In the Pines wins multiple awards in Paris

In the Pines took home the award for Best Drama Short at the 45th edition of the Paris Play Film Festival in Paris, France, this week. In the Pines, directed by Dugan Bridges, tells the story of a group of friends in turn-of-the-century North Carolina (USA) who get caught up in a massively violent campaign of propaganda and violence that swept the southern state in the lead-up to the Wilmington Coup of 1898.

In the Pines also took home awards for Best Performances (Ensemble Cast), Best Costumes & Makeup, and Best Set Design. The cast includes Pandora Broadwater as Scarlett Manning, who tells her tale to a less-than-forthright camera crew in the mid-1960s. Her story is one of lost youth, political intrigue, and racism. In union with the major newspapers, the political leaders of the past concoct a plot to retake control of North Carolina. Scarlett is the daughter of the publisher of the only black daily newspaper. Her father (played by Kamary Phillips) is the only one brave enough to stand up to the lies of the major newspapers. Young Scarlett (Amara Ayler) tries to help her father get the truth out and save her friends before it’s too late.

John Potvin and Corrinne Mica play Sam and Ashleigh, Scarlett’s friends, whose doomed love affair across the political divide undergirds the tragedy. Robbie Allen plays the evil Lyman who wants Ashleigh for himself and Sam dead. Thomas McCarthy plays Ashleigh’s father, who runs the dominant newspapers of the time. He seeks political power and lends his talents to help Charles Aycock (John Capocci) and Furnifold Simmons (John L. Shortt) win the election of 1898, reassuring their control of North Carolina indefinitely. Rob Priester & Raphael Siary portray the violent redshirts. Agather Levi rounds out the ensemble as Fiona.

Stepanie Aman of Cape Fear Costumes created the costumes. Herita Jones led the makeup team, including makeup assistants Olivia Rose Thompson and Rayna Weil and hair stylist Jamie Warzel. Production Designer William H. Capps and set decorator Kendyl Cosgrove took home the award for Best Set Design.

The Paris Play Film Festival is held at the Bastille Majestic Cinema in Paris, France. Other countries represented at the 45th session of the festival include the United Kingdom, Italy, France, China, the Netherlands, and Denmark. In the Pines has also won Best Short Short Feature at Nyack International Film Festival and has upcoming screenings in San Diego, CA, Memphis, TN and Franklin, TN.

In the Pines
running time: 19 minutes
Directed by Dugan Bridges
Produced by Greg de Deugd

In the Pines nominated for Best Drama

In the Pines has been nominated in the category of Best Drama at the Benelux International Film Festival. The short film, directed by Dugan Bridges, tells the story of a group of friends whose world is torn apart by violence and hate in turn-of-the-century North Carolina. It was shot in Wilmington, N.C., last summer and is currently making a tour of the film festival circuit.

In the Pines stars Pandora Broadwater as Scarlett Manning, now an older woman, who retells a story from her youth to a less than friendly documentary filmmaker with narrative goals of his own. In an attempt to help her newspaperman father, the younger Scarlett (played by Amara Ayer) gets caught up in the machinations of the power elite and tries to help save her friends and escape the city before it’s too late.

The film is set amidst the Democratic Party’s white supremacy campaign of 1898, a coordinated effort to destroy the union of blacks, Republicans, and populists that briefly ousted the Democrats from power in 1896. The violence culminated in an armed insurrection and takeover of Wilmington, the only coup d’etat to take place on U.S. soil.

In the Pines is an impactful and poignant story exploring love, friendship, racism, and power. Judges at Benelux praised the film: “In the Pines succeeds 100% in giving the feeling we really went back in time. The acting, directing, and cinematography all come together fabulously.”

In the Pines will next be screened at the Nyack International Film Festival on April 21. It also stars Corrinne Mica, John Potvin, Kamary Phillips, and Robbie Allen.