Black Cat Picture Show draws crowds; Augusta documentary wins award

(Featured photo: The Black Cat Picture Show drew filmmakers from far and near. At far right is Moor McKenna whose animated film “Post Apocalyptic” won the staff pick award.)

Disney animation has captivated audiences for generations and inspired countless filmmakers including one at this year’s Black Cat Picture Show.

“The one that got me was Aladdin,” said Moor McKenna, a Colorado filmmaker whose animated short, Post Apocalyptic was the staff pick at the film festival, Aug. 17-20 at Le Chat Noir.

 But it wasn’t necessarily the genie of the lamp that drew McKenna in. The VHS version featured a preview for The Lion King. A segment showed several men drawing the characters inspired by a stuffed lion by hand.

McKenna said she knew she wanted to do that.

With offerings of ranging from animation to horror to an Augusta documentary, 31 films made it into the show, according to Duane Brown, who coordinates the annual event.

More than 200 films were submitted this year, making it tough for judges to decide which ones to screen, and reinforcing Brown’s dream of having a weeklong film festival one day.

“Last year, we added a Thursday, and this year, it was packed,” he said, adding that the rest of the weekend was just as packed.

 The fact that the audience consisted of more than just other filmmakers impressed Toronto’s Nick Pusic whose Mr. March won the viewer’s choice award.

Thirty-one films were part of the weekend’s Black Cat Picture Show. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Pusic said he’s always loved storytelling, but over the years, his medium of delivery of those stories has changed.

 “I started out acting,” said Pusic, who has since moved to a more comfortable spot behind the camera directing his own scripts until his vision comes to life.

The drama about a future where hired assassins have the job of policing in a world overridden with crime is a departure from his other horror films.

Other winners included Mark Albertin, an Augusta transplant whose grandmother was from the Garden City. He interwove his grandmother’s story and love of the city with memories of other Augustans for his Finding Home – A Journey Through Augusta’s 20th Century Past, which won the best documentary honor.

Best feature went to Elephant directed by Kamil Krawczycki of Poland; best student film was Finger Lickin’ Good, directed by Logan Wood; best animation was Deadline directed by Idan Gilboa of Israel; best short went to BJ’s Mobile Gift Shop directed by Jason Park.

Le Chat Noir is in the process of expanding its facilities into the space next door.

Brown is eyeing it for the potential to expand the Black Cat Picture Show. Maybe not next year, but in the next few, Brown said he could see Wednesday night joining the line up as well as screening two features simultaneously.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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