Mechanical Eye Microcinema is a non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating an inclusive community of empowered voices by providing equitable access to moving image screenings, education, and resources.

The purpose of Mechanical Eye Microcinema is:

  • to show independent, experimental, avant-garde, and documentary films and videos that otherwise may not be shown in Asheville, North Carolina.
  • to provide a place for discussion of ideas and debate.
  • to offer equitable access to filmmaking workshops and resources.
  • to create a community space for making and sharing work.
  • to celebrate the subversive and creative possibilities of the moving image.
  • to support and encourage media makers to create new works of art.
  • to cultivate an adventurous community of filmmakers and film lovers.
  • to host filmmakers with their work as often as possible.

Who we are:

Mechanical Eye Microcinema was founded by Charlotte Taylor and Lisa Sousa, two film enthusiasts wanting to exhibit exciting work in Asheville. We are enamored with showing actual celluloid when feasible in an age when digital projection is ubiquitous, to keep alive the magical flicker of the film projector. To this end, we strive to project S8 and 16mm prints regularly, although these will be mixed with conventional video. We are collectively run by film makers and enthusiasts, and invite you to join us! If you’re interested in volunteering, please send us an email at

About Our Volunteers:

President, Charlotte Taylor is a process. She is an experimental animator and the program coordinator/faculty of film and video production at Blue Ridge Community College. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa, and her BA from the University of Florida.  Her research ranges from digital animation and handmade film to optical toys, and she is particularly interested in alternative forms of production and presentation.  She enjoys organizing and teaching community filmmaking workshops for kids and at risk youth.  Charlotte also fights with foam, and is a member of the local Belegarth realm.  In other moments in her history, she was a co-founder of Iowa City Experimental Film Festival, a director of the Iowa City Microcinema, a member of IC Docs, a 7th Grade Language Arts Teacher, a Middle School Basketball Coach, and a singer/songwriter.  Yay for film!!!

Chairman of the Board, Peter Goldsmith is Mr. Yesterday.  He won 3 Emmys for his work in television, and produced Maury among other shows during his 30 year TV career. Before that he was a performance artist and poet in NYC. Now he makes banjos and teaches teens and young adults how to make films.  He is kind of like a monk.

Secretary, Mark West teaches newswriting, mass communication theory, politics, and survey research courses at the University of North Carolina – Asheville. He also works as a media researcher for major defense-related corporations. His research on public opinion and media coverage of war garnered the prestigious ICA Kyoon Hur Dissertation Award and the AEJMC Nafziger-White Dissertation Award, both in 1992. He holds degrees in classics, literature, radio, motion pictures and television and mass communication research from UNCA and UNC at Chapel Hill.

Treasurer, Maya Dreilinger is a world travelling filmmaker/photographer. She holds a BFA from CalArts in Photography.

Board Member, Patricia Furnish is a documentary filmmaker and perennial student. Her professional and academic life as a teacher of history, sociology and Spanish took her from North Carolina, to Texas, to Oklahoma and back.  Fortunately, Asheville is her home now, where she has lived for twelve years.  She earned a Ph.D. in modern Native American history, and her dissertation focused on the political activism of the Society of American Indians in the 1910s and the organization’s pursuit of U.S. citizenship for all Native peoples. She holds an MFA in filmmaking from Wake Forest University.

Printing & Shipping Coordinator: Will Wilson

Instructor, Lisa Smith earned her MA in Film Production from the Ohio University School of Film, where she first taught Film History and Film Production.  Her production experience includes documentary, educational, television advertising and experimental/artistic film and video.  Her work has been screened at  the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Walker Art Center’s Independent Filmmaker Series and the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, as well as on PBS as part of “The Independents” series.  Her production credits include awards from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and the Athens International Film & Video Festival.  Lisa has been teaching for the past 17 years, including stop motion animation, film history, and video production, as well as home educating her four sons.  She teaches math & English in the home school community, and conducted a children’s orchestra in the Florida Keys for seven years. Other Asheville area teaching experience includes Carolina Day School, Claxton & Ira Jones Elementaries, UNCA’s Super Saturday, True Ink and her own World Peas Summer Camps.  In 2012, she received the Teacher Innovator Award from PBS and the Henry Ford Museum for teaching stop motion animation.  She currently resides in Asheville, NC.

We run a community filmmaking space in The Refinery, 207 Coxe Avenue, but continue to be a mobile microcinema for our screenings (please check the schedule for locations). Thanks to the local businesses and organizations that host our screenings!


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