An Appalachian Summer Festival’s Nancy Tafeen Global Film Series Presents Universal Stories “Through a Female Lens”
BOONE, NC — Seeking to broaden perspectives, celebrate diversity and explore the world at large, An Appalachian Summer Festival’s Nancy Tafeen Global Film Series showcases award-winning and critically acclaimed international films. This year’s four-film collection hails from France, Armenia, Spain, and Finland. United by the theme “Through a Female Lens,” the movies are helmed by women who shepherd their respective narratives with a distinct yet universal perspective. Films include a tender tale about a couple in a loving yet complex marriage (The Blue Caftan), an exquisitely animated testament to a real-life genocide survivor (Aurora’s Sunrise), a naturalistic drama about a divided family fighting for its future (Alcarràs), and a breezy dramedy about three young women chasing romantic awakenings (Girl Picture). Screenings will be held at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on June 27, July 11, 18 and 25 at 7pm.
“Throughout the world, the male-dominated field of film directing is slowly changing,” says this year’s film curator, Dale Pollock, on what drew him to select this particular slate of films. “Women are writing, directing and producing more films than ever before. Our series will highlight four outstanding examples of a feminine perspective being brought to cinematic storytelling.” Pollock is a renowned film critic, movie producer and film professor who served as Dean of the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he is now an emeritus professor. He is a member of the Motion Picture Academy and sits on the Academy Awards nominating committee for international films.
The Nancy Tafeen Global Film Series is part of the An Appalachian Summer Festival’s five-week whirlwind of music, dance, theatre, film and visual arts. The annual summer event, now in its 39th season, takes place June 24-July 29 on and around the campus of Appalachian State University. Tickets for films are $10 per person and can be purchased at AppSummer.org or by calling the Schaefer Center box office at 828-262-4046. Visit the website for the full festival lineup.
Each film features a brief pre-film introduction and a post-film moderated audience discussion with Dale Pollock.
JUNE 27 The Blue Caftan
Halim and Mina run a traditional caftan store in one of Morocco’s oldest medinas. In order to keep up with the commands of the demanding customers, they hire Youssef. The talented apprentice shows an utmost dedication in learning the art of embroidery and tailoring from Halim. Slowly Mina realizes how much her husband is moved by the presence of the young man.
· In Arabic with English subtitles
· France/Morocco/Belgium/Denmark, unrated, directed by Maryam Touzani, 2022, drama, 124 minutes
JULY 11 Aurora’s Sunrise
Based on the true story of Aurora Mardiganian. At only 14 years old, Aurora lost everything during the horror of the Armenian genocide. Two years later, through luck and extraordinary courage, she escaped to New York, where her story became a media sensation. Starring as herself in Auction of Souls, an early Hollywood blockbuster, Aurora became the face of one of the largest charity campaigns in American history. With a blend of vivid animation, interviews with Aurora herself, and 18 minutes of surviving footage from her lost silent epic, Aurora's Sunrise revives a forgotten story of survival.
· In Armenian/English/Turkish/Kurdish/German with English subtitles
· Armenia/Germany/Lithuania, unrated, directed by Inna Sahakyan, 2022, documentary/animation, 96 minutes
JULY 20 Alcarràs
In the small village of Alcarràs in Catalonia, the peach farmers of the Solé family spend every summer together picking fruit from their orchard. But when new plans arise to install solar panels and cut down trees, the members of this tight-knit group suddenly face eviction — and the loss of far more than their home. Winner of the Golden Bear at Berlinale, the sophomore film from Carla Simón (Summer 1993) is a sun-dappled, deeply moving ensemble portrait of the countryside and a community’s unbreakable bonds.
· In Catalan with English subtitles
· Spain/Italy, unrated, directed by Carla Simón, 2022, adventure, drama, 120 minutes
JULY 28 Girl Picture
Best friends Mimmi and Rönkkö have each other’s backs, always. They want to live adventurous lives, loaded with experiences and passion. Emma, on the contrary, has given her whole life to figure skating. Nothing gets between her and success. But when the girls meet, life opens new paths, and they all rocket in new directions. While Mimmi and Emma experience the earth-moving effects of first love, Rönkkö is on a quest to find pleasure.
· In Finnish/French with English subtitles
· Finland, unrated, directed by Alli Haapasalo, 2022, romance, 100 minutes
About Dale Pollock, curator for the Nancy Tafeen Global Film Series
Dale M. Pollock, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, received a BA in Anthropology from Brandeis University in 1972 and a MS in Communications from San Jose State University. In 1977, he became the head film critic for Daily Variety until he was hired by the Los Angeles Times to be their chief entertainment correspondent. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in the early 1980s and wrote Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas in 1983, which has sold more than 150,000 copies and remains in print. In 1985, Pollock joined David Geffen’s company as a development executive, where he discovered the scripts for Beetlejuice, The Burbs and Universal Soldier. He joined A&M Films as vice president in charge of production, and was named president in 1990, producing such films as The Beast, The Mighty Quinn, A Midnight Clear and Mrs. Winterbourne. Pollock ran his own film company, Peak Productions, for 10 years, producing the box office hit Set It Off. He co-founded the producing program at the American Film Institute in 1995. In 1999, he became Dean of the School of Filmmaking at the (then) North Carolina School of the Arts, stepping down in 2006 to become Professor of Cinema Studies. He was awarded Emeritus status in 2019 and served as Interim Dean for nine months in 2021. Pollock was awarded an Endowed Professorship in Film in his name at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts School of Filmmaking in 2014 and is the 2016 recipient of the UNC Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence. He also received the 2020 Arts Council of Winston Salem’s Annual Award, its highest honor. Pollock's first work of fiction, Chopped: A Novel, was published in March 2023, and is available on Amazon and at bookstores everywhere.
Tickets Call 828-262-4046, visit in person at 733 Rivers St., Boone, or buy online at AppSummer.org.
About An Appalachian Summer Festival:
Presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, this annual celebration of the performing and visual arts is held every July in venues across the university campus, and features an eclectic, diverse mix of music, dance, theater, visual arts and film programming. An Appalachian Summer Festival began in 1984 as a chamber music series, and retains strong roots in classical music, combined with a variety of other programming geared to almost every artistic taste and preference. With an audience of 28,000, the festival has been named one of the “Top Twenty Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society in recent years.
Bonnie and Jamie Schaefer, Appalachian Home Care LLC, Explore Boone, Goodnight Brothers, Mast General Store, PEAK Insurance Group/Chuck & Anna Eyler, SkyBest Communications, University Bookstore, Ashemont Title, Creekside Electronics, Peabody’s Wine & Beer Merchants, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Chetola Resort & Spa, Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton Inn & Suites, and Holiday Inn Express-Boone
WBTV, WCYB, PBS North Carolina, Our State Magazine, Creative Loafing Charlotte, Yes! Weekly, Winston-Salem Journal, Greensboro News & Record, WNC Magazine, The Mountain Times, Watauga Democrat, High Country Radio, WHKY 1290AM and 102.3FM, WDAV 89.9FM, WFDD 88.5FM, WASU 90.5FM, and WKSK The Farm
The Local, Lost Province, Pepper’s, Red Onion, and Timberlake’s Restaurant