Friday night, Jan. 19, saw the opening of the first Purcellville Cabin Fever Film Festival. Co-sponsored by the Town of Purcellville’s Arts Council and Franklin Park’s Visual and Performing Arts Center, audiences were treated to a slate of films where the focus was on local talent.
More than 50 attendees watched a screening of “The Screenwriters”, the story of two screenwriters who must finish a feature-length screenplay in less than 24 hours. While the sound was initially uncooperative, moderator Mike Jarvis (former entertainment writer and LA Times journalist) led a discussion about the film with its screenplay writer, Elizabeth Stinnette. After the screening, there was a Q&A session with the movie’s director Peter Forbes who had arrived from New York.
The evening was capped off with a catered reception where Purcellville Mayor Fraser awarded filmmakers with certificates recognizing their participation in the inaugural Cabin Fever Film Festival.
On Saturday, Jan. 20, the Festival continued with a morning screening of the documentary “Nichols: The Last Hardware Store,” submitted by Sarah Huntington from Lincoln. Following the documentary, Purcellville Arts Council chair Liz Jarvis moderated a Q&A session with Sarah Huntington and Drew Babb. They discussed their experiences in making the film and why documentaries, especially ones that capture oral history, are important.
After a short break for coffee and pastries, the audience viewed a block of local student films. These shorts are “Teo and Jake Play Chess,” submitted by Michael Chirillo,”Exploring Corolla,” submitted by Maddy Wade, and “The Ghoulie Girls: Summoning Charles Dickens,” submitted by Maddy Wade.
A late entry, entitled “No More,”was shown after a second break. This short documentary, submitted by four-time Emmy winning TV producer and Purcellville resident Francis Lyons along with Director Joey Katz, was shown to those who wished to remain to view it and provide feedback to the filmmakers. This documentary was filmed on the day of the special election in Alabama in 2017. It tells the stories of two sexual abuse survivors and how the election affected their lives. The Festival concluded with the audience again taking the opportunity to meet the filmmakers.
“We are thrilled with our first film festival,” said Purcellville Arts Council Chair, Liz Jarvis. “We look forward to expanding the festival next year and featuring more local talent and more of our local history and culture.”