02/24/13 — Enthusiasts turn out for Praxis Film Festival

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Enthusiasts turn out for Praxis Film Festival

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 24, 2013 1:50 AM

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A moviegoer enters Moffatt Auditorium to watch "Mr. and Mrs. Capulet," a film by Patrick Finan, a filmmaker now living in California but originally from Goldsboro, during the third annual Praxis Film Festival at Wayne Community College on Saturday. Today's first film starts at 2 p.m. at the auditorium.

TeShima Brennen was the child who would go to the library and come home with 10 books.

It was not unusual to get lost within their pages, she said.

"Stories have always been something that have been very important," she said. "Stories have always been a big part of my life. I would imagine them as if they were a movie."

She even began thinking that she might one day create stories of her own.

Now a senior majoring in communication media, she was part of a group of student filmmakers from N.C. State University participating in a panel discussion Saturday at the Praxis Film Festival at Wayne Community College.

Dwayne Martin, a second-year graduate student in NCSU's school of design, said he learned to tap into his imagination early on while growing up with a younger sister and few children in the neighborhood to play with.

"I think I got used to the idea of just making up stories on the spot," he said. "For years it was like a never-ending story, basically."

This was the third year for the festival, presented by the Foundation at WCC. Originally scheduled for last month, it was postponed because of inclement weather.

Organizers admitted they were disappointed at having to reschedule, but remain confident in the event and the possibility it will one day become a regional film festival.

"I think that a lot of people are interested," said Anita Croasman, director of programming.

A Facebook page for the event drew a strong response, she said, and when they were setting up on Friday night, several area residents stopped in to see if it was starting then.

The format changed slightly, she explained, having been held in previous years on Friday evening and all day Saturday. This year it was shifted to a Saturday/Sunday event, wrapping up later today.

Two films will be shown this afternoon, from 2 to 4 p.m. -- "Henley," from a New York filmmaker, and "Jimmy" by North Carolina filmmakers Mark Freiburger and Gary Wheeler, who has family ties to Goldsboro. The event is free. A reception will follow from 4 to 5 p.m.

On Saturday, the festival, which featured nearly two dozen films of varying lengths and genres, also offered an additional panel discussion, featuring student filmmakers from UNC-Wilmington.

"I think it's time for the community to see the quality of students that (North Carolina is) putting out. Not that we're a factory, but the skill, the creativity," Ms. Croasman said.

Jack Kannan, executive director of the Foundation, said the annual event is valuable for a number of reasons.

"The Foundation is about bringing culture to the community. This is one of many that we're bringing. If the community would embrace it, this could become very much a regional thing," he said. "We don't mind doing it. It's a lot of work. We just have to make sure the community reaches back and says, yes, we want more."

Michael Hoffman of Goldsboro said he was impressed with the variety of movies.

It was his second year attending the festival. He said last year, as part of a humanities class he was taking at the college, students were told they would receive extra credit if they went. So he turned out that Friday night.

"I loved it and I stayed for Saturday," he said. "They've got 20-some-odd films and they're just so different, so imaginative.

"You can go to the movie theater with your family, spend like $20, $30 and see a junk movie, but here in even a five-minute movie, it's just amazing."