Film Fest 919 will feature a variety of films for its fifth installment

The popcorn machines are popping and the film projectors are ready for battle – Film Fest 919 will once again welcome people to Silverspot and Lumina cinemas for its fifth edition.

Kicking off this year’s festival is a private screening of director JD Dillard’s “Devotion,” based on Adam Makos’ bestseller of the same name.

“Devotion” premieres Wednesday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m., just over a month ahead of its official November 23 premiere date.

The film, which is about US Navy airmen serving in the Korean War, stars Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell as Navy fighter pilots.

“It’s definitely a movie that means a lot to me right now,” said Dominic Ferrara, a former intern returning as a volunteer this year. “You’ve got JD Dillard, who’s going to attend the opening night screening and is receiving the Horizon Award, (and who) is a really exciting young filmmaker.”

The Horizon Award, according to Film Fest 919 co-founders Randi Emerman and Carol Marshall, is given to directors who have demonstrated excellence in their craft or personal breakthrough in their individual work.

In addition to Dillard accepting the honor, he plans to join the audience for a moderated discussion at the Silverspot Cinema at University Place. Screenings will also take place at the Lumina Theater.

Before starting the project in Chapel Hill, co-founders Marshall and Emerman had worked together on the Palm Beach International Film Festival, Marshall said.

After Emerman moved to the area and opened the Silverspot Cinema in Chapel Hill, the two came up with the idea of ​​introducing their own film festival to the area.

“We wanted to preserve the indoor experience. You know, none of these movies play quite the same as they did on the big screen. And that’s what we’re trying to help support,” Marshall said.

Closing the festival is Rian Johnson’s film “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” a sequel to the tongue-in-cheek 2019 mystery film “Knives Out,” on Sunday, October 23 at 7 p.m. The film festival includes foreign films, major feature films and independent films. It will also be the first year that the Film Fest also organizes documentary screenings, Ferrara added.

Overall, this year’s lineup represents films from 13 different countries, according to the Film Fest website 919.

Film Fest 919 has a history of showing films that are then considered for award nominations, according to Ferrara.

From 2018 to 2020, Film Fest 919 features the best Oscar winner each year ahead of awards season, Ferrara said.

He said he thinks a few titles from this year’s festival have a chance to be considered for a Best Picture nomination this year, including “Women Talking,” “Empire of Light” and “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

“It’s just shocking that I basically have to go to Cannes or Telluride or, you know, some of these big metropolitan (areas) to get the same programming that I get here in the Triangle,” Jennifer Patterson, sponsor longtime 919 Film Fest attendee, said.

Patterson said she learned about Film Fest through her film-working family and had been a patron for four years.

Tickets went on sale Tuesday, October 11, and options include individual tickets for each film as well as different festival-wide packages.

@DTHCityState | [email protected]

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