Directors and filmmakers shared their short films on Sunday, January 22 in Carswell Auditorium for the annual Meredith College Documentary Film Festival, where the Meredith community viewed six short documentaries and two feature films over the course of the day.
Audiences had the opportunity to watch films that covered various topics and told many different stories from discovering the footprints of human ancestors in the African savanna in Animated Life: Mary Leakey to the invasion of blackbirds in North Carolina in the film Winged Invasion.
Turn talked about religious faith in the LGBTQ community, while The Ties That Bind showed the real-life struggles of a family with a transgender sibling. The director of Lauren told the story of a teenage artist who left home, and Meredith alumna Camden Watts portrayed the philanthropic side of Meredith College Associate Professor of Art Shannon Johnstone and how she uses her love of photography to find permanent homes for strays in Wake County in Landfill Dogs: The Documentary.
Two full-length documentaries were screened. The festival opened with the feature film Althea, which was about Althea Gibson, the first African-American tennis player to play in and win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. “I really enjoyed how Althea fought her way to be on a tennis team and was not set back with the difficulties that she faced from segregation. Her strength as a woman is empowering for all women and is highly effective here at a women's institution,” said Meredith student Katherine Nanney, ’18.
The festival concluded with the feature film Indivisible by director Hilary Linder. Indivisible takes the audience inside the lives of three immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Each had a different lifestyle, but all had a common goal; to receive citizenship and higher education from the country that raised them.
Meredith student Lizbeth Hall said, “Being a mother myself, it was heartbreaking to see the families torn apart and to find out that some of these undocumented children had remained in the U.S. and hadn't seen their parents in years.”
Many Americans have not been exposed to differing perspectives on immigration. “I selected immigration reform as the focus of my first film because I believe it will shape the identity of the United States for generations to come and because I knew there [is] an incredible human story to tell,” said Linder.
By Yessy Anorve-Basoria, ’19