The First Most Scariest Part

Official Selection laurel of Longleaf 2018, film festival of the North Carolina Museum of History


What is the most scariest part of hosting a film festival?  [Hint: It’s still not the zombie films.]  You’re about to find out . . .

I shared the second most daunting part of hosting a film festival last August, as we started planning for this year’s festival; but next week I’ll actually come face to face with the scariest—to me—aspect of the whole shebang: announcing Official Selections for the festival.

Of course we will be SUPER EXCITED to share the selection of amazing films that will screen at Longleaf 2018. We look forward to meeting all of you: the hardworking, passionate filmmakers whose works demonstrate unique points of view, technical excellence, outstanding storytelling skills, and enlightening insights. We are eager to promote your films to movie buffs and to folks new to indie film—watching your efforts captivate them is, to say the least, rewarding.

But, I will also know the films that are not selected. By this point in the year, I feel that I know each one of you—every person associated with every film . . . even those, for whatever reason, not chosen by our judges to screen this year.

And that sucks.

I am humbled by the effort, the time, and the creativity that gets put into each film. As someone who writes and produces films for our home base, I truly get how much work it is. Sometimes it reminds me of an extended “all-nighter” in college—where you come to believe, over the course of hours/days/weeks of no sleep and intense pressure—that what you’ve created is AMAZING. And it is, in a way, because:  You.  Did.  It.  You created. And sometimes, it is, indeed, amazing.

At Longleaf, our limitation for Official Selections and film screenings often comes down to time and space. We can only show so many films in the number of seconds, minutes, hours available on our three screens. Another complication is that the festival is open to so many types of films—narrative AND documentary, shorts AND features, animated films, now music videos, and, always, middle- and high-school student-made films—and they all deserve screen time.

So, to those who submitted to Longleaf and will be Official Selection films, congratulations! And, THANK YOU, for sharing your work with us. To those who submitted but will not be chosen as Official Selection films, thank you, sincerely, for sharing your work with us. Know that every film was watched—and that I am grateful  not to be a judge.

And, that is, to me, the First Most Scariest Part of running a film festival.


Longleaf 2018
May 11–12 at the North Carolina Museum of History.
Film, Fun, and Community.

Films and Popcorn!  Networking opportunities!  Awards and receptions!  And, our first outdoor screening: Movies-N-Moonlight