Carolinian – Campus News
Issue: 2/17/03

Carolina Film Festival kicks off this week at UNCG
By Jaimie Parker & Valerie Marino

The UNCG Carolina Film and Video Festival will kick off this Wednesday, February 19, and will conclude Saturday, February 22 with a Winners’ Night at the historic Carolina Theatre in downtown Greensboro. Sponsored by UNCG’s Department of Broadcasting and Cinema, the festival is in its 26th year at UNCG and reigns as the longest running film festival in the Carolinas.

Evolving from a one-day cultural event to a four-day creative affair, the festival provides forums, lectures and screenings for students, community members, as well as aspiring independent and student filmmakers to attend.

“The art of film is alive and growing at UNCG,” said festival co-founder Herbert Gambill, Jr.

Since 1978, the UNCG CFVF asked members from the filmmaking industry to share their experiences with the festival’s audience, most often as a judge or as a guest speaker. Over the years, the UNCG CFVF faced many budget challenges, especially through the festivals in the 1970s because the main sources of funding for the festival’s well ran dry. The UNCG CFVF bounced back through the 1980s and made leaps and bounds in the 1990s.

Of the 1997 festival, film judge Steve Halpert said, “The quality and variety of the works screened at this festival was incredible. The first night I kept thinking, “This must be the winner.” Then as the nights went on, I realized what a great collection of work we had here.”

According to the history of the UNCG CFVF, 1995’s festival has yet to be surpassed. Over 302 films were submitted to the festival, 48 of which were competitively screened. Over 1,000 people attended the workshops and screenings that year. For the 2003 festival, a panel of student judges screened 147 films, 27 of which will be screened competitively during this week’s events.

Unlike years past, the 2003 UNCG CFVF will focus on the convergence of visual artists and filmmakers in the medium of the Internet. With speakers like Zachary Booth Simpson, an internationally known interactive web video artist and this year’s keynote speaker, the festival is expanding to keep up with the new innovations and provide students and all those who attend with new creative and cultural possibilities.

This year’s panel of judges consists of Brenda Lilly, Marian Keane and Leslie Hill. Lilly, a UNCG alumna, is most recognized for her work at the co-creator, co-writer and executive producer of “State of Grace,” which aired on the Fox Family Channel. Keane, who co-authored “Reading Cavell’s The World Viewed: A Philosophical Perspective on Film” with William Rothman, is currently writing about films by Robert Altman (director, “Gosford Park”) and Frederick Wiseman (director, “High School”). Hill is possibly best known as the director of primetime shows “LA Law” and “Rescue 911,” and has over 20 years of award-winning experience in producing, writing and directing television.

Former UNCG student and current film professor at Ithaca University, David Gatten, once said of the festival, “CFVF [was] such a critical part of my time at UNCG; the festival world remained central in my film practice ever since.”

“Our students have done very well,” said Broadcasting and Cinema department head Dr. John Lee Jellicorse. “[The festival] gives them an opportunity to see the best that’s being done by other students and around the world.”

For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit