Lake Norman & Mooresville

Full Bloom Film Festival debuts Sept. 24-26 in Statesville

Sept. 24-26 marks Statesville’s inaugural Full Bloom Film Festival, part of the city’s efforts to become a location for arts and culture.

The festival will feature films from 18 countries, including Canada, Iran, Pakistan, India, Poland, Spain, Colombia, Australia, Argentina, China, Sweden, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Singapore and the U.S., including work from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Twenty-five screenings will be held that Friday through Sunday in Statesville at Mitchell Community College’s Shearer Hall, at the Iredell Arts Council and at New South Gallery. Those with VIP tickets will also have access to a special screening Thursday evening. Concessions will be available at each screening.

The film festival is a result of the collaborated efforts of the City of Statesville, the Statesville Chamber of Commerce, the Iredell Arts Council, Iredell-Statesville Schools, Mitchell Community College and Statesville Recreation & Parks Department.

“We think the Full Bloom Film festival is a great example of what a great, creative and active community Statesville is becoming. Having a strong cultural arts scene is vital to attracting people to come live in your community,” said John Koppelmeyer, chairman of the board of the Iredell Arts Council and president and CEO of Children’s Hope Alliance in Barium Springs.

The event was named the Full Bloom Film Festival in reference to the City of Statesville’s logo, which features a blooming flower.

“It also reflects our desire to create a film festival that is bringing in films that are diverse and coming from across the world. And, finally, ‘Full Bloom’ is representing the blossoming downtown community that we are building in Statesville,” said Koppelmeyer.

The festival will feature two world premieres: “The Journey Within,” a documentary about efforts in Pakistan to reclaim its musical heritage in the post- 9/11 world, and “Time Simply Passes,” a documentary that examines the justice system through the story of an American man who spent 21 years in prison for a wrongful murder conviction. The makers of both documentaries will attend the festival.

Full Bloom organizers also are planning a series of panel discussions throughout the weekend that include directors and other film-industry professionals.

Five categories of films will be judged at the festival, including feature-length films, feature-length documentaries, narrative shorts, documentary shorts and animated films. Three sessions of kid-friendly films will also be shown.

Independent film company Drafthouse will screen several curated feature films, which will each be shown once, ranging from French romantic comedy “Mood Indigo” starring Audrey Tautou (of “Amelie”) to the Ukrainian gang drama “The Tribe.”

A wide variety of cinematic tastes and styles will be offered to cater to “anyone who loves films,” said Koppelmeyer, especially those who “love watching films that you can’t normally see,” whether with more traditional or more eclectic themes.

“We wanted to create an event that would be creative, fun and bring people to our downtown. A number of the people involved (in organizing it) have been to different film festivals and we all felt this would be a great vehicle to accomplish our goal,” said Koppelmeyer.

“We know that having an active cultural arts component to our community is key in keeping our town vital and alive.”

Marjorie Dana is a freelance writer:

Want to go?

The Full Bloom Film Festival will be held in downtown Statesville Sept. 24-26. Tickets: $50 for access to the entire weekend; $30 for day passes; $10 for session tickets. Session tickets are only available online. VIP tickets: $75 for the entire event, $130 per couple. For tickets, film information or schedule of films and events: