Meredith College to Host Documentary Film Festival on January 22

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The fourth annual Meredith College Documentary Film Festival will be held on Sunday, January 22, 2017 in Carswell Auditorium. The festival offers an opportunity for the Meredith community and beyond to experience inspiring documentaries and hear from the filmmakers who created them.

Meredith’s film festival is free and open to the public. For Meredith students, it qualifies as an academic and cultural event in general education. Attendees are more than welcome to stay for the full schedule or choose which films they would like to view.

Meredith College Documentary Film Festival Screening Schedule

2 p.m. Althea

(83 minutes) This documentary by award winners Rex Miller, Elisabeth Haviland James, and Nancy Buirski explores the life of Althea Gibson, the first African-American woman to play in and win Wimbledon and the U. S. Open. Althea was the season opener for PBS’s prestigious American Masters series in 2015, and has played to great acclaim at festivals around the country (DOCNYC, Full Frame, Athena, Palm Beach, and American Black Film Festival).

Followed by a discussion with the filmmakers moderated by filmmaker and Meredith alumna Camden Watts, ’03.

4 p.m. Short documentaries

Animated Life: Mary Leakey (8 minutes) A short paper puppet documentary by Sharon Shattuck and Flora Lichtman about paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey, who discovered the footprints of human ancestors on the African savanna.

Winged Invasion (9 minutes) A short documentary by Lisa Sorg about the challenges caused by the unexpected invasion of millions of blackbirds to Scotland Neck, N.C., and the creative ways used by local and federal officials to get rid of them.

Turn (10 minutes) An excerpt of a documentary in progress by Ellen Shepard that tells the stories of LGBTQs who have been turned away by their families and religious communities in the name of God. 

Lauren (15 minutes)  An excerpt of a collaborative, imaginative documentary portrait by Laura Doggett of a teenage girl and artist from the West Virginia mountains who shares her thoughts as she moves through the challenges of leaving home.

The Ties That Bind (15 minutes) An excerpt of a documentary in progress by Diana Newton that focuses on the uneasy journey of transformation of a Southern family when the youngest sibling comes out as transgender.

Landfill Dogs: The Documentary (3 minutes) A short portrait by Camden Watts of photographer Shannon Johnstone, who uses her camera to help dogs from the Wake County Animal Shelter in Raleigh, N.C., find permanent homes. Johnstone is an art professor at Meredith.

Followed by a discussion with the filmmakers moderated by filmmakers Camden Watts and Vivian Bowman Edwards.

7 p.m. Indivisible

(78 minutes) A feature-length documentary film by Hilary Linder about the real people at the heart of our nation’s immigration debate. Renata, Evelyn, and Antonio were young children when their parents brought them to the U.S. in search of a better life and teenagers when their mothers, fathers, and siblings were deported. Indivisible takes place at a pivotal moment in their lives, as they fight for a pathway to citizenship and a chance to be reunited with their loved ones.

Followed by a discussion with the filmmakers moderated by Camden Watts.

The Meredith College Film Festival is presented by the Meredith College Department of English, funded by the Mary Lynch Johnson Chair in English with cooperation from the Carlyle Campbell Library and ALICE FEST. All screenings are co-sponsored by the Meredith College Diversity Council.

For more information, contact the Meredith College Department of English at (919) 760-8507.

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