By Austin Dale | Indiewire March 8, 2012 at 4:31PM
North Carolina's ActionFest has announced its opening night film, which will screen at the action-only festival on April 12. "Solomon Kane" is a medieval epic starring James Purefoy and Max Von Sydow. The festival will close April 15 with the martial arts film "Wu Xia."
Full press release reprinted below:
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, and Haywire. 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 of Action 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.