BBQ and Blues fundraiser for film initiative at FENCE

Published 1:16 am Friday, July 10, 2015

The Polk County Film Initiative (PCFI) is proud to announce an evening of excitement, information, good food and entertainment at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE).  The fundraiser is scheduled for July 25 from 6 – 9 p.m. at FENCE, 3381 Hunting Country Rd. in Tryon, with the dynamic blues duo of Shane Pruitt and Max Hightower.

The event has been put together to benefit the Polk County Film Initiative (PCFI) which was formed over a year ago under the leadership of Beau Menetre, Lavin Cuddihee and Kirk Gollwitzer. PCFI is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, devoted to bringing film production to Polk County.


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The organization which is headquartered at 285 North Trade Street in downtown Tryon has become a major contributor to the art of film making since its inception over a year ago.  PCFI has launched four highly successful red-carpet, independent film screenings at the Tryon Theater.

The screenings were the first of its kind for the downtown area, bringing people out in droves and setting the stage for the upcoming Tryon International Film Festival, which is scheduled for October 9 and 10.

Those in attendance were given the opportunity to spend time with the directors and writers of each film and gain an appreciation for the art of film making.

CINEMA PURGATORIO was the first film to screen in Tryon and included Greenville filmmakers, Chris and Emily White. Next, Writer/Director Nikki Braendlin flew in from California to screen As High as the Sky followed by Frank Calo with Here & There and finally Jeff Lieberman with The Amazing Nina Simone. The town exploded with excitement with people dressing for the occasion as they strolled down Trade Street from La Bouteille to the Tryon Theatre with their pictures being snapped along the way.

Each filmmaker provided invaluable support to the Next Generation Filmmakers Project (NextGen) which came to life under the collaboration of Scarlette Bennet Tapp. NextGen, during its first year’s running, included 20 students from the age of seven to 17 who came together under one roof to learn the entire process of filmmaking.

Donations from this event will be used to help fund the Next Generation Film Project and the Tryon International Film Festival.

Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) is a proud sponsor of the Polk County Film Initiative to which the organization extends its profound gratitude. Come spend some time with PCFI and help us develop a vibrant artistic film industry in Polk County.

If you would like to be a volunteer to one of the many PCFI projects, If you would like to be a volunteer to one of the many PCFI projects, contact More information can be found at and on Facebook.

Tickets can be purchased at PCFI, Eventbrite (search: Polk County Film Initiative Fundraiser at FENCE) and La Bouteille. Call 864-414-7765 for more information.

–       Submitted by Kirk Gollwitzer