Presented by Indie Memphis and sponsored by The Department of Communication at The University of Memphis, the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers presents six independent feature and documentary films from September 2013 through April 2014 – each with the filmmaker in attendance for a post-screening conversation with the audience about the film and their work.
Additional support provided by ArtsFirst and the First Tennessee Foundation.
The New Public
7:30 pm Wednesday, April 16
@ Studio on the Square (2105 Court Ave.)
* After the screening, filmmaker Jyllian Gunther will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Barbara Prescott, executive director of the PeopleFirst Partnership and chair of the Transition Planning Commission guiding the merger of city-county school districts. The panel also includes Cardell Orrin( the Memphis City Director of Stand for Children), Chris Caldwell (Commissioner and current School Board member), and Marc Willis (previously ran Stax Academy/Soulsville Charter school and then went onto founding Omni Prep Charter School).
Tickets: $8 each / $6 for Seniors
Free for Indie Memphis members
and Students with valid ID.
Public high school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where a third of residents live below the poverty line and the graduation rate is 40%. With infectious optimism, O’Brien and his staff of eight undertake a new and unconventional approach –– emphasizing strong individual support and arts-based nontraditional instruction. Initially, the buzz from the community was that this was a dream come true. But conflicts arise when old realities surfaced.
Filmed over four years, The New Public goes in and out of the classroom to follow the journey of students, parents and educators striving to reconcile idealism with reality and make a difference in the futures of young people whose lives are stark representations of our country’s education and opportunity gaps. Through the prism of one inner-city school, we witness complexities faced by urban public schools and communities everywhere.
"With nuance and humor, The New Public shows how poverty presents many obstacles..to effective teaching and strong learning... Inspiring and sobering."
-Greg Kaufman with Elaine Weiss, The Nation / Bill Moyers.com
"This film is filled with very special human drama that transcends the education film genre and is better than any fictional film about schools that I’ve ever seen. The only film that I remember capturing kids and educators in the inner city as effectively was the great TV series The Wire... That’s a high compliment."
-Mark Phillips, EDUTOPIA, The George Lucas Educational Foundation
PAST 2013-2014 SOUTHERN CIRCUIT SCREENINGS
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 @ 7:30 pm
How to Make Movies at Home
writer / director Morgan Nichols in attendance
Jonah’s band of local DIY filmmakers is threatened when a Hollywood team comes to sign Hillport, Maine as a location for a big TV show. Jonah goes to war with Hollywood, but her real problems might be with her best friend, Dan, who has designs on the Hollywood producer’s girlfriend.
With practical lessons on cinema craft woven throughout, How to Make Movies at Home is a wild, infectious celebration of the DIY world and a proud instigator for a new value system in the world of movies.
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 @ 7:30 pm
Birth of the Living Dead
director Rob Kuhns & producer Esther Cassidy in attendance
In 1968 a young college drop-out named George A. Romero directed a low budget horror film that shocked the world and became an icon of the counterculture - NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. It spawned a billion dollar zombie industry that continues to this day.
BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD, a new documentary, shows how Romero gathered an unlikely team of Pittsburghers -- policemen, iron workers, teachers, ad-men, housewives and a roller-rink owner -- to shoot, with a revolutionary guerrilla, run-and-gun style, his seminal film. During that process Romero and his team created an entirely new and horribly chilling monster – one that was undead and feasted upon human flesh.
This documentary also immerses audiences into the singular time in which NIGHT was shot. Archival footage of the horrors of Vietnam and racial violence at home combined with iconic music from the 60s invites viewers to experience how Romero’s tumultuous film reflected this period in American history. BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD shows us how this young filmmaker created a world-renowned horror film that was also a profound insight into how our society really works.
Wednesday, Nov. 20 @ 7:30 pm
director Jeremy Seifert in attendance
GMO OMG tells the story of a father’s discovery of GMOs through the sym- bolic act of poor Haitian farmers burning seeds in defiance of Monsanto’s gift of 475 tons of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds to Haiti shortly after the devastating earthquake of January 2010. After a journey to Haiti to learn why hungry farmers would burn seeds, the real awakening of what has happened to our food in the US, what we are feeding our families, and what is at stake for the global food supply unfolds in a trip across the United States and other countries in search of answers. Are we at a tipping point? Is it time to take back our food? The encroaching darkness of unknown health and environ- mental risks, seed take over, chemical toxins, and food monopoly meets with the light of a growing resistance of organic farmers, concerned citizens, and a burgeoning movement to take back what we have lost.
By the simple act of feeding ourselves, we unwittingly participate in the largest experiment ever conducted on human beings. Massive agrochemical companies like Monsanto (Agent Orange) and Dow (Napalm) are feeding us genetically-modified food, GMOs that have never been fully tested and aren’t labeled. This small handful of corporations is tightening their grip on the world’s food supply—buying, modifying, and patenting seeds to ensure total control over everything we eat. We still have time to heal the planet, feed the world, and live sustainably. But we have to start now!
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 @ 7:30 pm
The Iran Job
producer Sara Nodjoumi unable to attend due to inclement weather
The Iran Job follows American basketball player Kevin Sheppard as he accepts a job to play in one of the world’s most feared countries: Iran.With tensions running high between Iran and the West, Kevin tries to separate sports from politics, only to find that politics is impossible to escape in Iran.Along the way he forms an unlikely alliance with three outspoken Iranian women.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 @ 7:30 pm
director Leah Warshawski scheduled to attend
Set amongst the hills of Rwanda, Finding Hillywood chronicles one man's road to forgiveness, his effort to heal his country, and the realization that we all must one day face our past. A unique and endearing film that explores the very beginning of Rwanda's film industry, and the pioneers who bring local films to rural communities. A real life example of the power of film to heal a man and a nation.
About The Department of Communication at the University of Memphis:
The Department of Communication at the University of Memphis has the longest standing film production program in the Mid-South, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees with an emphasis in Film and Video Production. www.memphis.edu/communication
About The Southern Circuit Tour:
The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of South Arts. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. South Arts is a nonprofit regional arts organization founded in 1975 to build on the South's unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts' work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to address the role of the arts in impacting the issues important to our region, and to link the South with the nation and the world through the arts. www.southarts.org