Film Fest a Success

Award winners: Rebecca Bradely, [far right] USA rep for producer Pierre Gaffie JD Mayo, [3rd from left] Rodney T. Moore [4th from left], Gauri Singh [ 6th from left] Pamela Andrejev, FCAC coordinator [7th from left] and the cast and crew of movie Our War and holding their awards.
Award winners: Rebecca Bradely, [far right] USA rep for producer Pierre Gaffie JD Mayo, [3rd from left] Rodney T. Moore [4th from left], Gauri Singh [ 6th from left] Pamela Andrejev, FCAC coordinator [7th from left] and the cast and crew of movie Our War and holding their awards.

By Donna Campbell Smith, Franklin County Arts Council

The Franklin County Third Annual Film Festival, sponsored by Franklin County Arts Council and Franklin County North Carolina International Film Festival (NCISAFF) was another hit with a full house attending at the UpFront Gallery in Franklinton NC for a day of film screenings.

Gauri Singh, founder of the Franklin County International Film Festival said,

“The 2017 FCIFF brought forth a culture of “Beyond Diversity Through Film” where people of multiethnic background came together, enjoyed and discussed diverse perspectives, work experiences, life styles and cultures through and about films.  The presence of filmmakers added wealth of knowledge and helped constructive discussions about each film in a setting of comfort. The FCIFF Festival focuses on building genuine cross-race communication by learning about international topics rarely discussed and hardly ever addressed.”

Everyone had the opportunity to vote for their favorite films after the viewing. Audience Choice winner for best acting, best concept and best production was the film Determined.  The People’s Choice award for best film was Our War directed by JD Mayo, produced by Steven Hancock.

The Film Committee gave awards to the following:

  • Best Actor – Slavko Sorman in the film: Normal
  • Best Actress –  Kaman Amjadi  in the film: Autumn Leaves
  • Best Post Production Film –  Vick Krishna in the film: Moksha
  • Best Cinematography –  Sean Pollock, Zack Fox, and their cinematography team for the film Our War.
  • Best Concept to the film Dear New President
  • Best Direction to Pierre Gaffie for Dolphin Skin City and Assistant Directors Laurent Daure, Christophe Ribet.
  • Best Film – Best Before Ends directed by Nicolas Fogliarini
  • Best Producers – Eric Pellegrin, Remy Rebroullet, Nicolas Fogliarini
  • Best Screenplay –  Javad Daraei for the film I Don’t Like Here.

Pierre Gaffie was in Paris during the festival, but sent a message saying,

“Hello from Paris. The crew of ‘The Dolphin Skin City” is very proud to have won the Franklin County Film Festival for “best direction”. Our film has been shot on filmstock, not digital, so we made it the old way, as if a band were recording their new album on vinyl and not on MP3! I’ve tried to give the script a “universal” touch: according to me, the urban topics are the same everywhere, either you live in Bombay, Sydney, Paris or Raleigh. The human being is also an animal, and he needs space to be free. What I tried to express in “Dolphin Skin City”, apart from the love story, is that we need to live in cities, or villages, that are inventive and not destructive. I prefer to live in a city that never weeps than a city “that never sleeps” (a nod to “New York New York” here). Last, I’d like to say that this film is about love of the architecture and the architecture of love at the same time. How to combine our professional dreams and our personal life is, according to me, the most interesting challenge in our lives! Again, I thank the festival’s team for having selected our film, and having welcomed Rebecca Bradley, our USA’s ambassador! Long live the Franklin County Arts Council!”

JD Mayo from the film Our War said of the festival,

“Coming to the Franklin County International Film Festival was great. It was our third film festival to select our film Our War. Our second in North Carolina. We felt welcome right away. Staff members were very nice and supportive of our film. They love the local North Carolina. They had snacks, drinks and pizza catered. [It was] a small venue but great atmosphere, good people and a great historic part of town to have it. I am glad some of our crew and actors came to the festival to witness themselves on the big screen and experience it. They had a great time. The “Red Carpet” festivities were fun, too!”

Crew and actors when also attended were Sean Pollock, director of photography, actor Mike Burke and his son Patrick Burke and his daughter Amanda Burke and Michelle Benson, all from Greensboro NC.

Rodney Moore, writer and director of the film Determined attended the festival from Connecticut. He said,

“The Franklin County NC Film Festival is a must for any new film maker. The networking alone gave me that motivating feeling, the other film makers were encouraging of each other’s project, and the festival staff was warm & charming. As a film maker I plan on submitting my next project to the festival; if you’re a film maker I encourage you to try the festival. It’s only going to get bigger and better.”

More information on this annual film festival may be found at

For more information on the Franklin County Arts Council, visit

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About Donna Campbell Smith 78 Articles
Donna Campbell Smith, an author based in Franklinton NC, worked in the horse industry for over thirty years as an instructor, trainer, breeder, and writer. She has an AAS Degree in Equine Technology from Martin Community College and is a certified riding instructor. Smith has written four non-fiction books on equine management: The Book of Donkeys, (The Lyons Press 2016) The Book of Miniature Horses (The Lyons Press 2005), The Book of Draft Horses (The Lyons Press 2007), and The Book of Mules (The Lyons Press 2009). All her books are available at or ask for them at a bookstore near you. Donna is a member of Franklin County Arts Council. Visit her website at