Film, Fun, and Community!

A free-to-attend festival that highlights the best of independent film in a place that strives to tell the stories that connect us all—this is Longleaf, where we believe that making films is making history. Our weekend festival screens films that demonstrate a Tar Heel State connection, through the people involved in making them, their filming location, or through their subject.

Longleaf Film Festival is sponsored and administered by the North Carolina Museum of History.


Here’s the start of our 2024 wrap!

You all know how challenging it is to “wrap” a film. And so, it is, each year, with Longleaf Film Festival.

Year 10 of Longleaf saw attendance grow to roughly 1,600 attendees, from around 1,000 in 2023. We screened 71 films this year; 30 of them, premieres of some sort. At the awards presentation, 22 films were recognized, including these top prize recipients:

  • African American Cultural Celebration Prize: Frederick DeShon Murphy and Kimberly Knight, Duality: A Collection of Afro Indigenous Perspectives
  • American Indian Heritage Celebration Prize: Montana Cypress, Lumbeeland
  • Latin American Communities Prize: Ana Carolina Hoppert Flores and Layla Peykamian, Abuela
  • Best Student Film: Lauren E. Johnson, Running to Remember
  • Judges’ Choice/Documentary Film: Brad Herring and Adé Carrena, Bite of Bénin
  • Judges’ Choice/Narrative Film: Shaun Dozier, The Problem of the Hero

In addition, we celebrated, yet again, one of the best parts of Longleaf: the re-gathering and new growth of its festival community—filmmaker friends from years past alongside new filmmaker friends who already feel like friends of old. We’ll have other review and summary information about 2024 coming to our history section soon!

Now for the wrap of a decade

The folks who make Longleaf happen are employees of the North Carolina Museum of History—members of the museum’s interpretation staff with support from, well, just about everyone over the last 12 years: people from design, marketing, graphics and editorial, administration, collections and curation, the museum shop, and security—and volunteers. But our main work concerns finding ways to present history through exhibits, online materials, tours, and other access points so its message is comprehensive, relatable, tangible, and engaging.

As many of you have learned, the North Carolina Museum of History, our home base, will be closing in October 2024 for a renovation and, clearly, all of us will be working to make the “new” museum as excellent as possible. In the meantime, we will also be packing up 30 years of “stuff,” transitioning it to storage, moving ourselves to temporary work spaces, then unpacking some of the stuff and getting back to work. Plus, I’m sure you know, the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution is around the corner, and we are continuing to work on many aspects of commemoration related to that transformative period.

All this is to say: as we take on those new, exciting (and additional) projects, we are having to learn to also let go and recognize a truth—that, as challenging as it is to put on a film festival in our own building, it would be that much more difficult to do it somewhere else, especially while also carrying on our history-related work.

So, to really wrap up . . . we have decided that this year’s festival, our 10th celebration, will be the last Longleaf Film Festival—at least, for the foreseeable future. In making that announcement, I rest comfortably on how we’ve demonstrated that making films is making history. With profound gratitude, for the 647 films shared and the dozens of connections forged, all of which endure, please know that we believe in you, all of you, and we continue to be your biggest fans. We are excited for all you are going to create and be.

Thank you for sharing your work, for your support, and for your belief in Longleaf over the years. Keep creating! We will be, too.

Sally Causey Bloom, Director, Longleaf Film Festival