Last year, I attended the first-ever ActionFest in Asheville, NC. It was one of those things that just sort of fell together perfectly. A long-time friend of mine was the festival director and wanted to put together a jury he felt comfortable with, and when he called to invite me, it was about three weeks after my parents retired to Asheville after living most of my adult life in Tampa, FL. Complete coincidence that it all worked out that way, but when someone asks if you want to go sit on a film jury with Chuck Norris and visit your parents at the same time, you say yes.
And while any festival in its first year is going to suffer from certain birth pangs, there was a lot to like about the event. The films shown were good, and the people present were great, and overall, it was a heck of a good four days. And Asheville is a beautiful city, especially in April as the spring kicks in.
So, yes, I'll be returning to Asheville in April this year for the second edition of ActionFest, and I'm excited. It sounds to me like the plans are coming together well, and I'm pleased to be involved with several of the events over the course of the weekend. I love the idea of a festival that celebrates action movies and the stuntmen and filmmakers who make that action happen onscreen. It's unusual for stuntmen to ever get their chance to stand in the spotlight, and we're going to be celebrating them in a major way this year.
Don't take my word for it, though. Instead, you should check out this press release that went out today, which outlines the first wave of announced titles, and then let me know how it sounds to you: