Rural Route Film Festival

Best of Rural Route Film Festival
Tuesday, June 16th @ 8PM
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce St., Asheville
$5 suggested donation

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The Rural Route Film Festival was created to highlight works that deal with rural people and places. The creators of Rural Route Film Festival leave it up to the film and video artists to express their unique definitions of “rural” – whether it be a documentary about an organic turnip farm in West Virginia or a fictional backpacking drama set in Peru.

Based in New York, this film festival takes place in the summer and tours the country during the rest of the year. We’re excited to host this “best of” program for Asheville audiences!

Check out the preview here: 

Rural Route 2015

Open Screening

Tuesday, May 19th @ 8pm
The BeBe Theatre
20 Commerce St., Asheville

open screeningsmall

We invite you to share your films and videos with a live audience. Any genre! Any style! It can be old, new, or a work-in-progress. We want to see it.

Formats accepted: DVD, QuickTime or MPEG file, 16mm, and Super 8

Maximum length: 10 minutes

Submit work by May 17th! Email: You can also bring work the day of the show – but arrive early, it’s first come, first served, as time allows!

There will be a short discussion after each film/video with a chance to gather feedback from the audience.

Even if you don’t have a film or video you want to share, you are invited to be a part of the audience. Support local media makers and see exciting work you’ve never seen before.

Rocks in My Pockets

Tuesday, April 21 @ 8pm
The BeBe Theatre
20 Commerce St., Asheville, NC
$5 suggested donation


Rocks in My Pockets (2014, 88 min.)
Dir. Signe Baumane

Presented in partnership with the Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective!

In the new animated gem Rocks in My Pockets, Latvian-born artist and filmmaker Signe Baumane tells five fantastical tales based on the courageous women in her family and their battles with madness. With boundless imagination and a twisted sense of humor, she has created daring stories of art, romance, marriage, nature, business, and Eastern European upheaval—all in the fight for her own sanity.

Employing a unique, beautifully textured combination of papier-mâché stop-motion and classic hand-drawn animation (with inspiration from Jan Svankmajer and Bill Plympton), Baumane has produced a poignant and often hilarious tale of mystery, mental health, redemption and survival.

We will have a Skype Q & A with filmmaker Signe Baummane following the film!

Creative Destruction: The Smyth Brothers

Monday, March 16 at 8pm
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce St, Asheville
$5 suggested donation


Creative destruction is an economic concept that describes the paradox of progress by attaching evolutionary theory to capitalism. “It’s the process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” The dualistic nature pairs well with who we are as twins and the stories we try to tell- tales of a people and their pursuit of money. How does this pursuit mutate now that change is the only constant in capitalism?

Por Dinero (2012, 31 min., 16mm to video)
Quotes from an ancient Mayan hero tie together the life of an undocumented Mexican, his indigenous family, and their dying language.

Rice for Sale (2013, 31 min., 16mm in-camera edits)
An experimental tale distorting Bali’s modern world into a historical account depicting the demise of its former cultural motto, “Rice is Life.” Ten wordless vignettes, all in-camera edits, are strung together to compose a two-part mythological venture down the heavenly mountain toward the demonic sea, culminating at the site of the 2002 terrorist bombing.

About the Smyth Brothers
Brendan and Jeremy Smyth are 16mm experimental documentary filmmakers who explore the globe in search of cultural oddities. Their interest in visual anthropology has sent them from Mexico to Indonesia showcasing the economic plight of workers through unique methods of storytelling. The twins’ work has won multiple awards and screened at notable festivals/venues including Anthology Film Archives, Antimatter, Atlanta, Big Muddy, Chicago Underground, FLEXfest, Edinburgh Int’l, and Indie Grits. The two are the directors/programmers of the Haverhill Experimental Film Festival in Massachusetts with submissions open for the third annual event. Currently, the Smyth brothers live in Durham, NC, where they curate a monthly experimental film series known as UNEXPOSED.

I Have Always Been A Dreamer

Tuesday, February 24th at 8pm
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street, Downtown Asheville
$5 suggested donation



I Have Always Been A Dreamer (2012, 78 min.)
Dir. Sabine Gruffat

We’re excited to show Sabine Gruffat’s I Have Always Been A Dreamer, an essay film about globalization and urban ecology using Dubai, UAE and Detroit as examples of two cities in contrasting states of development.

The film questions the collective ideologies that shape the physical landscape and impact local communities within the context of a boom and bust economy. Though these cities represent two different economic eras (Fordist and Post-Fordist), both vividly illustrate the effects of economic monocultures and the arbitrary consequences of geopolitical advantage.

Join us for this thought-provoking work examining the fascinating rustbelt city of Detroit – a place of destruction and rebirth beleaguered by a failing industrial-based economy and the megacity of Dubai, a postmodern city in a continual process of being built and consequently shaped by an increasingly service-based economy driven by tourism.

About Sabine Gruffat
Sabine Gruffat is a digital media artist and filmmaker, and is Assistant Professor of Art at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Sabine’s films and videos have screened at festivals worldwide including the Image Forum Festival in Japan, The Ann Arbor Film Festival and Migrating Forms in New York. Her feature film I Have Always Been A Dreamer has screened internationally including at the Viennale, MoMA, Cinéma du Réel at the Centre Pompidou, and The Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival. She has also produced digital media works for public spaces as well as interactive installations that have been shown at the Zolla Lieberman Gallery in Chicago, Art In General, Devotion Gallery, PS1 Contemporary Art Museum, and Hudson Franklin in New York. She is currently producing a feature documentary with Bill Brown about the housing crisis in Spain.


Jeremy Moss: Space Material/Immaterial Place

Jeremy Moss: Space Material/Immaterial Place
*Filmmaker In Person*
Wednesday, January 7th at 7pm
Kairos West, 742 Haywood Road, West Asheville
$5 suggested donation (no one turned away)


This event is co-sponsored with The Media Arts Project.

Filmmaker Jeremy Moss, whose work has screened around the globe, brings a 60-minute program of recent moving image work to Asheville. In the summer of 2011, Moss began expanding beyond his narrative training to fully explore expressionistic structural tendencies and its application to place and the moving body. As a program, these works cohesively embody an immersive optical and sonic experience reveling in cinema’s capacity for both meditative expression and the rigors of formal experimentation.

Based in Pennsylvania, Jeremy Moss works in both 16mm and digital video. His films and videos explore and interrogate bodies, identities, and places shaped by rigid boundaries and porous peripheries; his camera design often emulating such strict cultural and physical structures. Moss’ films have exhibited widely at festivals and venues throughout the globe, including Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, Edinburgh International, Chicago Underground, Brooklyn, Crossroads, Cinequest, Athens, Maryland, and Anthology Film Archive in New York. He teaches production, history, and theory at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


16:38 | 16mm digital video | color| sound | 2013

Combining hand-processed 16mm imagery, a deconstructed lyric essay, and an ambient score by composer Vicki Brown, The Blue Record meditates on the pastime of ruin-gazing and its application across a wide range of aesthetic experiences. Informed in part by the work of Alain Resnais, Walter Benjamin, and the Romantic poets, The Blue Record is a collaborative study of what happens when the process of decay is arrested and ruins become commercial entities. Shot on location at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, the film is at once an immersive and Brechtian examination of the experience of destruction as an aesthetic pleasure.

9:34 | digital video | color | sound | 2014
Measured viewpoints positioned on concentric circles dissect and engage the movement of a solo performer in an abandoned mill. The perspective of both movement and place collide. Suddenly unhinged, the figure unravels and weaves freely, abandoning all formal containments. Featuring original choreography by Pamela Vail and an original score by Jonathan Pfeffer.

6:45 | super8 to digital video | color | sound | 2011
Stumbling upon sun bleached bullet-riddled vintage porn sequestered in hidden desert nooks and sagebrush, circuit boards and shattered glass along off-the-path shooting ranges, rotting cow parts in ritual-like mounds, a prophet’s omniscient and culpable gaze; contemplating ideology and place, attempting to apply memory to moving image.

3:26 | digital video | color | silent | 2012
A wild and hypnotic ride that focuses, via manic perspective shifts, on the driving movement of a solo figure against a backdrop of frenetically flickering colors; these jolting chromatic and frame variations dance as much as the performer.

6:48 | 16mm to digital video | color | sound | 2014
A textural experience in layers, scars, and deterioration that combines hand processed, tinted, and toned 16mm imagery with an original sonic score by Jonathan Pfeffer. Both sight and sound ooze and emulate those tangible tremors catalyzed by increasing awareness of loss and decay. Initially created at the Independent Imaging Retreat (Film Farm) in July 2012.

10:37 | 16mm to digital video | color/b&w | sound | 2013
Direct manipulation acts as inciting catalyst as a dancing figure becomes ingrained and lost in the celluloid, creating an immersive new realm for the moving figure. She repeats short phrases of choreography on ambient loop; each repetition alters our perception of movement and space.

4:09 | 16mm to digital video | color/b&w | sound | 2012
A song of creation: immaterial space spawns volatile matter; obfuscated landscape emerges from splintering celluloid. Created at the Independent Imaging Retreat, the landscape is seen anew by 16mm hand-manipulation giving rise to a geometry of trees and meadows; the sonic score is subjected to similar direct manipulation.

Open Screening

Tuesday, December 16 at 8PM
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce St., Downtown Asheville



Calling all Asheville makers… the screen is yours! Share your work with a live audience! Maximum length is 10 minutes. Any genre! Any style! It can be old, new, or a work-in-progress. We want to see it.

Formats accepted: DVD, QuickTime or MPEG file, 16mm, and Super 8

 Submit work early by email: or just show up with your piece and we’ll watch it together. First come, first served, as time allows.

 There will be short discussion after each piece with a chance to gather feedback from the audience.


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