Indie filmmaker Roger Beebe discovers art in everyday America

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Beebe’s short films will be screened at I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium

Roger Beebe’s short films will be screened at I.P. Stanback Museum and PlanetariumORANGEBURG – The I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium presents indie filmmaker Roger Beebe as part of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, Sept. 16.

The screening of The Short Films of Roger Beebe: Documents, Experiments & Wisecracks will be held in the planetarium on SC State’s campus on Sunday, Sept. 16, at 5 p.m. The screening is free and moviegoers will have an opportunity to speak with the filmmakers. Space is limited; reservations are encouraged. To make reservations, or to receive additional information, contact the museum at (803) 536-7174.

At a reception following the screening, Beebe will engage the audience in a discussion about the film and his work as a filmmaker. The film is presented as a community service of SC State.

Roger Beebe created The Short Films of Roger Beebe: Documents, Experiments & Wisecracks to “document the world and attempt to understand where we are, where we are going and what we left behind.” Beebe’s short, experimental films are skillfully crafted essays – thought provoking and engaging. His artistic vision takes the mundane American strip mall in The Strip Mall Trilogy and the decay of suburbia in S A V E and transforms them into something truly beautiful. Beyond the beauty of these films, Beebe still manages to preserve a comical but philosophical nature. In Famous Irish Americans, the filmmaker humorously explores our traditional way of thinking about race by proposing to the audience that prominent African Americans with Irish last names, like Shaquille O’Neal, are also famous Irish Americans.

Beebe’s work has screened at venues and film festivals around the world, including the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, the CBS Jumbotron in Times Square, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Beirut Experimental Film Festival and the Museum of Modern Art. In addition to his work as a filmmaker, Roger Beebe is an associate professor of film and media studies at the University of Florida, as well as the artistic director of the Florida Experimental Film/Video Festival.

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 “Short Circuit” that precedes The Short Films of Roger Beebe: Documents, Experiments & Wisecracks will be 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.

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.