Boys State, The Fight, and The Last Shift Along With Bedonna Smith of Anonymous Content and Albert Berger of Bona Fide Films Among List of Films and Participating Filmmakers, Producers, and Actors

Following a record-setting 2019 event, Connect Beyond Festivalreturns to downtown Asheville, NC for its third year on April 3-5, 2020 for another three-day weekend of engaging performances, panels, film screenings, and workshops. This year’s packed film lineup features the winner of the 2020 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Documentary, Boys State, which was recently purchased by A24 and Apple, and winner of the 2020 Sundance Special Jury Award for Emerging Filmmaker, Feels Good Man, which features a special guest appearance by the film’s director Arthur Jones.

A number of films will also be making their North Carolina Premiere at this year’s festival, including the latest film from Bona Fide Pictures (the producers of Peanut Butter Falcon, Little Miss Sunshine, and Cold Mountain), The Last Shift, which stars Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water) and Shane Paul McGhie, as well as the World Premiere of Music Got Me Here from Emmy and Peabody Award-Winning filmmaker Susan Koch,who will be in attendance. Also screening will be The Fight, a powerful documentary from Magnolia Pictures and winner of the 2020 Sundance U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking, which follows four ACLU court cases involving immigration, women’s rights, LGBTQ, and voting rights issues. 

“Connect Beyond Festival provokes conversation and ideas about new things you didn’t know before,” Albert Berger, Connect Beyond Advisory Board Member and producer at Bona Fide Pictures, said. “This is a necessary and new development in the festival circuit.” 

Each film selection will represent one of three overarching themes of this year’s festival: 

  • Women As Majority – Films with this theme will explore women who have risen to the top of their fields, what they have in common, how they got where they are, and the biggest lessons they learned along the way.
  • Music As A Movement – Music has the power to culturally, morally, and emotionally influence us both on an individual level and on a societal level. Films with this theme will explore the universal language of music.
  • The Human Condition – Films with this theme will explore how we come to understand the lens that others are seeing the world through and find common ground to better communicate.

“We’re so excited about this year’s film program, which is sure to spark incredible dialogue about issues we all face as human beings at this point in our planet’s history,” Iz Web, Head of Development for Social Construct Films and Senior Programmer for the festival, said. “Not only will Connect Beyond audiences have an exclusive opportunity to see some of the most important, yet-to-be-released movies of 2020, but this is also the first year we accepted open submissions from the community via FilmFreeway, which yielded some fantastic films. Many filmmakers will be in attendance as well, and will be participating in lively discussions after the screenings.”

Connect Beyond 2020 Film Selections – View Lineup

Feature Films

Boys State – 2020 Sundance “Best of Fest” Winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Documentary

The Fight – Winner of the 2020 Sundance U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking

Feels Good Man – Winner of the 2020 Sundance U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award

The Last Shift – Official Sundance 2020 Selection, North Carolina Premiere

Music Got Me Here – World Premiere, with Emmy and Peabody award-winning filmmaker Susan Koch in attendance 

Patch CV: Controlling Voltage – World Premiere

Microplastic Madness

Navigating THRU

The Great Disconnect

Suppressed: The Fight to Vote

Short Films


Here There Be Tygers

I Snuck Off the Slave Ship

L’Eau Est La Vie (Water Is Life): From Standing Rock to the Swamp

Stories Happen In Forests – World Premiere

Borneo’s Vanishing Tribes

Louie – World Premiere

Considerations of Infinity – World Premiere

Michael, Emmadri, and the Mermaid

Saving Jake