: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production


A documentary profiling John Payne, who created interactive works of lasting impact, transformed his town into an artist’s haven that now faces a complicated future.


“Kinetosaur” is the true story of artist John Payne and the city of Asheville, NC he helped transform. Told through the stories of the artists he inspired, the film is a critical exploration of the city's tumultuous past as it faces rabid gentrification and a complicated future.


With my film “Kinetosaur”, I’ve woven together multiple media formats showing John’s remarkable story and Asheville’s controversial past, utilizing his legacy as a lens through which I speculate the future of a town that has exploded with cutting-edge culture, met with rabid gentrification. We will break the fourth wall to reveal the filmmaker, puppeteers, and miniature builders in the “Maker Spirit” of John’s legacy. It is vital to the story to be able to later turn the camera around on the filmmaker to connect the person making the film to his participatory role in the living history we are telling. We have spent hours building a visual narrative capturing portraits of the subjects, and what makes them both unique and the same. The River Arts District has invented itself as a culture of makers and creative entrepreneurs who dedicate their lives to their craft. In that vein, I thought a fitting tribute to that creativity would be to build a miniature set of the Wedge and neighboring studios. The goal is not to create a photorealistic copy of the buildings, but to create a filmmaker’s interpretation of an artist neighborhood. By using stop motion and miniature filmmaking techniques, this medium will reinforce the “maker” spirit of the film and the legacy that John imparted on so many. To complete our visual story, puppeteer Hobey Ford will create shadow puppet marionettes of John Payne and his dinosaur sculptures. We will also create shadow puppets of key historical events and characters. The goal is to also incorporate marionettes into the miniature set of the Wedge building and surrounding studios. The shadow puppets, marionettes, and the miniature set are a creative approach to illustrating historical events. Miniatures set scene actions will be narrated by voiceover, with shadows serving the dual purpose of embodying the ghost of John’s work and the long shadow cast by history. These scenes serve a vital role in moving the story forward through time, tying together the extended metaphor of the Kinetosaurs as the River Arts District, and contextualizing the impact of John Payne’s journey as an artist and mentor on Asheville. This film has become the most honest and critical work of my life. If selected I will commit to a collaboration that recognizes my focused vision, and to support a film that takes a heartfelt, humanizing approach to the toughest topics surrounding the art world.


Mitch Rumfelt - Director/Producer

Mitch Rumfelt is a filmmaker in Asheville, North Carolina. He participated in the IFP (Gotham) Emerging Narrative Lab with his debut film, a distributed indie horror feature. A graduate from the UNC School of the Arts, he serves as a producer, editor, and location specialist for the North Carolina Film Office. Mitch is dedicated to fostering unique and emerging perspectives in the independent film world.

Kyle Bell - Producer

Kyle Andrew Bell is a documentary and scripted filmmaker from North Carolina. He graduated from UNC School of the Arts where he produced and starred in many award-winning short films. In all, his works have screened in over thirty different countries, at various venues including the Director’s Guild of America in Los Angeles, FID Marseille, France, and including a special curation by The Museum of the Moving Image in New York City. Bell currently works in Charlotte, NC where he continues to work with various production companies.

Daniel Jamal Judson - Cinematographer / Associate Producer

Daniel Jamal Judson is a filmmaker in Asheville NC where he made his short film SHELTERED that premiered at the Beverly Hills Film Festival this spring. He is an alum of the IFP (Gotham) Emerging Narratives Lab with a distributed, indie-horror feature he co-wrote/ produced and his work for hire as an award winning Cinematographer; VFX Editor/Supervisor; Producer; and Director have played on AMC, HBO, MTV, BET, VH1, AllBlk, Univision, and PBS.

Ali Gharib - Associate Producer

Ali Gharib Is a senior executive producer responsible for promoting and marketing original television programming. Ali graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Journalism and Communications, with a minor in theater, and has been working in the television, film, commercial and corporate video industry for over thirty years. Additionally, Ali loves to direct and supervise studio and field shoots, lead talented graphics artists, sound designers, and editors. He has also worked as a line producer and casting agent on many short and long form promotional campaigns and commercials.

Jamie Linder - Associate Producer

Jamie Linder is a Senior Producer in the video department at The Humane Society of the United States/Humane Society International. He has been cultivating and producing conceptual and documentary-style videos for the family of organizations for 14 years. He is a multi-instrumentalist, playing pedal steel, guitar and piano, and enjoys spending time in nature in his free time. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina.


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