Category Archives: Kari Jackson


The EXPECTING GOODNESS SHORT FILM FESTIVAL is nearly here. If you don’t have your tickets yet, you might miss out if you don’t get them asap right here. Experience the goodness!


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Expecting Goodness Teasers

Incredibly, the 2013 Expecting Goodness project films are due to me in exactly one month. My, how the months fly!

But this is an exciting time to be a part of the project because, as they move into post-production, the filmmakers are starting to share teasers of their films in photos and videos.

Here’s filmmaker Durham Harrison directing Grammy, played by Kathy Hartzog, in “Grammy’s Keys” (based on the story by Melinda Cotton).

Grammy's Keys

And here’s a shot from Jeff Driggers and Drew Baron’s “Pretty Pitiful God” (based on the story by Deno Trakas).

Pretty Pitiful God

And here’s a little featurette from Abe Duenas’ “Donde Come Uno, Comen Dos,” based on Lindy Keane Carter’s story “Sucker.”

And click here to see filmmaker Julie Sexeny, writer John Saylor, and organizer Kari Jackson (that’s me) on this morning’s Carolina Now talking about the Expecting Goodness project.

There’s more to come!

So if you want an experience like none other, and you want to see all of the 2013 films premiere, then you must, must, get your tickets soon for the March 23 festival at the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg.

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Expecting Goodness: LAUNCHED

One week ago we invited all of the 2013 filmmakers and writers to The Showroom to meet each other and the public. It was our official launch of the four-month project that is the Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival. As of now, the project is ON, the stories are transitioning into films, the filmmakers are building their cast and crew. And we’re super excited.


Filmmakers meet the public at Launch Night.

Chris and Emily

Chris White and Emily Reach White talk with Josh Foster about their experience in the 2012 Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival.


Filmmakers Drew Baron and Jeff Driggers talk alongside writer Deno Trakas, whose story “Pretty Pitiful God” they will use as inspiration for a short film.

Didn’t make it to Launch Night but still want to get involved? SIGN UP HERE.

We have our first four project events within the span of a week, the first happening (right now, actually) is the Screenwriting Workshop with Chris White and Emily Reach White (thanks to Paris MTN Scout for donating their time and expertise!).


Emily and Chris lead the screenwriting workshop in The Showroom.

Tonight, we welcome the hilarious and poignant Susan Isaacs to The Showroom for hersolo show Angry Conversations with God. Wednesday is our first in the Story to Screen series, where we invite you to read the story “Brokeback Mountain” and then watch the movie with us at the Spartanburg Library Headquarters, followed by a discussion. And, our final 2012 project event before it really kicks off in January is The Epic Spartanburg premiere with Steve Snell (which, we promise, truly will be EPIC) on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7pm in The Showroom.

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Expecting Goodness: How it’s done

We’re a nonprofit, as you know, which means we often have (and get) to be creative. Well, we did just that Monday night when we held our first-ever livestreamed event to select the filmmakers and stories/writers that would be a part of the 2013 project.


Stephen tests the lighting and the sound in our makeshift set in our Hub City Writers Project office as we get ready to go live.


Lighting is very important when you’re deciding important things.


It’s decided!

Only the registered filmmakers and writers could watch Stephen, Alf, and I as we drew names to determine the 7 emerging and 7 experienced filmmakers and their selected stories that would make up our project (MEET THEM HERE). We can also now reveal that our surprise 15th filmmaker is Abe Duenas, whom we have invited back as our 2012 Best Film winner for The Widower’s Pearls. (And whoever wins 2013 Best Film will be invited back in 2014.)

We’re thrilled to introduce the 15 filmmakers and 15 writers to you at Launch Night on Saturday, when you can meet them and sign up to help on the films. In the meantime, here’s a look at them by the numbers:

  • 6 of the 15 stories are South Carolina Fiction Project winners
  • 11 women are in as writers or filmmakers
  • 8 of the 30 participants are from Spartanburg

Let’s look at it in map-form, shall we? I think we can safely say 2013 is a statewide film festival. So exciting!

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Natalia Newcastle tells you how it is

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Year two, and we want you

We started talking about the second Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival on its inaugural night, as we celebrated with wine and conversation in the Zarza bar. What had been an experiment had become a success–beyond our thoughts but not beyond our dreams. We immediately started thinking about how we could grow it while maintaining the grassroots feel, the closeness to the films, the showcase of talented writers and filmmakers.

After several months of meetings we settled on making our little one-of-a-kind festival a SOUTH CAROLINA festival: our state’s writers connected with our state’s filmmakers. If the mission was to showcase talent, why not showcase our state’s talent?

So phase one was to find writers and their stories. We reached out to state organizations, schools, and publications for their recent contest winners, and then we reached out to writers across the state to send us their recently-published stories. What we got was 35 stories from writers all across the state: Greenville, Spartanburg, Columbia, Mt. Pleasant, Beaufort, and all over in between. What we got was a treasure of stories for filmmakers to choose from to use as inspiration for a short film this year. What we got was really excited about the whole 2013 project!

And here we go! Filmmaker registration starts one week from tomorrow, September 19, right here. If you’re a South Carolina emerging or experienced filmmaker, we want you in the project. Yes, WE WANT YOU!

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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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