Load up the car, because it's time for the sixth annual Asheville Film Festival.
This year's event will be held Nov. 6-9 at various venues in downtown Asheville, and the schedule includes over 75 features, documentaries, shorts, animated works and student films that will competing for the top prizes.
This year, two special awards will be handed out instead of the usual singular honor. Oscar-winning scripter Frank Pierson (Dog Day Afternoon) will receive an Achievement in Writing Award, while actor Brad Dourif (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the voice of Chucky in the Child's Play movies) will be given the Career Achievement Award. Select titles from both men's filmographies will be screened.
Several major movies will be shown out of competition (look for most of these to open in Charlotte in the upcoming months), including Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke, the Holocaust drama The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire.
Among this year's crop of judges are Emmy-nominated North Carolina filmmaker Tim Kirkman (Dear Jesse, Loggerheads) and Mountain Xpress film critic Ken Hanke, who will be my cohorts in judging the Features category.
For complete details about the Asheville Film Festival, including titles, times and prices, go to www.ashevillefilmfestival.com.