ActionFest Announces 2012 Opening and Closing Night Films
Since its inaugural year in 2010, Asheville, North Carolina's ActionFest has made a name for itself as one of the premiere genre film festivals in North America, hosting a number of acclaimed films, action stars, and film critics for a weekend of testosterone-laden fun.
This year, ActionFest takes place from April 12-15, and will see the Regional Premiere of SOLOMON KANE, the medieval epic from director Michael J. Bassett starring James Purefoy and Max von Sydow, as the opening night film. On April 15, the Regional Premiere of WU XIA, starring Donnie Yen and Jimmy Wang Yu, will serve as the fest's closing night film.
More stars announced and the full press release after the jump.
Also appearing will be MMA star and insane beauty Gina Carano, who will be the inaugural recipient of the Chuck Norris Award, which seeks to highlight "a woman working in film today who best represents the spirit, attitude, athleticism and grit of Hollywood legend Chuck Norris;" acclaimed choreographer J. J. Perry (WARRIOR, HAYWIRE), who will be receiving the ActionFest Fight Choreographer Award; and Mickey Gilbert (BEN-HUR, THE WILD BUNCH), legendary stuntman and 2012 recipient of the ActionFest Lifetime Achievement Award.
ActionFest 2012 Opens with Solomon Kane, Closes with Wu Xia,
Honors Fight Choreographer J.J. Perry
Asheville, NC Fest to Celebrate the Best of Action Cinema and its Unsung Heroes
Asheville, NC – March 8, 2012 – ActionFest, the only international film festival devoted exclusively to action cinema returns to in beautiful Asheville this April 12th – 15th. Founded by Bill Banowsky (Carolina Cinemas founder and Magnolia Pictures co-founder), famed action director/producer Aaron Norris (Missing in Action III, “Walker, Texas Ranger”), and Radius-TWC Co-President Tom Quinn, ActionFest will once again showcase the most exciting action films from around the globe, pay tribute to the unsung heroes – stuntmen and stuntwomen, fight choreographers and 2nd unit directors – that make them possible, and give attendees an unparalleled Stunt Show Extravaganza.
ActionFest’s Opening Night film on Thursday, April 12th is the Regional Premiere of Michael J. Bassett’s Solomon Kane, a swashbuckling, visceral medieval epic starring James Purefoy (John Carter, Rome) and Max von Sydow, and based on legendary stories from the pen of Conan The Barbarian creator Robert E. Howard. Ain’t It Cool News has declared that "This movie f**king kicks about 12 different kinds of ass."
ActionFest’s Closing Night film on Sunday, April 15th is the Regional premiere of Wu Xia, hailed by Time magazine as "Both sensuous and thoughtful, a treat for the spirit as well as for any moviegoer longing for a well-made film involving brave heroes and dreadful villains." Wu Xia stars internationally recognized martial arts actor and fight director Donnie Yen (Hero, Iron Monkey, Ip Man) as a tortured martial arts expert who attempts to begin a life of peace, only to find himself hunted by an obsessed detective and his former master, a ruthless bandit played by old school kung fu cinema icon, Jimmy Wang Yu (The One-Armed Swordsman).
This year’s ActionFest Fight Choreographer Award will go to J.J. Perry, who has wowed audiences with spectacular fights in Warrior, Underworld: Awakening, andHaywire. One of the most prolific high-profile choreographers in Hollywood, Perry has projects with Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, and Quentin Tarantino slated for future release.
“No one honors the men and women who put the action into action films, and it’s about time,” said ActionFest co-founder Aaron Norris. “For me, giving these unsung cinematic heroes the respect and recognition they deserve is at the heart of what ActionFest is all about.”
Says Perry, “Since being behind the scenes is inherent in what I do, I'm especially honored to be pulled out in front of the curtain by ActionFest. I’m touched by this award.”
As previously announced, ActionFest will also honor legendary stuntman Mickey Gilbert (Ben Hur, The Wild Bunch) with the Lifetime Achievement Award and pioneer in women's MMA and Haywire star Gina Carano with the Chick Norris (Best Female Action Star) Award. The full lineup will be announced soon, including a competition section juried by genre experts from around the country. All-Access Badges good for admission to all ActionFest films and events are now on sale. The ActionFest 2012 poster, designed by award winning comic book artist Kagan McLeod (“Infinite Kung Fu”), has also been released.
Check out www.actionfest.com for more information and check the official ActionFest Blog (http://actionfestblog.com/) next week for details on the “30 Seconds ofAction Film Challenge,” a competition where aspiring filmmakers compete by writing, directing and producing the best thirty-second action movie.
ActionFest was founded by Bill Banowsky, Aaron Norris, Dennis Berman and Tom Quinn. Colin Geddes, International Programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival, is the Festival Director. Press inquiries for ActionFest can be sent to [email protected].
About J.J. Perry
J.J. Perry began his martial arts training at the age of 8, eventually competing as an adult and earning a 5th degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do and a 2nd degree black belt in Hapkido. Perry had his first taste of movie stunts in high school, and following his service in the Army, he began a career as a stuntman. After breaking into television with such hits as Vanishing Son and Walker, Texas Ranger, where he learned the tricks of car crashes, explosions, and second unit directing, Perry scored his breakout film performance in Mortal Kombat. He went on to double for Mel Gibson in Edge of Darkness, John Travolta in Basic and Be Cool, and performed stunts in such spectacles as The Scorpion King, Batman & Robin, Wild Wild West, Constantine, Planet of the Apes, Blade, xXx: State of the Union, and television series Alias and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. Perry’s transition into stunt coordination and fight choreography came with Undisputed 2, and he has since worked in that capacity on Warrior, Haywire, Underworld: Awakening, and the upcoming titles Safe with Jason Statham, Get The Gringo with Mel Gibson, and Bullet to the Head with Sylvester Stallone. Perry is also a member of Stunts Unlimited and the recipient of the Taurus World Stunt Award for Best Overall Stunt by a Stunt Man in 2004 for his work on The Rundown. He and his wife Catherine are currently expecting their first child, a daughter.
ActionFest 2012 Poster Artist
Kagan McLeod is a Toronto-based illustrator whose work has been published in magazines such as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Time, People, Glamour and GQ. His debut graphic novel Infinite Kung Fu, an epic homage to chop socky films of the ’70s, was published by Top Shelf Productions last year. It has been named one of the best graphic novels of 2011 by Publishers Weekly, Heeb Magazine, io9, CNN, Comic Book Resources, Complex, USA Today, Forbidden Planet International, IFC,