“Our New World lineage traces to Avalonia. Avalonia – a continent lost is the mists of time, as if dissipated by magic. And I collect lost things. Relics. Diamonds in the rough and mere clay yearning to be molded into vases. And with this palette, I give you Avalon, our humble tribute to the once and future Avalonia. For I believe we’ve recreated a little bit of that old Avalonia magic right here.” – Jean La Croix Distance, Distance from Avalon.
On this website, you will find the the legacy pages of Avalonia Festival, Avalonia Festival II, Avalonia Festival III , and our exclusive Circle of Champions by clicking those very hyperlinks from earlier in this sentence or by the links at the top of this page (if you see three lines or circles on your smart phone, click those!)
Both our website and our Live Events HONOR, CELEBRATE and PROMOTE the Award winning short films, trailers, teasers, posters and photography in the artistic gathering we call Avalonia Festival.
To submit your own work, CLICK HERE for Avalonia Festival IV or hit the blue “submit” button!
Now, some of you might be wondering the origins of Avalonia Festival.… well, it all comes from a story… a distant story.
Avalon is a place you don’t want to be. Or maybe you do.
Distance from Avalon is a fantasy fiction novella written by Mike Messier. The story follows a more-than-an-average Joe with a chip on his shoulder into a realm of the unknown.
Joe, a school teacher going through a painful divorce, finds himself on a spontaneous Halloween night adventure with an attractive, younger co-worker named Shadow.
They find themselves at a small dinner party hosted by a cryptic genius named Distance and his lovely yet seemingly “captured” mistress Heartbreak, who may – or may not – pine for freedom. Spoils of the flesh and empathy are used as tools for seduction and manipulation, with a deep element of Joe’s time travel theory “M-Life” testing his own loyalty to his chosen existence. Ultimately, Joe must choose whether to stay in this odd yet seductive place, or create… a Distance from Avalon.
Distance from Avalon also is written as a film screenplay and a stage-play.
Writer/Director/Producer and winner of 28 Awards in film, television, and play-writing, Mike Messier has cultivated Joe’s story as a stage-play, screenplay and novella, introducing us all to Joe’s, his co-worker turned date Shadow, and their eventual Vampire hosts; the lovely mistress-muse Heartbreak and her mentor-master, Jean La Croix Distance.
The story of Avalon has gone on to foster Avalonia Festival , featuring short films 21 minutes & under, as well as related artwork & media, with a variety of genres for every filmmaker. The first three Avalonia Festivals, taking place throughout Rhode Island, USA, were often named a FilmFreeway Top 100 Festival among filmmakers. With Avalonia Festival IV coming up on December 8, 2019, Jacksonville, Florida has been named as the new host city for Avalonia Festival with the glorious All Beaches Experimental Theatre as our new home venue. For more information on the festival, click here:
Speaking of art, a few moons ago, Mike and a hard-working but makeshift crew assembled a week’s worth of initial footage that lead to a promotional teaser for Distance from Avalon, which has since won a Best Trailer from The Great Message International Film Festival
With an upcoming geographic move of his own to the southeast United States, Mike seeks to form a new collaborative or team with an established group of professionals to bring the Distance from Avalon story – and planned sequel stories – to full fruition in all its forms. Contact Mike at email@example.com with serious inquires for cast, crew, as well as Associate and Executive Producer positions.
Let’s now enjoy Chapters One through Three of the novella version of Distance from Avalon, with text by Mike Messier and photographs by Artist Anne Murray
CHAPTER 1 – meet Joe Humble
Joe Humble never thought life could be like this; quite painful. He had married his high school sweetheart but was now divorced or at least close to it. It was a Friday afternoon, the last day of the school week and for most teachers that would be a welcome reprieve but not for Joe. He actually enjoyed teaching, his school and his students.
Or at least he used to. But not so much, recently. These days, a dark depression has grasped Joe, taken him around the throat and refuses to let him breathe. It would be easy enough to blame Joe’s state on the separation from his wife Jackie and the fact that he is not seeing his three children – twin daughters and a son – quite as much as he’s used to.
Or that the one woman who he’s ever really loved or that seemed to understand him now just can’t stand him. But there’s more than that. Because Joe appears as just another average Joe with a chip on his shoulder, if we even notice the chip, we may not choose to notice Joe himself. And that would be our mistake.
Because this Joe, our very average Joe has tapped into something, a krinkle in our understanding of time, the nature of time, and the possibilities of how we think and how we make choices affects ourselves, others, and all of humanity.
Joe Average is a very important person after all.
Joe Humble is our hero in crisis.
CHAPTER 2 – meet Joe’s students
It’s been said that every generation hates the next but this current generation is very hate-able. They are intelligent, sure, but really just zombies. They like their smart-phones but are not smart themselves. They are cowards. They are afraid of both themselves – their own potential – and what they are both capable of and not capable of.
They’ve been beaten down. There’s something about these kids that screams “defeated”.
Was it 9/11? Growing up with the visage of the world falling apart all around you? Not even feeling disappointed or saddened at the knowledge gained of a failing government. A failing country.
Not even becoming disillusioned. But just being born that way. Born depressed.
And these are the kids that Joe Humble attempts to teach as a seventh and eight grade history teacher.
These are the kids Joe tries to reach.
CHAPTER 3 – On this Friday, late afternoon
She peers into that classroom to see what she can see.
She is a music teacher herself and she was nice today, let her students out five minutes early. She’s been warned by the administration before not to do this but she does it anyway. It’s Friday and the kids – her kids, music students – tend to get bullied and shoved around a bit, so she wants them to have that extra time to get to their lockers, then the buses or the cars or however they are getting home. They have recitals and performances coming up in the next several weeks as November is coming and then the Holidays which brings performances.
She learned about the intricacies and nuances last year, her first full year as a school teacher. And now, here she is, a teacher in her sophomore year, barely out of schooling herself.
But she is enjoying it, despite the challenges of academia. Getting along with other people – the administrators – all quite locked in to their ways of doing things and most looking forward to retirement. But for the most part, they leave her alone.
She enjoys the kids.
And her co-worker, this Joe, he’s not so bad for an old guy. He’s going through a divorce, and he has kids, but at least that proves, well, that he can procreate and somebody loved him once.
She looks into his classroom, through a small glass window.
She looks into his room.
End of Chapter Three…
for press or publishing inquiries for Distance from Avalon the novella, screenplay or stage-play , contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, while they say that everyone has a story, it can also be said that every story has a story; or even more so ,another story that lead to the story.
The story of Avalon, and Avalonia, is no different; behind this story is another one, more fraught with a lovable chaos than perfect execution perhaps, but ultimately a success in art and perseverance.
Thus let us not forget, Disregard the Vampire – A Mike Messier Documentary is the dance that brought us to the ball. Some moons, and eight awards later, the journey now stands as a testimony to the heart and soul of several independent artists who never surrendered despite adversities of both the human and logistical variety.