Over the last two years Film Fest 919 has become a staple in both the Triangle and North Carolina arts scene, bringing some of Hollywood’s biggest films to the Tar Heel state.
This year is no different, as the film festival announced its new, reimagined outdoor drive-in festival experience on Thursday. The festival’s third edition will run from Wednesday, Oct. 14 through Saturday, Oct. 31, utilizing two outdoor venues, the newly-created Drive-in at Carraway Village and The Green at Southern Village, to provide movie lovers with a safe and entertaining way to explore this 2020’s awards contenders. Screenings will be offered each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
“With theaters still under state mandate to stay closed, over the past several months we have explored many options to produce a COVID-appropriate Festival where we can provide the health and safety of our community while giving film lovers a new and exciting theatrical experience to look forward to,” Film Fest 919 Founders Randi Emerman and Carol Marshall said in a press release. “In keeping with our tradition, this year’s program will feature a slate of films encompassing a diverse breadth of compelling selections for the area’s enthusiastic film-loving audience.”
In just two years, Film Fest 919 has already cemented itself as one of the Southeast’s premiere film festivals, providing early access to the most talked about films. In its inaugural year, the festival featured Oscar-winners “Roma,” “Green Book” and “The Favourite,” before screening Best Picture winner “Parasite” and other awards darlings like “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” “Marriage Story,” “Ford v. Ferrari” and “Jojo Rabbit” in 2019. The festival has also featured a host of A-list guests, including Oscar nominees Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira from “Roma,” Nick Vallelonga for “Green Book,” and Oscar nominee Anthony McCarten for “The Two Popes.”
This year’s slate of films will be announced in late September, but it’s promised to maintain the tradition of films garnering “Oscar buzz.”
A limited number of passes will be available in advance beginning Sept. 23, with each pass allowing for up to five people per car and/or pod. Both venues will follow strict state and local safety guidelines.
Another perk of the new outdoor venue will come after Film Fest 919 concludes, as The Drive-in at Carraway Village will continue showing the latest Hollywood releases.
“We are pleased to bring Film Fest 919 to Carraway Village and to provide a unique movie-going experience at The Drive-In at Carraway Village,” Kyle Whitaker, Vice President of Development with Northwood Ravin, said in a press release. “Given the ‘new normal’ brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re excited to provide an opportunity for the residents of our community, the Town of Chapel Hill and the Triangle as a whole, to gather in a socially distanced environment and enjoy a night at the movies.”
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Charlotte, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.