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.