In 2017, year three, Longleaf received entries from eight countries and again accepted entries only through Film Freeway. New for this year: the festival increased its number of workshops, and added an off-site Wrap Party (cosponsored by Oak & Dagger Public House in Seaboard Station). A total of 60 films were shown on three screens at the museum in 12 film blocks.
The afternoon of Friday, May 12, began with the first of four free workshops, "AV Geeks: From the Dumpster to Your Film in Three EZ Steps!" with Skip Elsheimer. That session was followed by two well-attended film blocks in Daniels Auditorium. The evening ended with Longleaf's third annual opening-night reception for filmmakers and invited guests sponsored by the North Carolina Museum of History Associates.
Saturday, May 13, included the following free workshops:
- "Directing for the Actor/Acting for the Director" with Estes Tarver,
- a lunch-n-learn panel, "Getting to Distribution" with featured guests Thomas Varnum and Ted Roach, and
- "So You Want to Make a Movie" with Kim Best, Andrew Martin, and Vernon Rudolph.
Six more film blocks in the museum's education wing and four film blocks in Daniels Auditorium completed screenings for the day. Longleaf 2017 wrapped up with Steve Neilson, of Dagtype Films and a member of our Longleaf Advisory Board, hosting the annual awards ceremony. There, 47 films were recognized for having Tar Heel Tie-Ins and 15 other prizes were awarded.
Judges for 2017 included three-time judges Craig Lindsey and Marsha Gordon and two-time judge Noel Manning. New for Longleaf 2017 were Jill Boinske, Marcianne Miller, Paolo Tosini, and Lawrence Toppman.
We very much appreciate two lifetime sponsors: the North Carolina Museum of History Associates and the TriFilm Society. Second-year sponsor, J. A. Steel and Warrior Entertainment, also helped support the event, alongside new sponsors Asbury Shorts Film Concert, Dagtype Films, and the Cary Theater.
During the free festival, more than 900 people attended, most enjoying a continuous supply of free popcorn. And, because we are history buffs, for the record we joined Twitter this year, which averaged 14.5k impressions weekly and at festival time had 395 followers. Social audiences also continued to support the festival on Facebook, with a weekly average reach of 1.3k—and, we started the year with 326 followers but ended with 563—and on Instagram, where we posted 204 images for 278 followers.