February 2016.
The Praxis Film Festival got its start in 2011 at Wayne Community College. Festival support comes from The Foundation of Wayne Community College. The festival grew, and in 2014 the Foundation partnered with Paramount Theatre Foundation.
According to Anita Croasmun, Founder and Director of Programming for Praxis Film Festival:
Praxis Film festival is committed to enhancing the Eastern North Carolina cultural landscape by bringing quality films to the community. Praxis Film Festival seeks to provide opportunities to encounter, through film, other countries, cultures, and life circumstance. Praxis recognizes that film can help us develop understanding, compassion, insights into human nature, and an appreciation for all that connects people to each other individually and to the larger community. Last, but not least, Praxis believes good films bring joy and entertainment. Praxis Film Festival screens films that contribute in some way to our commitment.
The 2016 schedule includes three award-winning films alongside several short films. The award winners are: Land and Shade, Ixcanul, and Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.
- Land and Shade (Colombia) — Winner 2015 Camera d’or at Cannes Film Festival. Land and Shade is about Alfonso, an old farmer who has returned home to tend to his son, who is gravely ill. He rediscovers his old house, where the woman who was once his wife still lives, with his daughter-in-law and grandson. The landscape that awaits him resembles a wasteland. Vast sugar cane plantations surround the house, producing perpetual clouds of ash. 17 years after abandoning them, Alfonso tries to fit back in and save his family.
- IXCANUL (Guatemala/France) — Winner of the 2015 Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin Film Festival, and Guatemalan entry in foreign films category of the Oscars. Ixcanul is a story about María, a young 17 year old Mayan girl, who lives and works with her parents on a coffee plantation on the foothills of an active volcano in Guatemala. An arranged marriage awaits her. Although Maria dreams of going to the “big city”, her condition as an indigenous woman does not permit her to change her destiny.
- Kahlil Gibron’s The Prophet (USA) — This breathtaking animated feature, produced and spearheaded by Salma Hayek, was an official selection at Cannes and made its North American premiere at Toronto International Film Festival. Set in a Mediterranean sea-side village, Kamila (Salma Hayek) cleans house for exiled artist and poet Mustafa (Liam Neeson), but the more difficult job is keeping her free-spirited young daughter, Almitra, (Quvenzhané Wallis) out of trouble.
The sixth annual Praxis Film Festival is scheduled for February 5-6, 2016, in Goldsboro NC. Film screening venues include the Moffatt Auditorium at Wayne Community College, located at 3000 Wayne Memorial Drive in Goldsboro NC, and the Paramount Theatre in downtown Goldsboro, located at 139 S Center Street in Goldsboro NC.
For 2016, an Audience Award Competition for Best Narrative Feature, Best Narrative Short, and Best Student Film has been added to the festival. Audience members will receive a ballot, and may participate in judging the films they have screened. The final film schedule will be released in the early part of January 2016.
For some screenings, the filmmakers attended the screenings and are available to answer audience questions about the making of their film. In previous years, student filmmakers, filmmakers from across NC, from Washington DC, New York, and Los Angeles CA attend Praxis. In 2015, the festival included its first international guest, who talk about his lead role in the film, Blackbird. For 2016, final confirmation of filmmakers slated to attend is currently pending, but will be announced in January.
Tickets will be available at the Paramount Theatre Box Office in Goldsboro, and over the phone at 919.583.8432. Praxis Film Festival tickets may also be purchased online via this link: Buy Tickets. In 2015, tickets were available either for one day or two, and prices ranged from $10 for a full day of films to $15 for two full days of films.
What is Praxis?
According to the festival website,
Praxis refers to practical application, and it is a term often paired in opposition to theory. Theory is an idea and praxis is about bringing the idea into reality. Praxis Film Festival celebrates filmmakers who bring ideas to life on the big screen.
In 2016, Praxis will celebrate 25 films from across the US and around the world.