Lights, Camera, Automotive Action!
The Grand Motoring Film Festival hits high gear with two nights celebrating award-winning films from
across the Automotive world.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC, OCTOBER 11, 2023 – Now entering its seventh year, the Grand Motoring Film Festival presented by Hilton Head Capital Partners has dropped the green flag on an expanded experience set to kick off the Concours weekend on Hilton Head Island.
Long celebrated for its immersive mix of automotive excitement and inspired filmmaking, Grand Motoring Film Festival – a part of Crescendo Celebration of Arts & Culture - will see its slate of films expand for 2023 to encompass two nights of cinematic thrills.
“With so many talented filmmakers now wanting to be a part of the Grand Motoring Film Festival, we simply couldn’t fit everything into one night,” said Event Founder Guy Smith. “Adding Friday screenings at Coligny Theater to our Showcase Event at The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina allows us to share their talents with an audience who shares their love of car culture.”
Held November 2nd at The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, the Showcase Event starts with a VIP red-carpet reception featuring some iconic celebrities of the automotive world, and a display of classic and collector cars while attendees enjoy heavy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.
In addition to cars featured in the films shown, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, and Corvettes will dominate the automobile exhibit. When the curtain goes up, film fans will experience a curated selection of short films, including the world premiere of “March Forth,” by local filmmakers Ryan McCormick and Christian Perry; a pair of theatrical premieres in “Defy the Odds” and “The Gunslinger;” and the feature film “The Chrysler Turbine Car: Engineering a Revolution.”
This stunning feature film traces Chrysler's groundbreaking efforts beginning in the 1950s to disrupt the automotive industry with their multimillion-dollar turbine research program, boasting interviews from Chrysler Turbine owner Jay Leno and Steve Lehto, author of “Chrysler's Turbine Car: The Rise and Fall of Detroit's Coolest Creation.”
“As soon as I saw this documentary, I knew we’d found our showcase film,” said Smith. “It’s not only a beautifully shot film, it tells a fascinating story about a car that could have changed everything but wound up being almost a footnote in automotive history.”
Adding to the excitement of this year’s Showcase Event is the return of a juried awards show, bestowing honors on the top motoring films submitted to this year’s festival. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with some of the filmmakers involved and discover more about these fascinating films. Jurors for the festival include former editor and publisher of Autoweek, Dutch Mandell, Pixar Studios Creative Director of Franchise Jay Ward, "Death Race 2000" star Simone Griffeth, and Creative Director at Hearst Autos, Tara Klein.
Those who can’t make it to the Showcase Event will have another opportunity to enjoy this curated collection of automotive films, with a day-long series of screenings at Coligny Theatre. Discover how one woman nearly changed racing forever in “Paula Murphy: Undaunted,” and meet the director, Pam Miller. Thrill to the unlikely history of an Italian masterpiece in “Rosselini Roma ’21.” Get behind the wheel with the infamous Pacific Coast Motorsports team in “Bumped.” The day’s slate is packed with these and other amazing automotive films. There is no admission charge for the Friday event, however donations to “Tools for Techs” are welcome.
“The heart of Grand Motoring Film Festival has always been about giving audiences a chance to experience these films on the big screen, and giving filmmakers an opportunity to interact with people who share their enthusiasm for cars,” said Guy Smith. “Expanding that into two days really allows us to put the spotlight on so many more deserving films.”
Sponsors and partners for the Grand Motoring Film Festival include Hilton Head Capital Partners, Broad Arrow Group, The Thunderbird Inn, Hagerty, Palmetto Drivers Syndicate, Lowcountry Oyster & Motorcar Driving Society. Organizers recommend purchasing tickets in advance for the Thursday Showcase event either at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina box office 843-842-2787 or online at artshhi.com. For the full slate of films featured at the Showcase Event or the Friday Coligny Theatre screenings, visit grandmotoring.com.
Full schedule for 2023 Grand Motoring Film Festival - Film Summaries Below:
Select Film Summaries 2023 Grand Motoring Film Festival
The Chrysler Turbine Car: Engineering a Revolution - Theatrical Premiere - Headliner Film
Directed by Conor Kelley
Starting in the 1950s, Chrysler set out to disrupt the automotive industry with a multimillion-dollar turbine research program. This documentary, produced by the non-profit 501c3 Hagerty Drivers Foundation, chronicles those efforts and is told from the point of view of the engineers and mechanics that were responsible for the futuristic jet-engine automotive program as well as the historians like Steve Lehto, Jay Leno, and Mark Olson that have spent decades researching this incredible aspect of American car history.
Paul Murphy: Undaunted - Friday Headliner Film
Directed by Pam Miller
During the turbulent 60s, the quest for women’s rights was invigorated. In motorsports, where names like Andretti and Petty transcended the race track, a lone woman emerged from their shadow – her name was Paula Murphy. Fast, fearless, and versatile – auto racing had never seen anyone like Paula. Dubbed the “World’s Fastest Woman on Wheels” she was more than a speed demon. When she hit the throttle, attitudes toward women drivers changed forever. In an era when women weren’t allowed in the garage or on a racetrack, Paula was the first woman to take laps at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, pilot not just any stock car - but Richard Petty’s #43 to speed records on the high banks at Talladega Superspeedway – and first to earn an NHRA Funny Car license. Versatility was her specialty – setting records in jet cars, sports cars, drag cars, Grand Prix cars, on Salt Flats, dirt, or asphalt. Her accomplishments placed Paula in the rare air of STP royalty as part of their famous line up of drivers – Petty, Andretti, Parnelli Jones and Paula. She wasn’t spared the adversity that came with the risks, but never ran from the challenge. Paula’s success translated into racing opportunities for the generations of women drivers – who race each week. So how did her story get lost? Why do the current generation of drivers not know the name Paula Murphy? This is Paula Murphy: Undaunted.
Kim Jong, Alfaman and The Probe: A LeMons Race World Premiere
Directed by Yasmin Sanie-Hay
This documentary follows the wild and wacky adventures - and characters - of three teams in the infamous 24 Hours of LeMons endurance race for $500 cars. The stories of the teams in this film reflect endurance, humor, camaraderie and a strong sense of community. Director Yasmin Sanie-Hay is a 2023 Master's student at the University of Southern California.
Student Film (Animation)
Directed by Erin Malfi
A motorcycle riding dog must compete with the Grim Reaper to save his soul. Student Short Film
Karl Heinz US Premiere
Narrative Short (Comedy)
Directed by Andrew Robb
A grumpy driver installs a technical upgrade to his old Volvo with unexpected results. Director Andrew Robb. Shot on iPhone.
Hope Rewarded: The Unlikely Return of North Wilkesboro Speedway
Journalsim / Factual Entertainment
Directed by Pam Miller
What happens when a rural mountain town loses the heartbeat of their community? A racetrack that was built post World War II by three local families with a dream. For 50 years, North Wilkesboro Speedway had hosted NASCAR races and was the pride of Wilkes County. Until it wasn't. The growth of NASCAR in the 1990s had threatened the quaint Speedway for years but when the last founding partner passed - the family heirs' decision to sell the track to rival ownership - set an inevitable sequence of events in motion. The Speedway lost their NASCAR races to more modern tracks - and was let to rot in the earth. The economic impact to the county was immediate and severe. National corporations fled the area. Civic pride was decimated. The once vibrant area plummeted to become the fourth poorest county in the state. For 27 years, the community fought to get their racetrack back - persevering through corrupt promoters and changing political landscapes. Two local racing legends along with their widows, a couple curious young men and a lone groundskeeper didn't give up the fight - keeping the track on life support. When a NASCAR superstar voiced his support to see the track come back - the community's luck changed. And 27 years later - NASCAR racing returned to the Speedway and a miraculous transformation began. A second chance beyond the community's dream - hope rewarded.
GHOST, A True Story
Directed by Stephane Benini
Based on a true story about passion for a racing game between a young boy and his father - created with AI tools.
Parts & Pieces Theatrical Premiere
Directed by Bruce James Bales
A look into the McGuire family's love for rare British Triumph vehicles and how those vehicles came to be a family tradition. The film centers around the patriarch, Chuck, and the story of how he came to possess so many Triumphs over the years.
March Forth World Premiere
Directed by Ryan McCormick
Adocumentary about the influential history of the Frank family, and how AJ Frank utilizes his family’s past to 'march forth' within his community and automotive career.
"The Gunslinger" - Rolls Royce Western Theatrical Premiere
Directed by Jeremy Heslup
Behind the wheel of an “all-powerful stagecoach,” a dead shot gunslinger teams up with a brave saloon girl to rescue a besieged frontier town from the grips of a villainous gang, led by a nefarious man in black.
Short Drive Film
Directed by Maël Pierre Gerard
This is the story of a couple consumed by passionate desire who, during a trip behind the wheel of a Porsche 930, experience the unimaginable.
The 1971 Kitchen Grand Brie
Directed by Ian Beckman
The Kitchen Grand Brie is only the greatest race in the whole household and your favorite foods are the contestants. And when Armando Fettucini, the most beloved and hated delicacy on the grid is on the verge of winning a fifth time to take control of the life-giving fridge, the other dishes take unprecedented action to stop him and accidentally set off a chain of events that changes the Grand Brie forever.
Rossellini Roma '21 US Premiere
Documentary Short Film
Directed by Francesco Piras
This is the story of one of the most iconic cars ever built and specially made for neorealist Maestro Roberto Rossellini. It left its native Italy over half a century ago to lead a very different life, first in quiet French retirement before sailing for America where it found stardom. Now we’ve brought it home to be reunited with the humble streets and personalities of its youth, to reveal the untold human stories behind the bright lights and glittering celebrity…and to roar. Produced by Simon Kidston.
Defy the Odds Theatrical Premiere
Directed by Corry Wiens
Amateur race car driver, Bill Lester, is faced with a decision that will upend the stable office life he's been trapped in. Based on the true story of Bill Lester, the first black NASCAR driver to win a race in NASCAR's Grand-Am series.
Journalism / Factual Entertainment
Directed by Sean Heckman & Ryan Eversley
There was a time when just qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 was a story all to itself, and perhaps none more evident than the story of Pacific Coast Motorsports. A young and free-spirited team that rose from the ranks of junior racing all the way to the top levels, team owner Tyler Tadevic took a massive gamble in 2008 when, despite limited funds, he risked everything to get his team into the Indianapolis 500 … and lost.
Narrative (Music Video)
Directed by Barret Burlage
A music video from the Charleston-based satirical pop band Sexbruise? about their love for the 1999 automotive masterpiece.
Ford Bronco: BUILT WILD
Student Short Film
Directed by Noah Semeria
A self-funded spec project that takes a crew from LA to the Las Vegas deserts, showcasing the off-roading capabilities of the Bronco Sasquatch Edition.
My Home Race - Charles Leclerc: Monaco F1 Grand Prix 2023 Theatrical Premiere
Journalism / Factual Entertainment
Directed by Ryan Davis
Watch the F1 2023 Monaco GP embedded with Scuderia Ferrari F1 Driver and local hero, Charles Leclerc. Follow unprecedented BTS of the life of Leclerc as he navigates the insanity that is the Monaco Grand Prix, the most iconic race in the world taking place in the streets that he calls home. Interviews with the family and friends of Charles Leclerc as they detail what is the life of their friend, brother, and son.
Directed by Molly Knybel
This documentary follows the adventures of four Central Connecticut State University students as they prepare for and participate in The Great Race 2022. The Great Race is not a typical race, but a controlled-speed competitive endurance rally for vehicles that were built before 1975. The actual competition demands skilled driving and navigating, and the ability to keep their vehicle in top condition while traveling hundreds of miles a day for over a week. The story begins with the acquisition of the car, a 1961 Dodge Lancer. The students are then challenged to get it into shape and make it safe enough to join more than 500 people from around the world and 120 other antique cars on a 2300-mile journey across the country. The group travels over hill and dale, through all kinds of weather as they make their way from Warwick, Rhode Island to Fargo, North Dakota. Along the way, they experience breakdowns, mishaps, laughter, and frustration. Each night, they receive a hero’s welcome when they reach that day’s overnight stop. Will they meet the challenge?
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