Black Cat Picture Show screens flicks Aug. 17-20

(Featured photo is of the Okefenokee Swamp. Courtesy Mark Albertin, who has two documentaries in this year’s Black Cat Picture Show including one on the swamp.)

A weeklong film festival — that’s been Duane Brown’s dream from the first Black Cat Picture Show.

And with each passing festival, it comes closer to becoming a reality.

“We started with a three-day festival. Last year was our first time with four days,” he said of the ninth annual film festival which will be four days, Aug. 17-20 at Le Chat Noir.

Filmmakers from around the globe submitted films for consideration. Judges follow a rubric to select the participants. Brown said filmmakers from Poland, Hungary, Israel and the United Kingdom vied for spots this year as well as some local filmmakers.

Mark Albertin, who has produced several documentaries, had two of his works make it into this year’s show. Sacred Waters: The Okefenokee in Peril will be shown at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, and Finding Home – A Journey Through Augusta’s 20th Century Past is scheduled for 11 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 20.

“As a documentary producer who lives in Augusta, I am really excited to have two of my films included in this year’s Black Cat Picture Show. There are so many film festivals around the world, but having your films screen at the place you live is a very sweet reward indeed,” said Albertin.

Albertin is an Augusta transplant. His grandmother was born in Augusta and attended Tubman High School, when it was a girls-only school on Reynolds Street. In 1917, she was married at a Telfair Street residence.

A scene from “Sacred Waters: The Okefenokee in Peril.” Courtesy Mark Albertin

Albertin’s grandfather served during World War I. When he returned, the family moved to Ohio, but his grandmother’s love for her hometown never faded.

Albertin wove his grandmother’s story in with memories of other Augustans to create Finding Home.

Sacred Waters takes viewers into the heart of the Okefenokee Swamp exposing its beauty as well as the threats to its existence.

The festival opens Thursday, Aug. 17, with three films including one from Canada and one from Poland.

The Friday evening of the festival features a mix of short films beginning at 6 p.m. followed by  Past Lives at 8 p.m. and the filmmaker reception around 9:30 p.m.

Past Lives, an A24 film, continues the partnership between the festival and theatrical company.

Past Lives is a “beautiful film,” according to Brown.

“Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, are wrest apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. Two decades later, they are reunited in New York for one fateful week as they confront notions of destiny, love, and the choices that make a life, in this heartrending modern romance,” according to A24’s website.

Saturday night has always been dedicated to the genre of horror and this year is no exception, Brown said.

The festival wraps on Sunday with brunch and awards at 3 p.m.

 Ticket prices range from $15-$80. Go here for more information.

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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