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These articles were excerpted from Tapestry, a weekly newsletter that examines the arts and entertainment world in Charlotte and North Carolina.

This Charlotte director made her own film festival

Never Have I Ever 2 cast and crew filming.
Courtesy Tierra Bratton
Member of the crew and cast of "Never Have I Ever 2" seen on set.

Tierra Bratton was looking for a film festival where she could premiere her short films but couldn't find any in the Charlotte area. After realizing there wasn't a film festival nearby, the 24-year-old independent filmmaker decided to create her own festival

"I wanted not only to show my work, but I also wanted to incorporate other types of creatives in the Charlotte area," Bratton said. "So, I came up with the 7-0-4 The Culture Fest."

7-0-4 The Culture Fest is a free one-day event on April 2 where Black creatives in the area can showcase their talents. People can expect to see music, fashion, films, games and comedy from local talent. Sixteen vendors, including two food trucks, will be at the festival.

Bratton has been directing for two years and said she has always been a passionate writer, but her love for directing came after seeing a bad ending.

"I've liked writing short stories since elementary school, but it wasn't until three years ago that I realized I liked directing too," she said.

Bratton and her brother watched a movie called "See you Yesterday," and her brother didn't like how it ended.

"So we said, 'How about we make our own movie and end it how we want to?'" Bratton said.

Since then, Bratton has directed, written, and produced three thriller short films: “Delusions,” “Never Have I Ever” and “Never Have I Ever 2.”

Katria Farmer plays the lead in “Never Have I Ever” and “Never Have I Ever 2.”

After finishing another movie in the area, she learned about the film.

"One of the directors for that movie posted the casting call online, and I had to jump on the opportunity to do another horror film," Farmer said.

“Never Have I Ever” is about a group of six friends playing the titled game. Things turn for the worst for the group the following day based on their answers.

Farmer describes the movie as very interesting and unique.

"It takes a game that most people have played and adds this layer of horror lore to it," Farmer said. "After we wrapped up filming, we planned to play a round of the game, and it made everyone a little nervous!"

People can watch “Never Have I Ever” and its sequel at the upcoming festival.

Bratton says being an independent director in Charlotte is a lot of work, especially since she's investing in her films and festivals from her own savings account. But she says it's all worth it when she sees her movies on the big screen.

There's more information about the event and tickets at Eventbrite.

WFAE's weekly arts and entertainment email newsletter, Tapestry, will keep you in the loop on arts and culture in the Charlotte region.

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Dante Miller is a community engagement producer for WFAE and a Report for America (RFA) Corps members. Dante first joined WFAE in 2020 through RFA to work as part of a unique partnership with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Digital Public Library of America. Her work in that project allowed her to use radio, online stories, Wikipedia entries and events to meet the community's news and information needs.