The world premiere of Neil Marshall’s Centurion will take place at the inaugural ActionFest set to launch in North Carolina in April.

Magnolia’s Magnet Releasing division acquired North American rights to Marshall’s Roman Britain action adventure in Berlin and will showcase the film at the new event, which runs in Asheville from April 15-18.

Action star Chuck Norris will receive the first annual Lifetime Action Achievement Award and will embody the spirit of the festival, designed to action cinema and its creators. The festival is being created by Carolina Cinemas founder and Magnolia Pictures co-founder Bill Banowsky and action director Aaron Norris.

ActionFest will feature word premieres, a juried competition and stuntman demonstrations. Magnolia and Magnet senior vice-president Tom Quinn is head programmer and will unveil the full line-up on March 22 with festival director Matthew Kiernan.

“A festival like this one is long overdue,” Aaron Norris said. “ActionFest will cover the full gamut of what defines the genre and will pay appropriate respect to the artists who create great action films:  the actors, directors, producers, stuntmen, stunt coordinators, and fight choreographers.”

“Aaron and I are very pleased to bring ActionFest to life,” Banowsky said. “The festival will benefit Asheville, it will benefit fans of the genre, and most importantly, it will benefit worthy causes like Kickstart Kids.”