The Secret's Out: Carbon World Premiere is Resounding Success at Sun Valley Film Festival 

click to enlarge Jennifer Lafleur stars in Carbon. - COURTESY OF CHRISTIAN LYBROOK
  • Courtesy of Christian Lybrook
  • Jennifer Lafleur stars in Carbon.

While introducing the much-anticipated Carbon to an anxious audience at Thursday night's Sun Valley Film Festival world premiere, SVFF Executive Director Teddy Grennan said the driving force behind the prestige and cash prize that helped make it happen—the One Potato Film Initiative—was "to support filmmakers from Idaho and lure filmmakers to come to Idaho."

The One Potato Film Initiative got a bit of both in Boise-based writer/director Christian Lybrook, who won the initiative's first prize a year ago. Lybrook used the windfall to direct Carbon, a gripping and stunningly-effective sci-fi Western short film using Idaho locales.

"The idea for Carbon had been percolating in my head for 10 years. I wrote the first draft of a screenplay in August 2014; we filmed it last year and we finally locked the film down just last Sunday," said Lybrook, who admitted to being emotionally overcome moments before showing his film to an audience for the first time. "All told, Carbon was a year-and-a-half project... plus 10 years."

  • Sun Valley Film Festival
Less than a half-hour later, the audience let Lybrook know that it was well worth the wait. In Carbon, which runs a tight 13 minutes long, Lybrook accomplished what many seasoned directors fail to do on too many occasions: demand an audience's attention from the opening frame of the film and never let go until the final credits roll.

Carbon co-stars Michael Val in his acting debut, but the standout performances come from Jennifer Lafleur, Jennifer Lafleur and Jennifer Lafleur (don't ask, just see it for yourself).

The drama unravels numerous secrets and Boise audiences will get their first glimpse of Carbon on Wednesday, March 23 when it screens during FilmFort, part of Treefort Film Fest.

As soon as the lights came up from the screening, Lybrook walked to the stage of nexStage Theatre in Ketchum to accept cheers from Thursday night's appreciative audience. But, he added, he wanted to lend support to the next wave of One Potato Film Initiative winners.

One Potato judges surprised the audience by announcing the latest batch of screenwriting entries were so stellar that there was a tie for first place. Screenwriters Eva Konstantopoulos (her script is titled "There is No Arthur") and Kevin Nielsen (his script is titled "(Death by Acquaintance") were each awarded a $5,000 check to help fund their short films to be shot on location in Idaho later this year. Both will have their world premieres at the 2017 Sun Valley Film Festival.

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