Weicholz Global Film Series of an Appalachian summer festival explores the world ‘from a child’s perspective’ | Film

International award-winning films from Belgium, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Soviet Estonia tell unique yet universal stories of teenage bullying, violence and angst.

BOONE, NC – Seeking to broaden perspectives, celebrate diversity, and explore the world as a whole, An Appalachian Summer Festival’s Weicholz World Film Series features award-winning and critically acclaimed international films. Each of this year’s films – from Belgium, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Soviet Estonia – tell a unique yet universal story, exploring themes such as childhood bullying, violence and angst teenagers. From a child’s perspective. This year’s series is curated by Dale Pollock – a renowned film critic, film producer and film professor who served as Dean of the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he is now Professor Emeritus . Pollock is a member of the Motion Picture Academy and sits on the Oscar Nominating Committee for International Films.

Weicholz’s World Film Series is part of an Appalachian summer festival, a whirlwind of music, dance, theater, film and visual arts that celebrates its 38e season July 1-30, on and around the Appalachian State University campus. The screenings will take place at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts (July 8, 13, 20 and 28) at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased on AppSummer.org or by calling the Schaefer Center box office at 828-262-4046.

Each film includes a brief pre-film introduction and post-film audience discussion with Dale Pollock.



Playground (One World)

7 p.m. at the Schaefer Center

In this feature debut from writer-director Laura Wandel, the everyday reality of elementary school is seen from a child’s perspective as an obstacle course of degradation and abuse. Following seven-year-old Nora and her big brother Abel, we see Nora struggling to fit in before finding her place in the playground. One day, she notices Abel being bullied by other kids, and though she rushes to protect him by warning their father, Abel forces her to keep quiet, as he endures more humiliation and harassment from his peers. Transposing the gritty realism of filmmakers such as Jacques Audiard and the Dardennes brothers to the inner world of children, Wandel paints an empathetic and visceral portrait of the cruelty of children and the failure of adults to protect them. Nominated for the Oscar for best international film.

Tickets: $10

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7 p.m. at the Schaefer Center

The semi-autobiographical film from director Kenneth Branagh chronicles the life of a working-class family and the childhood of their young son during the turmoil of the late 1960s in Northern Ireland’s capital. Surrounded by sporadic violence and growing danger, nine-year-old Buddy finds himself confronted with the harsh reality of sectarian strife. And, as the suffocating noose of growing unrest tightens around his once-peaceful working-class neighborhood, Buddy does his best to understand The Troubles. Now, Buddy’s family must face an almost impossible life-altering decision: stay or start packing? Branagh won Best Original Screenplay for Belfast at the 2022 Oscars. The film also stars Dame Judi Dench and Ciaran Hinds, who were both nominated in the supporting actor categories.

Tickets: $10

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When the grenades howl

7 p.m. at the Schaefer Center

Nine-year-old Hewad sells food and amulets in Kabul, coping with the dangers of daily life on the streets during the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Following an explosion, he is photographed among other civilian casualties by an Australian journalist, igniting his daydreams of becoming a Hollywood actor. Hewad auditions a gang of street kids for the reporter’s camera unaware that dreams would unexpectedly come true through war.

Tickets: $10

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On the Water (Vee Peal)

7 p.m. at the Schaefer Center

On the water is set in rural Soviet Estonia in the early 1980s, during a pivotal year in the life of a shy teenager, Andres, who is being raised by his strict grandparents. Surrounded by eclectic neighbors who include rowdy alcoholics, maddening prostitutes and grumpy war veterans, Andres slowly unleashes his potential through seasons of experiences that include fishing expeditions, teenage angst and summertime romance. The touching but never sentimental screenplay is by Olavi Ruitlane, based on his own bestselling novel.

Tickets: $10


Buy by phone (800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046), in person at the box office (733 Rivers St.) or online at AppSummer.org. The full festival program is available online.

About an Appalachian summer festival:

Presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Culture Programs, this annual celebration of the performing and visual arts is held each July at venues across the university campus and features an eclectic and diverse mix of music, dance , theatre, visual arts and film. programming. An Appalachian Summer Festival began in 1984 as a chamber music series and retains strong roots in classical music, combined with a variety of other programs to suit almost any taste and artistic preference. With an audience of 28,000, the festival has been named one of the “Top Twenty Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society in recent years.

Thank you to our sponsors…

Corporate Sponsors:

Bonnie and Jamie Schaefer, McDonald’s of Boone, Mast General Store, Goodnight Brothers, Explore Boone, SkyBest Communications, Appalachian Home Care LLC, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Vincent Properties, PEAK Insurance, PNC Bank, Appalachian State University Bookstore, Peabody’s Wine & Beer Merchants, Creekside Electronics, Courtyard by Marriott, Chetola Resort, Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express-Boone and The Horton Hotel.

Media sponsors:

WBTV, WCYB, PBS North Carolina, Our State Magazine, Creative Loafing Charlotte, YES! Weekly, Winston-Salem Journal, Greensboro News & Record, WNC Magazine, The Mountain Times, Watauga Democrat, High Country Radio, WHKY 1290AM and 102.3FM, WDAV 89.9FM, WFDD 88.5FM, WASU 90.5FM and WKSK The Farm.

Restaurant Sponsors:

Lost Province Brewing Co., Pepper’s Restaurant, Red Onion, The Local, Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola Resort

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