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Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers Spring 2015
February 26, 2015 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
SOUTHERN CIRCUIT FILMS ADDRESS ISSUES OF RACE, CULTURE
JCSM brings in contemporary filmmakers to meet with students and museum guests for a special screening of their film. This semester, filmmakers explore race against the backdrop of a new civil rights movement, a college campus, and a prison.
The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of South Arts. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.
Films begin at 5 p.m. with live jazz and café service to follow until 8 p.m.
FEBRUARY 26: YVONNE WELBON, PRODUCER
The New Black
Documentary | 80 min.
The New Black tells the story of how the African- American community is grappling with gay rights in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. The film documents activists, families, and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar—the black church. The New Black takes viewers into the pews and onto the streets and provides a seat at the kitchen table. It tells the story of the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland, and charts the evolution of this divisive issue within the black community.
About the filmmaker
Yvonne Welbon has produced and distributed over 20 films including Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis@ 100, winner of ten best documentary awards—including the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary, and Sisters in Cinema, a documentary on the history of black women feature film directors. Her films have screened on PBS, Starz/Encore, TV-ONE, IFC, Bravo, the Sundance Channel, BET, HBO and in hundreds of film festivals around the world. She recently produced The New Black, an award winning documentary directed by Yoruba Richen that captures the complex intersection between faith, racial justice and LGBT rights. Her current projects are Dena Montague’s Paris Rebels which examines the story of black youth participating in the hip hop inspired Zoulou movement in Paris during the 1980s and 90s; Takin’ Place, Cyrus Dowlatshahi’s observational documentary about the South-side of Chicago and; Sisters in the Life: A History of Out African American Lesbian Media-making, a web based online community building project that includes a book of essays, a documentary, an archive and a mobile application. Originally from Chicago, Welbon received a B.A. from Vassar College, an M.F.A from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She is also a graduate of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women. Yvonne Welbon is an associate professor in the journalism and media studies department at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC.
MARCH 12: DANIELLE BEVERLY, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/CAMERA SOUND
Documentary | 70 min.
When the Kappa Alpha (KA), an elite, white fraternity at the University of Georgia, buys and demolishes houses on one block in a historic African-American neighborhood, the black community becomes agitated. For the black community, the KA organization symbolizes the old South—an annual antebellum parade, the flying of the Confederate flag, and loud parties with beer bottles littering the neighborhood. In many Southern towns, centuries of racism have created a thorny co-existence between blacks and whites, poor and wealthy. Can change truly happen? Or do we simply keep our biases behind closed doors? Old South will open dialogue, revealing that there are often no easy solutions.
About the filmmaker
Danielle Beverly makes documentaries, often filming and recording sound as a solo filmmaker in the field. In 2014 she was awarded a Bay Area Video Coalition National Media Maker Fellowship for Old South. Beverly was Field Producer for Rebirth over its ten-year production. Her first feature, Learning to Swallow, premiered at Silverdocs and toured with Southern Circuit in 2005. Beverly has received a Nohl Artists Fellowship, a Flaherty Seminar Fellowship and has received grants from the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media, the Lucius & Eva Eastman Fund, New York State Council on the Arts and the Puffin Foundation. She also teaches documentary filmmaking (most recently at Marquette University and The University of Notre Dame) and works as a documentary cameraperson.
APRIL 23: NOEL SCHWERIN, PRODUCER/DIRECTOR
In An Ideal World
Documentary | 78 min.
In An Ideal World follows a warden, a white separatist and a black gangbanger for seven years as they struggle to move beyond the stark reality of America’s prison racial order. Challenged for the first time by a U.S. Supreme Court desegregation ruling and a novel multi-race program, their stories reveal the institutional nature of racial hierarchies and the hope and hidden risks of transformative change. In An Ideal World draws people past fear to experience prison directly, to bear witness to the impact of incarceration policies, and to invite scrutiny about the role of race and power in our “locked down” society, where one in 99 Americans spends time behind bars.
About the filmmaker
Noel Schwerin has written, produced and directed award-winning films, including two national PBS primetime specials, Bloodlines and A Question of Genes. Bloodlines, which was used by the U.S. Senate, the National Association of Women Judges and the Federal Judicial Center, also won top honors at the National Association of Science Writers and the Association of Women in Communications. A Question of Genes won a special citation in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Report on Public Broadcasting and The Needs of Minority and Diverse Audiences, and is excerpted at San Jose’s Tech Museum and the American Museum of Natural History in New York.