2023 Winners Announced at Cary’s Film Festival

Beyond Cary Film Festival


CARY, N.C. (Oct. 2, 2023) – BEYOND: The Cary Film Festival wrapped up its sixth year celebrating short films created by independent filmmakers from around the world. Produced by The Cary Theater, BEYOND included 22 films in competition. One screenplay and five films received awards at this year’s BEYOND: The Cary Film Festival:

  • People’s Choice: Bite of Benin, directed by Brad Herring and Adé Carrena.
  • Best Documentary Short Film: Curtsy, directed by Nicole Triche.
  • Best N.C. Filmmaker Short Film: Ma’s Kitchen, directed by Debbie Vu.
  • Best Narrative Short Film: Run Amok, directed by Nitzan Mager.
  • Best Student Short Film: Sammy, Without Strings, directed by Ralph Parker III.
  • Grand Jury Winner – Best Screenplay: Infinity Care, written by Autumn Karen.


Beyond the Cary Film Festival 2023“This year’s winners stood out among a festival lineup that was the strongest to date with highly compelling short films submitted by talented filmmakers from around the globe,” said Lani Simeona, festival director, operations and program supervisor at The Cary Theater.

The festival also included three popular workshops on topics that support writing screenplays and compelling film scenes. This was the first year the festival featured a workshop for youth, ages 7-16. BEYOND’s three industry talks on the business of film included experienced filmmakers: Christopher Everett, Erika Arlee, Kristi Ray, Sara Elizabeth Timmins, and actor-producer Doug McKeon (On Golden Pond).

All festival events took place at Cary’s downtown art house. The 2023 festival was presented with supporters: InkTip, Slated, Town of Cary, Cary Magazine, Lune Spark, The Mayton Inn, Misner Public Relations, Digital P Media, and Southern Documentary Fund.


About The Cary Theater

Located at 122 E. Chatham St., The Cary Theater lights up downtown with its mission to provide a unique setting for the community to experience art house cinema and live performances that enhance the cultural arts experience in Cary, N.C. Originally constructed in 1946 to serve as the Town’s first indoor movie theater, The Cary was restored in 2014 to create a vibrant space downtown that offers independent film, live music, comedy and improv, and other performances. The theater is owned and operated by Cary’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources.


Media Contacts:

Lani Simeona, The Cary Theater, Operations & Program Supervisor, (919) 319-4549
Scott Misner, Media Relations, (919) 412-3886
William Lewis, Cultural Arts Manager, (919) 462-3861



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