We gave 12 filmmakers the opportunity to bring their North Carolina stories
to life in a series of short films that celebrates our state and all the
firsts that come from a visit here. Your votes have been counted, and the
winning film has been crowned: Taylor Sharp’s “Jacob’s First Mandolin,”
the heartwarming story of a young boy’s friendly wager with his father that
jump-started his future in music. Now we’d love to hear about
your own NC firsts.
Our film series finalists deserve a standing ovation
These 12 filmmakers – including our winner,
Taylor Sharp – brought their real North Carolina memories to
life in our curated collection of films showcasing diverse,
beautiful and inspiring destinations across our state.
Be sure to check out these short films (or watch them again!)
to find inspiration for your next unforgettable trip to North Carolina.
‘Jacob’s First Mandolin’
A friendly wager on a family fishing trip to Emerald Isle years ago resulted in one boy’s dream come true. That boy, all grown up, turned his dream come true into a career.
After a time of uncertainty in his life, Luke Gloeckner was looking for a new place to call home. Thanks to a cross-country road trip, he found a new playground in NC with its inspiring people, places and possibilities.
A childhood vacation to the NC coast always stood out to Jonathan Applebaum as magical. Today, Jonathan returns with his family and watches a new generation fall in love with the same coast that shaped him years ago.
Heres what you can expect from the Firsts That Last film festival: a queen. A mandolin.
A coffee cart. All with special ties to North Carolina, where memories were made, dreams
came true and lives were changed. Experience all these incredible films for yourself this summer,
then join us in August to vote for your favorite!
Were giving 12 filmmakers the opportunity to bring their North Carolina
stories to life in a series of documentary shorts. These films are a celebration of the
beauty of our state and all the firsts that come from a visit here.
A Wrinkle in Island Time
First-time filmmaker Dani Azul shows how the ferry ride to Ocracoke Island can act
as a time machine, making old love feel new again, for one couple.
The State That Heals
After a major life upheaval, filmmaker Luke Gloeckner embarks on a road trip –
and he quickly finds that North Carolina would be the perfect place for a fresh start.
Veteran filmmaker Kristi Ray offers a new perspective of the Shakori Hills
GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance through one bands first performance there.
Queen of Pisgah
In her first pro bike race in Pisgah National Forest, Kaysee Armstrong is
humbled by the terrain. Four years later and fierce with determination,
Kaysee returns for redemption.
1,175 miles make up the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in North Carolina. And in 2018, Jeff and Debra Rezeli found more than just stunning scenery on the life-altering trek.
Jacobs First Mandolin
A friendly wager on a family fishing trip to Emerald Isle years ago resulted in one boys dream come true. That boy, all grown up, turned his dream come true into a career.
The Wapiti of Cataloochee
In Rick Brysons childhood home, an old photograph of the last living elk in NC shaped his future - a future that included helping reintroduce elk to Cataloochee Valley.
Areli and Leon Grodski arrived in Durham and turned a bicycle cart into three thriving cafes and an award-winning microroaster. At the heart of it all? Community.
For the visually impaired, art has its limitations – but pottery is a special art form where the sense of touch makes all the difference in the world.
Growing up, Bryan Harveys greatest joy was surfing on the Outer Banks. Today, he knows theres only one thing thats better: teaching his daughter that same passion.
Eternal Polk has watched so many of his daughters firsts take place in North Carolina, but a trip to Crowders Mountain for a hike might just be his favorite.
Whats in a Memory?
Two siblings look back on a road trip from 20 years ago. As the sister recalls it, this drive was not like those of the past. But does her brother remember it the same way?
Everything thats important to Jonathan Applebaum has had its start in North Carolina. Now he wants to make sure that same love for the state is passed on to his sons.
To Trey Edwards, one night in Charlotte left a memorable first impression with craft beer, food and art. How memorable? He ended up moving there.