“We are just trying to find relatable characters and interesting stories set against unique backdrops we have not personally seen in films," he said. "After a bit of research back in 2011, I discovered this 'hidden homeless' situation was nothing new and was happening all across the U.S., but the fact that these kids were growing up right in the shadow of 'The Most Magical Place On Earth,' it tugged on my heartstrings. I immediately reached out to Sean.”
The festival’s founders, Randi Emerman and Carol Marshall, previously worked together at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. The two have spent much of their careers working to bring appreciation for independent cinema, and felt that Chapel Hill was the perfect location to do so.
“This area is so culturally aware and looking for the finer things, (so) we’re looking to bring filmmakers in because that’s where you have the great intelligent conversations and learn about filmmaking and learn about the process,” Emerman said. “We decided to start with this launch event because we felt it would be a great way to kick (Film Fest 919) off to the local communities, as well as the industry as a whole.”
Additionally, the event will feature a Q&A with Bergoch. Puig said it will be an integral part of the experience, and exemplifies why the event will be essential for film fans.
“I think it’s important to have the filmmakers there for Q&As, to discuss their films, to take questions from the audience, to have that interactive experience. Because, you can go to the movies and just see a movie and talk about it with your friends, but to have the filmmaker there talking about his vision, his intent, and then to take questions from the audience, I think is really important,” she said.
For those interested in going to the event, there are three ticket options: VIP tickets give attendees access to a pre-screening cocktail reception and the Q&A for $50. Premium tickets are $35 and will give access to the Q&A. General admission is $25 for those that only want to see the screening, as well as the post-screening party that is available to all.
All options, however, will offer a rewarding experience, said Bergoch.
“It’s a special place to create an event atmosphere for a film, meet new friends, as well as a place where future collaborations can be born," he said. "But, most importantly, it’s home to the very special moment where we set our ideas free into the world and let the very first audiences experience our story — no trailer, no poster. It’s the most pure form of moviegoing, and it’s the reason why, to me, film festivals are magic.”