Beau Menetre, the 36-year-old entrepreneur behind one of North Carolina’s most aggressive film production initiatives, announced today the date of their next indie film screening. The red carpet gala event will be held at the historic Tryon Theatre in Tryon, N.C. on October 20. Menetre said that the Polk County Film Initiative (PCFI) is not releasing the name of the movie until a later date but he said that the title is said to be a category winner at Robert DeNiro’s, Tribeca Film Festival in NYC. The event will be the third screening following two highly successful premiers held during the year.
“This film is considered a deadpan comedy and one that we expect will solicit further interest in how comedy films are directed and produced. Further, we look forward to bringing the film’s producer, Frank Calo down from New York. An industry breakout session is planned for the film community on the very same day of the screening and we are inviting regional film makers, actors and others to attend and share their own war stories. The breakout concept will be a model for the many sessions we plan to present during the 2015 Tryon International Film Festival,” said Menetre.
Menetre said that Calo is a captivating personality with and flair of excitement for the movie business. “I just think that Calo is the real deal and that people will gain a lot of insight from him,” said Menetre. Frank Calo is an Independent Producer and Director whose past film THE BELIEVER, starring Ryan Gosling and Billy Zane won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Festival.
Menetre said that PCFI’s last screening, As high as the sky, was considered a dramedy (drama-comedy) that surrounded the serious subject of mental health and family ties, and hit home for many in attendance. “Our new film is considered deadpan and delivers humor in slightly different way. We believe that the film will conger up a set of emotions that will be fun and thought provoking. It will also be interesting for the audience to ask the film maker afterwards, during Q&A, how deadpan comedy techniques are actually produced,” said Menetre.
PCFI opened its doors in January 2014, in the form of an inspiration that Menetre had while meeting with the Western North Carolina Film Commission. “I thought with all that is happening in Tryon and Western North Carolina, that movie production magic should be made right here and right now. I’m also sure that the 2015 Tryon International Film Festival will give a boost to the Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort, which is raising quite a stir over in Mill Spring, N.C. I mean let’s face it–top level equestrian competition and the movie industry go hand in hand. What’s not to love?” said Menetre.
Lavin Cuddihee, PCFI’s festival director said that he is amazed by the amount of industry news buzz he has been receiving ever since he first announced it through PCFI’s news unit on Monday of last week. “When I announced our plans we found ourselves tracking the headlines worldwide almost instantaneously,” said Cuddihee.
Cuddihee said that PCFI is equipped with their own self-contained broadcast unit which they refer to as PCFINews, which covers finance, economic and jobs trends within film and pushes the news directly out to industry segments internationally. The old firehouse in downtown Tryon (adjacent to Town Hall), which Cuddihee refers to as the “station”, has been converted into a flexible news room where film makers, actors, screenwriters are interviewed about their projects and marketing challenges.
“We discuss everything from film incentives, funding challenges, production distribution and everything in between,” said Cuddihee. Both Menetre and Cuddihee say that PCFI is not only an economic engine for North Carolina’s movie industry, but a promoter of films to the world entertainment markets.
Menetre said that his title-selection committee is hard at work attracting film makers who are eager to screen their work and gain a spot in the film distribution space. “Our mission is so much more than attracting film studios to our area; it’s about producing quality films here in North Carolina organically and we are very confident that it will happen in a very big way,” Menetre.
Menetre is both youthful and energetic and has tasked his staff to reinvent the wheel with regard to film festivals. “I’m suggesting that we not copy the common film fest concepts that have become cookie-cutter. We want to have our own distinct signature that will grow as each year passes by,” said Menetre. Cuddihee said that they are putting out the call for movie submission early on and expect great titles to filter in from around the world.
Menetre has built a well-known reputation for successfully delivering live-staging events in the Las Vegas convention circuit and in the entertainment sector of the U.S. Marine Corps. He said that in the hundreds of shows he’s produced he has never had a failure. “I can already visualize how the festivals will unfold. I was driving through Tryon and it reminded me of a movie set. We plan to roll the red carpet right down the center Tryon’s Trade Street,” said Menetre.