“It’s a way to bring everybody together in an entertaining, yet educational and cultural way,” Emerman said.
Entries are to be posted to personal social media pages with the tag #FF919. They will be accepted through May 15.
“We want people to do something creative, fun, enjoyable and meet new people through social media who post on our platforms,” Emerman said. “We will bring some of that into the festival when the time comes in some creative form to highlight what people sent in.”
The top 10 entries with the most likes, shares and comments will be showcased during this year’s annual Film Fest 919 that is set to take place Oct. 14 to 18, 2020.
“Hopefully everything will be wonderful and we’ll just keep on as normal,” Emerman said. “I can tell you that whatever we do, it'll have the same heart and soul.”
When Emerman and Marshall first began to plot the creation of a new film festival, they quickly thought of the Chapel Hill area.
“We were looking around for places to go and we wanted a place that's educated, where people have a zest for the arts,” Emerman said. “We love working with students, so we looked around at places and we found Chapel Hill, N.C.”
Emerman said Chapel Hill didn't have a theater venue with the technology needed to show the movies so they put it on the backburner until Emerman met the founders of Silverspot Cinema.
“The guys at Silverspot were very much into creative programming and very much wanted to support local festivals,” Emerman said. “The stars kind of aligned.”
Carol Marshall said she and Emerman have worked together in the film festival background for over 20 years and are approaching their third year as Film Fest 919 founders.
“The last two years, we’ve been so fortunate to pick films that have gone on to win awards. The community felt like they were a part of that journey, and they were,” Marshall said.
To continue that community feeling, Film Fest 919 will be holding a Virtual Film Series with live Q&As featuring the filmmakers and film experts.
“Everybody's doing their bingeing and grappling with trying to be productive and a lot of people still have to work,” Marshall said. “We just decided that we wanted to be engaged with our community and assure them that the film festival is not going away because of this.”
Three films will be featured in the series. Participants are to register for a free Zoom session and watch the film on their own, prior to the date of their Q&A.
“I’m hoping that things will change with this virus going around but I think the film-going experience is going to have to evolve with it,” Marshall said. “The bottom line is people yearn for film, they yearn for entertainment.”