I.P. Stanback Museum offers second annual independent film festival

Friday, August 24, 2007

Southern Circuit Film Festival independent filmmakers return to SC State

2007-2008 Southern Circuit Tour of Independent FilmmakersORANGEBURG – For the second consecutive year, the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at SC State will bring independent films and filmmakers to the Orangeburg community to screen their films.

This year’s Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers will be held at the newly renovated museum and planetarium.

“Viewing films in the planetarium will be a unique experience for audiences,” said Ellen Zisholtz, museum and planetarium director and assistant professor in the visual and performing arts department.

The Southern Circuit, produced by the Southern Arts Federation, provides independent filmmakers with the opportunity to travel to communities across the South, where they screen their films for local audiences and engage in post-screening conversations about their work. Produced without studio backing, many of these films would never be seen on a screen in this area of the country without Southern Circuit. This year, for the first time, there will be an additional short film opening each feature presentation, a selected “Short Circuit.”

The films were selected by a Southern Arts Federation panel which met in Atlanta, Ga., earlier this year. Two representatives from SC State –Zisholtz and Adrian Simmons, a digital media student – served on the panel. Simmons is the first student to ever serve on the panel. A pre-screening committee for the festival included the Exhibition Techniques class in SC State’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

The festival features a variety of films throughout the 2007-2008 academic year. All screenings will be held on Sundays at 5 p.m. in the planetarium. The screenings are free and moviegoers will have the opportunity to speak with the filmmakers. Space is limited; reservations are encouraged. To make reservations, or to receive additional information, contact the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at (803) 536-7174. The films are presented as a community service of SC State.

The schedule of films for the 2007-2008 academic year includes:

September 16
The Short Films of Roger Beebe: Documents, Experiments & Wisecracks by Roger Beebe

Roger Beebe’s short experimental films vary widely in form (from slow, contemplative films to aggressive collages), in medium (from digital video to super 8mm and 16mm film) and in tone (from comic to poetic); but what they share is an interest in using experimental forms to think about some aspect of our contemporary world.

Opening Short: Mr. Extion by Griffin Hood and Barry Battles
Mr. Extion is a fiction work in which two life-long friends and aspiring filmmakers find that developing an original idea, with no budget is hard to pull off… especially down South. Through the span of a day, the two reveal their true feelings on film, stereotypes, race and each other.

October 21
Third Ward, TX by Andrew Garrison

A guerilla art project in inner city Houston becomes a successful, long-term experiment in public art, housing and personal transformation – Project Row Houses. Third Ward, TX explores how this tidy little row of born-again houses, glowing in the Texas sun, has become home to cutting-edge public art and a home-grown challenge to traditional notions of community development. In fact, this neighborhood becomes such a stimulating place...it begins to attract deep-pocket real estate developers. By 2006, big development threatens to destroy the very qualities that make the neighborhood so vital. The bold and creative response of Project Row Houses is a gambit that just might work.

Opening Short: The Language of Limbs: A Documentary of the Agrifolk Art Movement by conceptual artist Eyekiss – Jonathon Keats
Conceptual artist Eyekiss – Jonathon Keats discovers the last true folk artists remaining – 50 leyland cypress trees. Watch the drama unfold as these trees, outfitted with easels, paper and pencils, communicate through art… seriously.

November 11
Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea by Christopher Metzler

Once known as the “California Riviera,” the Salton Sea is now called one of America’s worst ecological disasters: a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, coughing up dead fish and birds by the thousands. Yet a few hardy eccentrics hang on to hope, including a roadside nudist waving at passing European tourists, a man building a religious mountain out of mud and paint, beer-loving Hungarian Revolutionary Hunky Daddy, and the real-estate “Ronald McDonald” known simply as The Landman. Through their perceptions and misperceptions, the strange history and unexpected beauty of the Salton Sea is revealed. Narrated by John Waters.

Opening Short: An Abstraction of the Chronology of Will by Ben Collins and Kevin Phillips
In this fiction film, William Porten is nothing short of apathetic and despondent after a break-up with his girlfriend. He joins the military, becomes a special operative and lives with a sustained note of danger until being faced with a firing squad in the middle of the desert.

February 3
Apparition of the Eternal Church by Paul Festa
In Paul Festa’s award-winning first film, Apparition of the Eternal Church, 31 artists describe what they hear while listening on headphones to Oliver Messiaen’s monumental organ work of the same name. Faced with the challenge of putting Messiaen’s apocalyptic music into words, listeners – including filmmakers Sandi Dubowski and John Cameron Mitchell, authors Harold Bloom and Lemony Snicket, drag star Justin Bond as “Kiki” and Scissors Sisters singer Ana Matronic – tell a story as erotic as it is sacred, and as hilarious as it is harrowing.

Opening Short: Dick-George, Tenn-Tom by Gideon Kennedy
In 1971, President Richard M. Nixon visited Mobile, Ala., for 104 minutes, during which time he shook 100 feet of hands, lost a cufflink and shared a stage with his biggest political rival, Governor George Wallace. Dick-George, Tenn-Tom is a sardonic look at their rivalry, the creation of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and the attempt on Wallace’s life less than a year later.

March 16
Kamp Katrina by David Redmon

A woman converts her backyard into a tent city in which ten displaced people live for six months. She provides construction jobs and basic resources to help rebuild the city. The situation goes violently awry, and she is confronted with an array of abuses amidst a broken city.

Opening Short: Tour of Homes by Penny Brice
Once described as the southern belle with a dirty face, Savannah is a city of contradictions, primarily between the haves and have-nots. With its Spanish Moss-draped trees and genteel historic district, it has a dark underbelly of poverty and crime, sustained by racial inequality and fueled by denial. Tour of Homes provides an alternative tour to the ones that cart tourists through the affluent environment of historic downtown Savannah.

April 27
Willow Garden by Jim Haverkamp

Shot in an expressionistic, film-noir style, Willow Garden tells the backstory of one of America’s strangest murder ballads in which a young man must decide whether to follow his heart or his father’s twisted advice. The striking, black and white cinematography gives the film the feeling of a dark fable, fueled by the characters’ elemental passions.

Opening Short: Moth to Light by Elizabeth Strickler
Through a dark and tense atmosphere twists the horrific coming of age of Muriel. Caught between the domestic world of her mother and a dark and luring force in the garden, she contemplates what to do with the baby her mother dotes on and whose origins are unknown.

Created by the S.C. Arts Commission in 1975, Southern Circuit takes independent filmmakers on a journey into communities across the South. Chosen by a panel of experts for the quality of their work, the filmmakers screen their recent films for local audiences. Produced without studio backing and struggling to secure a distributor, many of these films would never be seen on a screen in this area of the country without the film festival tour. In July 2006, the Southern Arts Federation adopted the Southern Circuit with the intent of fostering the next evolutionary stage of the program.