“Counting Backwards” ~ The Dramatic Story of a Man Diagnosed with Leukemia

Friday, October 31, 2008

The I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium “The Stanback” on the campus of South Carolina State University “SC State” presents “Counting Backwards” with Director Aprill Winney, as part of the Southern Arts Federation’s Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 5:30 p.m., following a screening of her narrative feature film, Winney will engage the audience in a discussion about the film and her work as a filmmaker. A reception will follow the discussion. This is a free event.

“Counting Backwards” tells the story of one man’s struggle to transform his life and embrace romance and passion in the time he has left. "Counting Backwards" stars Benjamin Montague, Elaine Robinson, Morgan McCabe, and Cliff Chamberlain. Joe is diagnosed with leukemia the day after he meets Claire, the woman of his dreams. Choosing not to reveal his illness to Claire, Joe refuses treatment so that he can spend his remaining days living the life that he always wanted. He begins writing a novel about his experiences both as a method for coping and an attempt at a legacy. As Joe turns the comedic disasters of his life into fantastic triumphs of fiction, a devastated Claire walks out of his life.

Seattle True Independent Film Festival acknowledged “Counting Backwards” as Most Triumphant and the Chashama Film Festival awarded the film with the Best Narrative Feature, Best Director, and Best Actor. “Counting Backwards” has also screened at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Director Aprill Winney was born and raised in the Sequoia National Forest of central California. After graduating from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in theatre, she moved to Chicago to work in the city’s thriving theatre scene. For four years she served as a dramaturg for theatres such as Steppenwolf, Goodman, Naked Eye and Uma Productions. With Disposable Theatre, she directed several plays and performance art pieces including “Information for Foreigners,” by Griselda Gambaro, and “Bits and Scraps.” A local film producer noticed Winney in the “Bits and Scraps” production at Chicago’s Around the Coyote Arts Festival and asked her to participate in the feature film collaboration “Brushfires,” produced by Splitpillow Films. “Brushfires” was an official selection at the Phoenix International Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, and the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Winney resides in Los Angeles where she makes her living as a Script Supervisor.

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of the Southern Arts Federation, a not-for-profit regional arts organization making a positive difference in the arts throughout the South since 1975. Southern Arts Federation is supported by funding and programming partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts and the state arts agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. For more information about the Southern Arts Federation and its programs visit www.southarts.org.

“The Southern Circuit Tour, in conjunction with The Stanback, continues to provide an opportunity for SC State and area film enthusiasts to view new films and interact with the makers of each film. We are embarking upon our third year of the film festival which progresses unwaveringly toward SC State’s ongoing commitment to provide cultural programs for its students, faculty, staff and citizens in Orangeburg and neighboring communities”, said Ellen Zisholtz, Director of The Stanback.

For additional information, please contact the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at (803) 536-7174.

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Renovated and reopened on February 23, 2007 after being closed for several years, the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium, located on the campus of South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C., is an embodiment of South Carolina State University's commitment to community service by enhancing the appreciation of the Arts, Science and Humanities in a single facility. The Stanback's programs include aesthetic appreciation, historical and didactic information, scientific and technological presentations which encourage the development of critical thinking and creative skills for students and adult constituents. The Stanback is of significant national importance as the only facility of its kind, an interdisciplinary Museum and Planetarium, at any Historically Black College and University in this country.

Founded in 1896 as a land grant institution with a mission of providing service to the citizens of the state, South Carolina State University has evolved from a small teachers’ college into a major University center of learning and research. Located in Orangeburg, S.C., with a student population of some 4,500, South Carolina State offers more than 50 different fields of study on the undergraduate and graduate levels. South Carolina State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States.