Meet the 2016 2nd Act Film Fest Filmmakers

2nd act 2016 Back for our 3rd year, the 2nd Act Film Festival, under the direction of Emmy-nominated filmmaker and Jasper film editor Wade Sellers, hits the screen Friday night at 7 pm at Tapp's Arts Center. Tickets are just $10 and are available by clicking here! Past festivals have sold out to SRO audiences and tickets are going far quicker online this year than in years past, so a word to the wise ...

But no need to wait until Friday night to meet this year's filmmakers. Here's a brief intro below to what you have in store on Friday night, October 14 at 7 pm.



Cory John

Cory John

Film: At Last

Columbia, SC actor, screenwriter, producer, and director Cory John began performing at his hometown high school Spring Valley. There he noticed and embraced his love for theater and acting. He later became part owner of Real Records LLC where he was a writer and director for their original film series, which included "Spare the Rod" and their feature film, "Addiction: What’s Yours?" He has since gone on to star in productions such as Yesterday Is Still Gone, Finding Hope in the Struggle, and Thee Final Destination 2 Love, to name a few. His recent endeavors include being director for the EmPOWERment Corp, and appearing as co-writer, co-producer, co-director, and lead in the Horror film Bag Lady set to premiere in October of 2016. Cory is also the director and founder of Cory John’s Murder Mystery Dinner Show, which will soon celebrate its one year anniversary of bringing fun, food, and horror to the Carolinas. Cory is a lover of the arts and credits his writing and directing of his latest short film "At Last" as his best work to date.


Tamara Finkbeiner

Tamara Finkbeiner

Film: Bait

Originally from Barbados, Tamara is married to Janson Finkbeiner and a stay at home mom with my joys; King Kai, Big Jon and Benji. She graduated from Columbia College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. She works in graphic design and is a co-founder with Josetra Robinson of our company One7evenOne Productions LLC.


Collins White

Collins White


Collins Abbott White is a filmmaker born and raised in Greenville, SC. He directed his first film when he was a senior in high school, and went on to study film in college. Upon graduating, Collins founded Other Vision Studios, a film and video production company with the goal of producing feature films in Greenville and helping to establish an industry presence in the upstate. For the past 5 years, Collins has worked with upstate businesses to help them capture the essence of their brand in video while producing several short films and the pilot of a mini-series as well as several YouTube Channels. He is passionate about the art of filmmaking and is determined to push himself in terms of story and quality every chance he gets.


David Holloway

David Holloway

Film: Botched

David Holloway is a freelance Cinematographer from Greenwood, South Carolina. He specializes in commercial and documentary projects. He is the owner operator of StoryReel Productions. He has a history degree from the University of Plymouth, UK. David is a self taught filmmaker, however, he has taken several workshops through Maine Media College. David is a passionate and dedicated film maker who is always looking to work with and learn from others.


Chris White

Chris White

Film: All Seeing

Chris White is an Irmo High School grad who now resides with his family in Greenville. His first film, ED THE MOVIE, was shot thirty years ago with a camera he bought at the old K-Mart on Bush River Road. Chris' next film is a rock-n-roll road movie about a kid who becomes a roadie for his favorite Christian hair band during the summer of 1986.


Kendall Jason

Kendall Jason -  kendallprojects

Film: Tonewood

Kendall (Jason) kendallprojects was born and raised in Columbia South Carolina. He briefly majored in Studio Art while participating in the football program at the University of South Carolina and North Greenville College. Leaving South Carolina he attended Art school at Ringling College of Art & Design in Florida where he received his BFA in sculpture. Upon graduating from Ringling he and his wife moved to New York where they lived in Brooklyn while working at Dia Center for the Arts (a nonprofit organization that initiates, supports, presents and preserves art projects “whose nature or scale” would preclude other funding sources). Also while in New York he received his MFA from New York University while teaching undergraduate classes in the fine art department. In 2009 Jason returned to South Carolina after his twin girls were born. Now back in Columbia Kendall works as an art teacher and spends most of his time in the studio developing new projects around ideas involving southern masculinity and blue-collar work ethic.


Ebony Wilson

Ebony Wilson

Film: W H O R L

Ebony is a returning filmmaker to the 2nd Act Film Festival from the Columbia area. She currently owns and operates her own independent production company, Midnight Crow Productions, is the administrator of the Columbia Film Community networking group, and manages branding and online positioning for media, talent, and film professionals in the Film Community Directory. Her latest works include Divine Intervention (a 48 hour film project), Underground 13 (web-series), and Prelude to Infusco (feature length sci-fi drama).


Michael Tolbert

Michael Tolbert

Film: Parental Guidance is Suggested

Michael Tolbert is an actor/director based out of Columbia, South Carolina. Over the course of four years he starred in Operation Adventure, hosting the documentary travel series. Most recently, Tolbert appeared in science fiction horror film Alienography and made his directing debut with the documentary film Wood: A Family Affair. Previously, Tolbert worked as a production assistant on films such as 50% and the short film Drifts. Both films have made their way across the nation screening at both Campus Movie Festival and Frameline Film Festival.


Jennifer Baxley

Jennifer Baxley

Film: Reality Really Bites

Jennifer Baxley is an amateur filmmaker whose inaugural music video “Jenny Saves Trump’s Jewels” allowed her to meet Donald Trump during the auditions for the Apprentice. This launched her very fruitful but profitless filmmaking career.  She’s produced five music videos, won a Palmetto Pillar Award and performed assorted production tasks on a few awesome films.  In her other lives she is a software developer and adjunct instructor for Midlands Technical College.


Tyler Matthews

Tyler Matthews

Film: Mr. Wonderful

Tyler Matthews is an equally adept filmmaker and music producer. After a four year stint in finance, he taught himself how to create video and music professionally. He's an artist on the Post-Echo Music label, an active member of two arts groups (Moas Collective and Scenario Collective), and a member of the SOCO Co-Work community. He produces two podcasts professionally and operates in the Vista under his business name Tyler Digital.


The 2nd Act Film Festival is a production of The Jasper Project.


The Jasper Project is a project-oriented, multidisciplinary arts facilitator serving the greater Columbia and South Carolina arts community by providing space, resources, and collaborative engineering for emerging artists and new projects by established artists. For more information go to

Exclusive: South Carolina Filmmakers Chris White & Emily Reach-White Premiere Teaser for New Project

UNB_Teaser_Vimeo-Cover by: Wade Sellers

Greenville filmmaker Chris White likes to keep busy. White, along with his wife and filmmaking partner Emily Reach-White, were fresh of their city-by-city filmmaking tour of their award winning feature film Cinema Purgatorio when they decided to move full speed ahead with their current production. “As my wife Emily and I wait to secure funding for our next feature, we thought it’d be fun to make a series of short films with our family, friends, and favorite collaborators” says White. The result is Unbecoming, a five-film anthology shot over the summer of 2015. The teaser premieres online today.

The project navigates an assortment of narratives that revolve around themes of personal devolution and change. They include a retired U.S. Senator with a dark secret, an in-school suspension that leads to a teacher with a captive audience of one, two lost souls’ unlikely meeting at a roadside diner, the stomach-churning memory of True Love lost, and a father’s last will and testament passed on via workshop mixtape.

White began raising funds for Unbecoming through an Indie Go-Go campaign in June of 2015. On June 22nd of 2015 the film was fully funded. “There is no commercial objective with Unbecoming,” he explains. “It was meant to be a playground to try an artistic endeavor, but there were still expenses. The Indiegogo campaign was a way for me to go to friends and long time supporters of my work and ask for their support and let me play with this idea.”

Additionally, White had a growing desire to work with veteran actors on a project. “I had worked with a number of known actors on other people’s projects but not my own. You realize why these actor’s have and continue to work—because they are really good at their craft.” As a result, Chris and Emily reached out two to veteran actors who they had previous relationships with.


The film stars Andy Warhol discovery Patti D’Arbanville, who got her start career in the art pop pioneer’s Flesh and L’Amour. Her long career features a mix of television and film credits that include Modern Problems, Real Genius, Miami Vice and Woody Allen’s Celebrity. Starring with D’Arbanville is Michael Forest. Forest may be remembered as the Greek god Apollo in the Star Trek episode “Who Mourns for Adonis?” His 60 year film and television career spans such notable projects as The Twilight Zone, Gunsmoke, Amarcord and Cast Away.

Chris and Emily had a previous relationship with D’Arbanville, so they approached her about starring in the film during a visit to North Carolina. Forest was a tougher get, as he had largely been retired from television and film, only visiting fan conventions for his Star Trek connection, although he did take a recent turn appearing in Vic Mignogna’s Star Trek Continues series. “I had met Michael while working on Star Trek Continues” says White of the connection. “He was interested in the project but wanted to be talked into it.” Additional cast includes Aaron Belz, Teri Parker Lewis, Bill Mazzella and Lilly Nelson. All five films were shot and produced within a short drive of the White’s home in Greenville.

Unbecoming’s theatrical premiere is Sunday, April 3rd at the wonderfully historic Tryon Theater in Tryon, North Carolina. Future screenings will be announced as they are scheduled.


UNBECOMING \ Teaser from Paris MTN Scout on Vimeo.

To buy tickets to the Tryon premiere:



alex smith cinemapurg
Last summer I had the pleasure of acting in my friends Chris and Emily White's film CINEMA PURGATORIO. I portrayed a possibly fictional European expatriate living in the southeast U.S. named Dos Midler. I had WAY too much fun, met and worked with an amazing group of people, got to play a role which now ranks among my favorites (and kiss Chris on the mouth MANY times in the process), and the film turned out to be a real gem, a beautiful, hilarious piece of art that speaks extremely well of the state of cinema in our state. I was rewarded for my efforts and time by not only getting to be a part of this wonderful film, but being treated as a VIP at the very first public screening CINEMA PURGATORIO in Columbia back in June.
Chris and Emily have been hauling the film all across the U.S. for screenings, and I've tried to make it to one or two of them, to no avail. When Chris told me that they had secured a screening at one of the nation's premiere independent cinemas, Clinton Street Theater in Portland, Oregon, and that it would open a double bill that would close with a 25th anniversary screening of Christopher Guest's THE BIG PICTURE, I jokingly mentioned to him that if he and Emily could find someone to pay for the flight and hotel, that I would bring Dos to the Portland screening.
Literally, the next day, I received an e-mail from Chris with this link:
...and the amazing news that, per my suggestion, he and Emily had created a page for me (and for other people in the cast and crew who had expressed interest in going to the Portland screening) at the CINEMA PURGATORIO web site to raise money for us to be flown out for the screening and put up for the night! 
Amazing. I knew Chris and Emily were kind and generous, but this blew my mind ...
So, here's the deal. Follow this link:
...and click on the button that says, "CLICK HERE TO SEND DOS".
You can contribute anywhere from $5 to $500, with some pretty nice incentives in return for your contribution, and once $500 is raised, BAM! Dos is going to Portland (I myself have already put a little bread into the pot, so let's just say I'm already 1/10th of the way there!).
Also, in the odd event that more than $500 is contributed in my name, all the money over $500 goes toward sending another member of the CINEMA PURGATORIO team to the screening! Again, Chris and Emily White are the BEST!
Now, you're probably wondering why you should help send me to this screening. Well, let's start with the personal: I haven't been on a vacation beyond North or South Carolina since August of 2001, and this whirlwind of a trip would be such a lovely little working vacation, and it would also be so beautiful to spend time with my wonderful friends watching their wonderful film ... but that's not the important part.
The important part is that when you send me, you will be sending Dos Midler to the Portland screening of Cinema Purgatorio. Dos and I are very different people, yes, but we are alike in three key ways:
1. Dos and I are both cinematic masters.
2. Dos and I both own tickle bats (I'll tell you about that later).
3. Dos and I are both troublemakers.
You send Dos or me to this screening, and what was already classified as an "event" turns into a full fledged CAPER (and you'd better believe there will be documentation of this caper's unfolding right here in the Jasper blog, minute by minute, as it happens)!
So what do you think? Are you ready to make me Jasper's man (and I use that term very loosely) on the ground in Portland when the deal goes down and CINEMA PURGATORIO premieres there? If so, click the link:
...follow the instructions, and get ready for "ess" to get real!
If you need any other reasons here are some videos that might bolster your confidence:

Win Passes to World Premiere of Cinema Purgatorio

cinema purg Yes, summer is finally making its way to Columbia after a spring that teased far more than delivered and, before you know it, events will thin out, you might not have to wait to get a table at Cellar on Greene, and you may even find a booth at The Whig. Those who know Columbia know that part of our culture is to sort of go underground during the summer months. We’re not sure whether it’s because we’re a college town or whether we’re so perfectly positioned between the mountains and the shore that it’s hard to stay put during summer days – or whether it’s just so damn hot here in July that we just can’t stand it. But we are what we are, and you have to love us.

That said, don’t put away your opera glasses and pearls quite yet. (Pfft! Who has opera glasses or wears pearls to most of Columbia’s events? Show off!) Jasper has several important arts events on our upcoming radar, so don’t pack your bags just yet.

Chris White & Emily Reach White


Sunday, June 1st – Cinema Purgatorio World Premiere

We’re delighted that SC filmmaking team Emily Reach & Chris White of Paris Mountain Scout productions chose Columbia to premiere their latest film, Cinema Purgatorio. You might remember the Whites from their previous feature films Taken In (2011) and Get Better (2012). Not only do the husband-and-wife team of Chris and Emily have strong ties to Columbia, but two of the actors in the film walked right off of Main Street.

While local filmmaker/actor Jeff Driggers plays the pushy documentarian Clark Wiggins, Alex Smith, whose work ranges from the stage to the studio to the screen, plays a pretentious filmmaker named Dos Midler. (Alex is also a staff writer for Jasper, and Jeff won the Jasper Award at Hub City’s Expecting Goodness Film Festival last June. Both were chosen to participate in Jasper’s Second Act Film Festival last October.) In addition, Columbia photographer Sean Rayford will be shooting red carpet photos at the first screening and the reception at Bourbon.

Jeff Driggers


Alex Smith


What’s more, the after party at The Art Bar will feature live music by  Shallow Palace and Mel Washington. Tickets to either screening include admission to the after-party.

As a sponsor of Cinema Purgatorio, Jasper invites everyone to come out and support independent filmmaking for the premiere showing on June 1st at IT-ology.  By purchasing your tickets at this special Jasper site, you’ll also be supporting Jasper Magazine.

But there’s more. Everyone who joins the Jasper Guild this week – at any level – will be entered to win two Gold Pass tickets to the premiere, including passes to the Producer’s Reception.  (Those who join at the $25 level will be entered once; those at the $50 level - twice, those at the $100 level - four times, at the $250 - 10 times.) Drawing will take place on Saturday afternoon, May 31st and the winner will be notified by email and announced on Facebook and Twitter. For more on the Jasper Guild -- see Below.


Isn’t it time for YOU to join the Jasper Guild?

The Jasper Guild is a group of supporting artists and arts lovers who appreciate not only the vital Columbia, SC arts scene, but the magazine devoted to promoting it. Members of the Jasper Guild recognize the labor-of-love that is Jasper and work to do their parts to ensure that Jasper continues to publish a 100% LOCAL & artist-produced magazine. You’re invited to join us in our mission to make Columbia, SC the Southeast arts capitol by becoming a member of the Jasper Guild. And the next time you open a copy of Jasper you’ll be able to say,

“I helped make this happen and here’s my name to prove it!”

  • Apprentice – 1 year delivery of Jasper & your name listed in Jasper for 1 year $50
  • Journeyman – above + your name in print in LARGE LETTERS $100
  • Master – above + a non-transferable Econobar PASS for 1 year $250
  • Centerfold Sponsorship above + your name/dedication printed on the centerfold $500
  • Publisher above + your choice of 3 books from the Muddy Ford Press catalogue $1000

 “But I’m just a starving artist myself,” you say?

  • Artist Peer - Practicing artists in dance, theatre, music, film, visual & literary arts are invited to join The Jasper Guild at a reduced rate & see your name in Jasper for 1 year $25

Join NOW!