Asheville, North Carolina is the largest city in Western North Carolina and the site of 2010 ActionFest — “The film festival with a body count,” as the festival’s Web site proclaims. ActionFest is the world’s first film festival devoted exclusively to action cinema as well as those individuals that make action films possible.
The festival is the brainchild of Carolina Cinemas founder/Magnolia Pictures co-founder Bill Banowsky and famed action director/producer Aaron Norris (Missing in Action III, Walker, Texas Ranger). In addition to an impressive combination of the best contemporary action films from around the globe and the world premiere of director Neil Marshall’s “bloody sword and sandal epic” Criterion, ActionFest 2010 will feature the presentation of the first annual Lifetime Action Achievement Award quite appropriately to legendary martial artist and action movie star Chuck Norris.
As ActionFest co-founder Aaron Norris commented recently, “A festival like this one is long overdue. ActionFest will cover the full gamut of what defines the genre and will pay appropriate respect to the artists who create great action films: the actors, directors, producers, stuntmen, stunt coordinators, and fight choreographers.”
Norris’s ActionFest partner, Bill Banowsky, also commented on the pair’s great achievement: “Aaron and I are very pleased to bring ActionFest to life. The festival will benefit Asheville, it will benefit fans of the genre, and most importantly, it will benefit worthy causes like Kickstart Kids. And who better for the world’s first action-oriented festival to honor than the iconic Chuck Norris, whose presence at this year’s festival will ensure its success.”
Even Chuck Norris has weighed in on the upcoming festival, commenting, “I set out to do something only when I know it’s going to be done right. And I know that’s how Bill and Aaron have approached ActionFest. I am honored and privileged to receive an award from ActionFest,” Norris continued, “and to be part of the creation of the first action film festival, one which has been founded in the spirit of giving.”
Indeed, proceeds from the ActionFest film festival will benefit KickStart Kids, a foundation created by Chuck Norris in 1992. The foundation is committed to helping inner city kids by building strong moral character through Martial Arts training. More than 63,000 kids have graduated from the program since its inception and KickStart Kids currently has over 6,500 middle-school-aged children participating in the program.
ActionFest will be housed in The Carolina Asheville, part of the cinema chain founded by former CEO of Landmark Theaters and festival co-founder Bill Banowsky, from Thursday, April 15th to Sunday, April 18th. The Carolina Asheville is a newly renovated theater that features 14 screens with state-of-the-art digital and 35mm projection, plush seating, a bar stocked with over 15 local beers on tap, and sofas and loveseats in four of the auditoriums.
Tickets for ActionFest will go on sale in early April; individual show tickets are $10, while festival badges purchased before April 1, 2010 will be $65. Tickets can be purchased at www.actionfest.com. The full ActionFest 2010 lineup will be announced on Monday, March 22nd.