The Goodness

Warning: This post will be filled with thanks.

“Who knew?”

That was one of the last things Stephen said to me last night after midnight, after the after-party, after the film festival, after months of preparation, as we locked up The Showroom. Seriously, the Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival was one of the most rewarding nights I’ve had and, hopefully, it was just as rewarding for all of the filmmakers, writers, volunteers, actors, crews, donors, and everyone involved in putting that night and project together.

But, first, you probably want to know the award winners, huh? Here you go!

Best Cinematography (Juried): Jessica Hollingsworth, DOBRA OJCA

Best Editing (Juried): Adam T. Gordon, The Nipper

Best Actor/Actress (Juried): Madison Nulty, The Widower’s Pearls

Best Film (Juried): The Widower’s Pearls (Abe Duenas, director)

Audience Favorite: DOBRA OJCA (Chris White, director)

But thank you and congratulations to all seven filmmakers, their casts and crews: Porter Blackman, Andrew Doughman, Abe Duenas, Adam T. Gordon, Jason Kruczynski, Wade Sellers, and Chris White.

Thank you to all of the writers in Expecting Goodness who trusted their stories in the hands of filmmakers, and especially to the seven writers whose stories were selected: Kathryn Brackett, Susan Tekulve, Thomas McConnell, Norman Powers, Jeremy L.C. Jones, Michel Stone, and Lou Dischler.

Thank you to our amazing host Julie Sexeny, who kept the whole night running smoothly, and whom we love having in Spartanburg. Thank you to our talented, wise judges, Peter Caster, Ray Merlock, and Jeff Sumerel, for taking the time to be a part of this start-up project and supporting these filmmakers in more ways than showed last night.

Thank you AiR Steve Snell for sharing “The Epic Spartanburg” and several of the 18 Heroic (re)Production videos–you were the perfect visual end to the night!

Thank you to AiR Mark Rice for providing the theme song for the night: “11” by THIT. It was perfect, no? (Come celebrate all of this year’s AiRs during their Exit Show reception on Friday, March 30 from 7-9pm at The Showroom!)

Thank you to our incredible volunteers who make everything we do at HUB-BUB and Hub City Writers Project possible, and especially to our EGSFF Sub-Committee Luke Meagher, Carlee Ormond, and Darryl Harmon–you three made us the best team with your ideas and work along the way. Thank you to Sara Hamilton, Cheryl Mirer, Lyn Radke,  Christine Cox, and Maddox for your help last night and all other days and nights (yep, we like you a lot).

Thank you to our executive directors Betsy Teter and Celia Cooksey for your help and support in all ways every day and last night. A special thanks to Betsy, without whom there would have been no Expecting Goodness stories to use as inspiration for these films (and no HUB-BUB, no HCWP, etc.). And to our HubCulture Board Chairwoman Rebecca Ramos for her tireless support of our organization and all we do; no task is too small, no task is too large, and we are all the better to have you as our biggest champion.

Thank you to Aaron Pate, our new best friend, at USC-Upstate Digital Media Services. You’re a magic-maker, and we couldn’t have done it without you. We hope this is the start of a lasting partnership with you and USC-Upstate!

Thank you to Brian and Terry of Ridge Runner Media for filming the whole night after a last-minute request (which y’all will see at the re-screening on April 18), and for all of your past and future enthusiasm for supporting HUB-BUB. Heroes!

Thank you to our donors BB&T, Carolina Auction Team, Don Finkell, Security Finance & Susan Bridges, whose generous support made the festival possible because, though we like to forget this fact, big ideas and projects like this actually cost money.

Thank you to our local businesses Zarza, Venus Pie Pizzeria, The Urban Planter, Blue Moon Sauces, Little River Coffee Bar, and Fairytale Treats for supporting this local event–we have so much to be proud of here in Spartanburg!

Thank you to everyone who came last night, who filled every seat in The Showroom, who told your friends about the festival, who said I believe in the arts in Spartanburg and South Carolina by taking a chance on this brand new project. You make us SO PROUD, Spartanburg!

And, though I’m writing this on behalf of all of us organizers, three cheers for Stephen Long and his vision for The Showroom, for his patience along the way with my obsessiveness, for his technical prowess with lighting, sound, and design, and for his endless passion for what HUB-BUB and this town can do.

Oh, and to Honorary Golden BUB recipient Josh Foster! You weren’t expecting that were you, Josh? We like surprises. And especially surprise honors to a man who had this little idea for a film festival, shared his idea, and helped make it happen in so many ways. Josh is proof that if you have a vision, and you share it, it can come true. You are golden, Josh, and we’re so lucky to have you in Spartanburg.

I told you there would be a lot of thanks. Needless to say, it was a pretty darn good night. The start of a new tradition. The making of new relationships. The celebration of our talented and enthusiastic community.

And if you missed out, come by HUB-BUB and get your $5 ticket to the April 18 re-screening. You will want to see these seven films, which I’m sure will have lives beyond this festival.

Last night was all goodness. And I’m expecting more in the years to come with this project.


PS We know many of you were taking photos last night–please share with us! Email to or post to our Facebook page. Thanks!

And here’s the video that kicked off the festival, just in case you were still wondering how it all came together and what it all means.


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Filed under Kari Jackson

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