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Eighteenth annual UNCW Reel Teal Film Festival

Directors in Q&A session. (Samantha Hill/The Seahawk)

Film enthusiasts, creators and students gathered in Lumina Theater on March 16 to view the final selected films for viewing and judging at UNCW’s annual Reel Teal Film Festival. Flicker Film Society hosts the event to celebrate creativity and work of students and the local community.

Zach Miller, officer and equipment manager for Flicker Film Society, opened the festival by thanking everyone for coming and supporting the creators of these films.

Narrative Shorts

“Forbidden Fruit,” directed by Isaiah Alexander Forte-Rose, follows a Black 11-year-old who lives his life in rural poverty while his mother works long hours. The film depicts the innocence of being a child but also acknowledging the hardships from his current living situation.

“FRAME-UP,” directed by Dustin Abernathy, is about two actors who use their personal relationship problems to end things between one another on one stage. This comedy sketch was filmed in one shot that depicted the behind the scenes of being on set as a director, staff and actors.

“Julie,” directed by Anabelle Corneau, is about Alfred, a helpless romantic who buys a fish to get over his ex-girlfriend and join him on adventures. The film follows the lighthearted journey of Alfred and his fish until he is caught vandalizing. He is sentenced to jail where he finds his ex-girlfriend to be in the cell across from him.

“Kappa Alpha Kill,” directed by Santi Salas, is about a sorority pledge gone wrong. Neve tries to escape the demonic Greek life as she finds herself to be the next virgin sacrifice. A party is thrown to honor the tradition of drinking pigs blood to pass all of their exams. To finish the tradition, a virgin sacrifice was needed but was not fulfilled making all of the Greek life students fail their finals.

During the question and answer session, an audience member asked about their inspiration for their film.

“We had quite a few,” said Allie Welborn, co-writer and first assistant director for “Kappa Alpha Kill.” “First ones [films] that come to the top of my head are Scream Queens and Bodies Bodies Bodies.”

“Pickles by Elenore,” directed by Priya Aracely, tells the story of a girl who finds her perfect love only for a twist that is gut wrenching. The lead character goes on multiple dates to finally find the love that she has been waiting for only for her to murder the love she had found.

Documentary Shorts

“13,” directed by Mason Brown, follows the historic season of men’s basketball players and coaches with the longest winning streak. Interviews, game play footage and behind the scenes shots all compile the highlights of The Seahawks historical winning streak.

“Black Care,” directed by John Joseph Monaco, shows the life and behind the scenes of Smitty’s Barber Shop. The film shows footage of different men getting their haircut at Smitty’s Barber Shop with a voice over of an interview about the history and inspiration of the shop.

“Cremains Unknown,” directed by Jake Dagel, is the documentary of Dannielle McCarthy who lost her husband who was a former U.S. veteran in 2017. His body was brought to Sunset Mesa in Montrose, Colo. Later, she was informed by the FBI of her husband’s human remains being sold without her consent. McCarthy later learned that this was legal in that state.

“Movie That’ll Make Mom Cry,” directed by Alexis S. Johnson, is an experimental home documentary of her family between trips to Ukraine in 2004 and 2017. Johnson includes attributes of love, family and her beloved late grandfather.

Experimental Shorts

“Icolette,” directed by Sophia Wolfe and Chistopher Powers, is a multimedia film that mirrors natural systems and cycles. The film follows a young girl who is determined to collect the skin of a fish. However, the fish fights for its life once caught.

“Incident 4,” directed by Zac Ivey, is an experimental analogue horror short film that is about an incident that happened. This documentary, found footage style of film creates an eerie but suspenseful setting while never seeing the unknown creature that is captured in “Incident 4.”

“Learn to Forgive,” directed by Christopher Austein Wetherell, tells the story of a young man in an attempt to accept where he is from and who he is. Wetherell created this music and visuals that paired with the message he was trying to convey.

“This film is proving to myself that I’m not giving up on myself,” said Wetherell. “I want people to know how my brain works and what comes into my brain.”

“Merge,” directed by Vanessa Anzola, shows the life between two cities with two different lifestyles and merges them together.

In a question and answer session, Anzola said her inspiration for her film is finding similarities between home Columbia and Charlotte, N.C.

“The start was an assignment for a class,” said Anzola. “I took the concept of a green screen and used it as my focal point but took it to another level.”

“Messy,” directed by Annamarie Geosists and Oliva Tyler, shows how messy life can be. The video shows how their relationship unravels under the pressures of making a film. The film is formatted almost as if you are looking through a scrapbook with the realities of growing up in your early twenties.

Tyler speaks about how the script of their short film was half scripted, and half real. She also added how improvising helped but some of the arguments were real.

Music Videos

Music videos were shown at the festival to show the creative side of the film industry when paired with music. The music videos shown were “covered in blue,” directed by Julia Louise Biller, “Jozie Haze – Shackles,” directed by Brain Rachal, “Most Unfortunate,” directed by Charles Leith and “Wait 4 Me,” directed by Bailey Warner.

Animated Short Films

“1492,” directed by Luke Fatora and Sophie Davis, is a stop-motion short about the environmental impacts of colonialism, consumerism and capitalism. The use of everyday products, like paper clips and paper, show the message of the impacts of wealth, colonizing and destruction.

“Allegheny Tapes: 1995,” directed by Mira Taliaferro, depicts the drawing of found footage from the mystery of Allegheny. The art style resembled charcoal sketches stitched together to create the visual that followed the lost audio file.

“Cybercity,” directed by Janelle Feng, tells the story of a woman who suffers from being alone and is sucked into the cyber world by a strange girl. The woman spends her time scrolling through her phone to be sucked into another dimension where she meets a little girl. Her and the little girl enjoy activities together, like baking and puzzles, for her to only be snapped back into reality due to her 30 day trial being up in the cyber world.

“Forget Me Not,” directed by Denver Colorado and Xime Garcia, tells the story of a girl, Ophelia, who wanders into a magical garden after not feeling wanted by her family. Ophelia’s father warns her that bad children run away and get lost after seeing a missing person flier of a little boy. Ophelia does not feel loved and ventures too far to be sucked into a world that will permanently keep her there. She manages to escape after finding the boy that was on a flier and she is reunited with her father again.

“Kiki’s Escapade,” directed by Olivia Grace Williams, is a mixed media stop motion film that follows a cat through their adventures and finding their secret abilities.


Best Narrative: “FRAME-UP” directed by Dustin Abernathy

Best Documentary: “Cremains Unknown” directed by Jake Dagel

Best Experimental: “Messy” directed by Annamarie Geostis, Olivia Tyler

Best Music Video: “Wait 4 Me” directed by Bailey Warner

Best Animation: “Forget Me Not” directed by Denver Colorado , Xime Garcia

Overall Audience Choice: “Messy” directed by Annamarie Geostis, Olivia Tyler

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