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“Bigger and Badder” ActionFest 2 Set For April

"Bigger and Badder" ActionFest 2 Set For April

The organizers behind ActionFest has officially announced a second round of action cinema and unsung heroes with Actionfest 2, which creator Bill Banowsky (Carolina Cinemas founder and Magnolia Pictures co-founder), famed action director/producer Aaron Norris (Missing in Action III, “Walker, Texas Ranger”), and Magnolia Pictures/Magnet Releasing SVP Tom Quinn jointly announcing plans for ActionFest 2 this April.

Full release below.

Asheville, NC – March 8th, 2011 – ActionFest, the only international film festival devoted exclusively to action cinema and its unsung heroes, returns to the beautiful Carolina Cinema in Asheville this April 7th – 10th for its second year. Created 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 Magnolia Pictures/Magnet Releasing SVP Tom Quinn, ActionFest will once again showcase the most exciting action films from around the globe, pay tribute to the stuntmen, fight choreographers and 2nd unit directors that make them possible, and give attendees an unparalleled Stunt Show Extravaganza.

ActionFest 2’s Opening Night film on Thursday, April 7th is the World Premiere of Jonathan English’s Ironclad, an epic, blood soaked account of a brutal castle siege starring Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Shoot’em Up), James Purefoy (“Rome,” Solomon Kane), Derek Jacobi (Gladiator), Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity), and Jason Flemyng (Clash of the Titans).

This year’s ActionFest Lifetime Achievement Award will go to legendary stuntman Buddy Joe Hooker, whose career spans six decades and countless classic films, including First Blood. Hooker will receive the award in person on Saturday, April 9, placing him in the rarified company of last year’s recipient, the great Chuck Norris.

“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 the heart of what ActionFest is all about.”

ActionFest 2 will honor 2010’s Machete from director Robert Rodriguez as Action Film of the Year, singling out the talented Russell Towery (Pirates of the Caribbean, Zombieland, Jonah Hex, National Treasure) as Stunt Coordinator of the Year for his impressive work on the film.

Additionally, ActionFest 2 will pay tribute to the 40th anniversary of Stunts Unlimited, an elite organization comprised of Hollywood’s A-list stunt performers (including original member Buddy Joe Hooker), which has become one of the most sought after group of action performers. Their work has been seen in a wide array of film and television including Die Hard, Fast & Furious, Mission Impossible 2, Point Break, Rocky, Spiderman and The Terminator.

Undoubtedly one of the top highlights of ActionFest, the Stunt Show Extravaganza will return for ActionFest 2. This year’s show will take place at 2:00PM on Sunday, April 10th in the Caroline Cinema parking lot, and promises to be a thrilling spectacle not to be missed. The show has been made possible by motion picture stunt-business veteran John Cann (Machete, Tango and Cash, Predator 2), President and CEO of Action P.A.C. Stunts, L.L.C., who is creating the show and providing the equipment along with Randy Fife (Robocop, Arlington Road).

ActionFest 2 promises to be four days of adrenaline-fueled pleasure for film buffs, with an exciting combination of the best in contemporary action cinema (including several premieres) and classics of the genre. Confirmed new titles include:

– Little Big Soldier — a new period action film written by and starring Jackie Chan – Hobo With A Shotgun — the hot Sundance selection starring Rutger Hauer – Super — vigilante madness starring Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Kevin Bacon and Liv Tyler – Bangkok Knockout — Thai action from the stunt team and filmmakers of Ong Bak – Outrage — a gritty and violent new Yakuza thriller from the legendary Takeshi Kitano – Bunraku — a surreal fist-and-sword epic starring Josh Hartnett, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson, Kevin McKid and Ron Perlman – Machete Maidens Unleashed — the titillating story of 1970s exploitation films from the Philippines

The full lineup will be announced on Monday, March 22nd, including a competition section juried by genre experts from around the country. VIP Badges good for admission to all ActionFest films are now on sale, for one week’s time at a reduced price of $60, down from $100.

Check out www.actionfest.com for more information and be sure to visit the official ActionFest Blog (http://actionfestblog.com/) for details on the “30 Seconds of Action Film Challenge,” a competition where aspiring filmmakers compete to write, direct and produce the best thirty-second action movie.

About ActionFest ActionFest was founded by Bill Banowsky, Aaron Norris, Dennis Berman and Tom Quinn, who also serves as Executive Director. Colin Geddes, International Programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival, is the Festival Director. Press inquiries for ActionFest can be sent to info@actionfest.com. This year’s official ActionFest poster image was illustrated by local West North Carolina artist Gabriel Shaffer.

About Buddy Joe Hooker Beginning as a child actor on the series “Rin Tin Tin,” Buddy Joe Hooker has a career spanning six decades. He has worked with a long list of famed directors, and counts legendary filmmakers Hal Ashby, William Friedkin, and Francis Coppola as his mentors. Buddy Joe exemplifies ActionFest’s mandate to pay tribute to the men and women who risk their lives for the art of cinema. He made movie history as the stunt double for Sylvester Stallone on the renowned high fall through the trees off the cliff in First Blood, and his reputation is second to none as the go-to coordinator for car chases. He has coordinated a wide variety of genres and many classics, including: Harold and Maude, The Outsiders, Rumblefish, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, To Live and Die in L.A., Godfather III and 40 Year Old Virgin. Today, Buddy Joe is coordinating and second unit directing the new CBS series, “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” with Forest Whitaker and the upcoming STARZ network series, “Torchwood: Miracle

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