The 2012 ActionFest, running April 12-15, 2012, has announced Solomon Kane as Opening Night film, Wu Xia as Closing Night film and J.J. Perry as the recipient of the 2012 Fight Choreographer Award. From the official press release:

ActionFest, the only international film festival devoted exclusively to action cinema returns to in beautiful Asheville this April 12th – 15th. Founded by Bill Banowsky (Carolina Cinemas founder and Magnolia Pictures co-founder), famed action director/producer Aaron Norris (Missing in Action III, “Walker, Texas Ranger”), and Radius-TWC Co-President Tom Quinn, ActionFest will once again showcase the most exciting action films from around the globe, pay tribute to the unsung heroes – stuntmen and stuntwomen, fight choreographers and 2nd unit directors – that make them possible, and give attendees an unparalleled Stunt Show Extravaganza.

ActionFest’s Opening Night film on Thursday, April 12th is the Regional Premiere of Michael J. Bassett’s Solomon Kane, a swashbuckling, visceral medieval epic starring James Purefoy (John Carter, Rome) and Max von Sydow, and based on legendary stories from the pen of Conan The Barbarian creator Robert E. Howard. Ain’t It Cool News has declared that “This movie f**king kicks about 12 different kinds of a*s.”

ActionFest’s Closing Night film on Sunday, April 15th is the Regional premiere of Wu Xia, hailed by Time magazine as “Both sensuous and thoughtful, a treat for the spirit as well as for any moviegoer longing for a well-made film involving brave heroes and dreadful villains.” Wu Xia stars internationally recognized martial arts actor and fight director Donnie Yen (Hero, Iron Monkey, Ip Man) as a tortured martial arts expert who attempts to begin a life of peace, only to find himself hunted by an obsessed detective and his former master, a ruthless bandit played by old school kung fu cinema icon, Jimmy Wang Yu (The One-Armed Swordsman).

This year’s ActionFest Fight Choreographer Award will go to J.J. Perry, who has wowed audiences with spectacular fights in Warrior, Underworld: Awakening, and Haywire. One of the most prolific high-profile choreographers in Hollywood, Perry has projects with Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, and Quentin Tarantino slated for future release.

“No one honors the men and women who put the action into action films, and it’s about time,” said ActionFest co-founder Aaron Norris. “For me, giving these unsung cinematic heroes the respect and recognition they deserve is at the heart of what ActionFest is all about.”

Says Perry, “Since being behind the scenes is inherent in what I do, I’m especially honored to be pulled out in front of the curtain by ActionFest. I’m touched by this award.”

As previously announced, ActionFest will also honor legendary stuntman Mickey Gilbert (Ben Hur, The Wild Bunch) with the Lifetime Achievement Award and pioneer in women’s MMA and Haywire star Gina Carano with the Chick Norris (Best Female Action Star) Award. The full lineup will be announced soon, including a competition section juried by genre experts from around the country. All-Access Badges good for admission to all ActionFest films and events are now on sale. The ActionFest 2012 poster, designed by award winning comic book artist Kagan McLeod (“Infinite Kung Fu”), has also been released.

Check out www.actionfest.com for more information and check the official ActionFest Blog (http://actionfestblog.com/) next week for details on the “30 Seconds of Action Film Challenge,” a competition where aspiring filmmakers compete by writing, directing and producing the best thirty-second action movie.

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