Cat Fly Film Fest returns to Asheville for its 5th annual festival August 26-29, making a toast to the end of summer. The four-day event will include more than 25 short films, one feature film spotlight as well as educational components, social mixers and multimedia collaborations by local and regional filmmakers and performers of the southeast.
Returning from last year’s pivot to livestream format, the festival will take place in many physical locations across Asheville including Fleetwoods Chapel, the Orange Peel, Grail Moviehouse the Asheville School of Film and a surprise venue TBA.
“We’re thrilled to expand the festival as we enter into our 5th year of Cat Fly; it’s a huge milestone for us,” says Madeleine Richardson, creative director and co-founder. This will be the first year Cat Fly spans across four days, exceeding it’s typical weekend-only format. “We absolutely could not do this without the incredible arts community here in Asheville supporting us.”
Another new element is the inclusion of a BYOF (bring your own film) event at Fleetwoods Chapel. Much like an open mic, this allows anyone with a thumb drive to walk up and screen at the festival. BYOF opens the festival up beyond the curated film lineup to increase participation within the community. This event will be first come, first serve and films must be seven minutes or less.
“Cat Fly has grown so much since we first started,” says Brittany Jackson, programming director and co-founder. “Over the last five years, it’s been incredible to see the professional connections made at Cat Fly events bloom into collaborative projects and foster a greater sense of community.”
Friday will include two deep dive workshops early in the day on special topics specific to the film industry through the lens of Work in Progress feature films Whistle Down Wind and E is For followed by the opening reception at Jargon in West Asheville. The evening screening on Friday will incorporate traditional narratives and documentary films of the highest production value.
Saturday’s programming incorporates a low-budget monster special effects class taught by Gillybear Films from Wilmington, NC, and a rooftop pool party at Aloft Air Level. The Community Night screening will take place at the Orange Peel showcasing music videos, horror, experimental and genre-bending content and will be followed by a late-night dance party.
The festival concludes Sunday at Grail Moviehouse with the feature spotlight screening of Give and Take directed by Emmy nominated WCU professor Andrew Shear and shot on location in Asheville with a locally based cast and crew.
“We’ve taken the initiative to broaden the scope of our festival this year by screening films from all over the south east, and hosting a variety of really fantastic workshops,” says Rome Widenhouse, senior programmer. “This year’s selection will hopefully lead to some cross pollination between our regional filmmaking communities.”
A schedule of events, as well as single-day tickets and multi-day weekend passes, can be purchased at Cat Fly.