BEYOND Film Festival Winners

The fourth annual BEYOND: The Cary Film Festival received a record number of entries and 35 films were selected to screen Oct. 7-10, 2021. Five films and one screenplay were presented with awards.


CARY, N.C. (October 18, 2021) – Filmmakers took center stage at BEYOND: The Cary Film Festival recently where five filmmakers and one screenwriter took home awards. Hosted by the Cary Theater, BEYOND screened 35 independently produced short films from around the world, alongside filmmaking workshops and a screenwriter’s competition. BEYOND will return for its fifth year in fall 2022 with festival submission dates to be announced in January.

Identification by Larry Collins was named the 2021 Walter Hines Page Screenplay Award winner, selected by the film festival advisory board. Five short films in competition were recognized with 2021 Bradford Audience Awards:

  • First Place: L. Ash for Spotlight
  • Second Place: Michael Aronson for Nutcracker
  • Third Place: Randall Moser for A Moment of Humanity
  • Fourth Place: Kay Barnes and Barbara Austin for 3:35 to Boston
  • People’s Choice Award: Brian Sheehan for Free Order


“Congratulations to this year’s class of filmmakers whose works were beyond excellent. We were thrilled to welcome everyone back into the cinema for Cary’s hometown film festival,” said Robbie Stone, festival producer and Town of Cary Arts Program & Operations Coordinator. “BEYOND continues to be a place for talented filmmakers of all experience levels to share their works with enthusiastic audiences.”

Short films in competition could represent any genre but were required to be under 30 minutes and produced by independent filmmakers. The festival included films from France, Italy, Los Angeles, New York, Maryland, across North Carolina and beyond. Top films were featured in a television broadcast of “The Best of BEYOND” on WRAL 5.2 (COZI).

In addition to the film screenings, BEYOND also featured a table read of Collins’ winning screenplay and three workshops:

  • “Capturing Social Issues in Film,” with producer John Heinsen.
  • “The Art, Science and Business of Film Composition,” with instructor Evan Hodges.
  • “A Screenwriting Masterclass,” with Golden Globe winner Joy Goodwin and “Sister Act 2” producer Ron Thompson.

Stone is excited about opportunities to expand the film festival: “Each year, we’ve grown and added new components to go beyond the screen and highlight new facets of the art of storytelling through film,” he said.


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 the Town of Cary. Originally constructed in 1946 to serve as the Town’s first indoor movie theater, The Cary was meticulously restored in 2014 to create a vibrant space downtown that offers independent film, live music, comedy and improv, as well as other live events. The theater is owned by the Town of Cary and operated by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources. The festival was presented by sponsors: InkTip, Final Draft, Slated, ARRI, Town of Cary, Cary Citizen, Cary Magazine, Misner Public Relations, Digital P Media, and WRAL.


Media Contacts:

Scott Misner, Cary Theater Media Relations, (919) 412-3886
Robbie Stone, Arts Program & Operations Coordinator, (919) 460-4969
William Lewis, Cultural Arts Manager, (919) 462-3861


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