Films worth spreading: N.C.'s big year | Film Spotlight | Indy Week
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Films worth spreading: N.C.'s big year 

Aaron Syrett, director of the North Carolina Film Office

File photo by Jeremy M. Lange

Aaron Syrett, director of the North Carolina Film Office

Founded in 1984, the nonprofit series TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) continues to exert its unique influence. Inspired by the slogan "ideas worth spreading," talks and conferences associated with TED have become known for the captains of industry, science, entertainment and what TED calls "internationally credentialed thought leaders" who propound world-changing ideas that can be conveyed in a single short speech. As Zhou Enlai supposedly said about the French Revolution, it may be too early to say whether one or another idea from TED will change the world. But, given that the TED Prize, which has gone to such voices in the wilderness as Bono, Bill Clinton and Dave Eggers, has been increased to $1 million in 2013, it's quite possible that some really good ideas will keep coming out of the woodwork.

In a gesture toward an open source world, there are many local TED spinoffs, including one in Raleigh. Called TEDx Raleigh, it will feature a local array of brainy movers and shakers, including Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst and Bull City architect Phil Freelon. We're especially interested in the participation of Aaron Syrett, director of the North Carolina Film Office. Syrett has good claim to our attention these days: As a state associated with film and television, North Carolina is enjoying a banner year. The Hunger Games, filmed largely in Burke County, made $400 million and stoked a local tourist industry. Revolution, the new apocalyptic NBC series from showrunner J.J. Abrams that's shot in Wilmington, got picked up for a full season. And most recently, Homeland, the Showtime national security thriller that's shot in Charlotte, led the Emmys with four trophies, including acting nods for Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.

Syrett and other local figures, including Marissa Heyl of Symbology Clothing, Ryan Finch of Raleigh City Farm, magician Shawn Jay, Larry Larson of Larry's Beans and Brian O'Hara of South East Wind Coalition, will take the stage at Lincoln Theatre between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $25 in advance, $10 for students. Visit


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