On March 27th 2004, the first annual Pinwheel Spring Film Festival screened 30 short films from over 20 local filmmakers in North Carolina State University's Campus Cinema. Around 250 people, from students and locals to independent video producers and film aficionados, attended the daylong free event hosted by the Union Activities Board (UAB) Films Committee. Everyone received a festival schedule upon arrival while the first 50 people additionally received mini-pinwheels. Attendees were treated to a diverse spectrum of short filmsincluding narratives, documentaries, abstract and experimental works, parody, and even the occasional zombie-action-comedy.
A free-spirited and lively atmosphere manifested throughout the festival as the crowd had no pretenses about openly enjoying themselves. The audience even vocally responded to one of the films, "The Cloud Game", when prompted to guess several cloud shapes. During intermissions, David Hanson provided piano accompaniment featuring impressionist pieces by Claude Debussy.
The audience responded well to all of the films but the works yielding the most notable positive responses included: John C. Kearns, Jr.'s hilarious situational comedy, "Caught in the Act" (Wilmington), which taught us to be wary of what we do with our parents' video camera; Bryan Roberts' sublime and poetically beautiful black and white film, "Lucidity" (NCState);" the intelligent and insightful documentary "Does Hip-Hop Raise Children" by St. Augustine student Jeffonda Evans; and Brandon Tweed's action-filled, kung-fu comedy zombie romp, "Demon Run - The Awakening" (NCState).
Festival host and organizer Ryan Boyle hopes to see the festival continue and grow each year along with the local North Carolina film scene. "As a wider range of people begin to have access to film production through Digtial Video and similar formats, the potential for local filmmaking only increases. An event like Pinwheel can help provide a needed catalyst and cohesiveness to the local film community."