Student film accepted into 2012 Atlanta Shortsfest

A senior project film created by Western Carolina University students last year has been accepted into the third annual Atlanta Shortsfest.

Moses Cove” will be screened at the festival, which will be held Friday, Sept. 14, through Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Goat Farm Arts Center in Atlanta. The event showcases more than 300 films from around the world.

Set in the Appalachian Mountains, “Moses Cove” conveys the struggle of a drug addict grappling with whether to risk his life to help a lost newcomer who has fallen prey to drug dealers.

The film was produced by recent graduates of the Western Carolina University Motion Picture and Television Production Program Zach Heaton and Chris Read. Heaton, the film’s writer and cinematographer, and Read, the director, created the film on an approximately $5,000 budget. The biggest expenses were renting a professional-level camera and building the “meth house” set, said Heaton. “Moses Cove” was the first student production to build a set on the new film stage in Ramsey Regional Activity Center.

“We searched high and low, finally coming to the conclusion we would have to build the interior of the house,” said Read, who is studying directing at Dodge College of Film at Chapman University in California. “So with very little knowledge and help from (assistant professor) Luther Jones, (student) Margaret Gordon, our faculty and students, we built an interior set that to me is very believable and real. People are always amazed that it’s not a real house.”

Heaton said they were excited to have the film included in the competitive Atlanta festival.

“Chris and I definitely set a bar for ourselves with the movie and worked very hard to reach it,” said Heaton, a freelance filmmaker and camera operator based in Atlanta.

Others who worked on the film include Christy Conyers as editor; Chris McAllister as music composer; and Joseph Callahan, Tommy Cooley, Andrew Drake and Madeline Seagle as members of the cast.

For more information, contact Jack Sholder, professor and director of the Motion Picture and Television Production Program within the School of Stage and Screen, at 828-227-2324 and