VCU Announces Fourth Annual Southern Film Festival
“Screening Southern Freedom” is this year’s theme
Cassie Williams Jones
University Public Affairs
Freedom in the South is the theme of the fourth annual Virginia Commonwealth University Southern Film Festival. The 2013 festival consists of five films, including two documentaries, a silent film, a musical and a drama.
“Screening Southern Freedom,” which is aligned with the 150-year mark of the abolition of slavery in the south, takes place over the course of two days, Feb. 8 and 9, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Boulevard; the Virginia Historical Society, 428 N. Boulevard; the VCU Grace Street Theatre, 934 W. Grace St.; and Cous Cous restaurant, 900 W. Franklin St.
Historians and authors, along with film directors and producers and television and radio personalities, will moderate and speak on panels following the films, and one film will have a live musical accompaniment. All films are open to the public.
“The idea behind this year’s theme came about as VCU commemorates 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation in its 'Year of Freedom' activities,” said festival organizer Emilie Raymond, Ph.D., associate professor of history in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences. “We are honoring this anniversary by exploring topics around freedom in the South, and the cultural challenges of that era.”
Schedule of events:
Friday, Feb. 8
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Film: “Jamestown,” adapted into a silent film in 1923, is based on the historical novel by the Richmond writer and women’s suffragist Mary Johnston. It depicts the colony where the first steps for American freedom took root and, paradoxically, where American slavery was born.
Moderator: Morgan Dean, co-anchor of “Good Morning Richmond” and film critic for WRIC TV-8
Panel: Morgan Dean; Trent Nicolas, VMFA; Clayton Brooks, Mary Johnston scholar
Location: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Leslie Cheek Theater
Admission: $8 general admission; $5 for VMFA members; free for VCU faculty, staff and students (must present valid ID to pick up tickets).
Saturday, Feb. 9
Time: 10 a.m.
Film: “Thunder Road,” a 1959 crime-drama starring Robert Mitchum as a moonshine runner. The film has become a cult classic for its gritty depiction of an independent moonshiner struggling for freedom from gangsters and the government.
Moderator: Jim Stramel, director of “Thrillbillies” and “Degenerates Ink”
Location: Cous Cous Restaurant
Admission: $5, includes breakfast; drinks available for purchase
Time: 1 p.m.
Film: “The Making of ‘Lincoln,’” a 2012 documentary giving a behind-the-scenes look at the making of “Lincoln,” the new feature film by Stephen Spielberg, shot in the Richmond area, that focuses on Lincoln’s role in the abolition of slavery.
Panel: Production team members Rita McClenney, Shelley Illmensee, John Witt and Nicholas Angelo Batten will be on a post-viewing panel to discuss their experiences making the film.
Location: Virginia Historical Society Theater
Time: 4 p.m.
Film: “The Loving Story,” an award-winning documentary from 2011, tells the story of Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter, an interracial couple barred from living in their home state of Virginia, a case which led to greater marriage equality when the Supreme Court struck down anti-miscegenation laws in 1967.
Moderator: Peter Wallenstein, historian and author of “Tell the Court I Love My Wife”
Location: Grace Street Theatre
Time: 7 p.m.
Film: “Stormy Weather,” a musical made in 1943, is loosely based on the life of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, a Richmond native who achieved economic freedom through his extraordinary skills as a tap dancer.
Moderator: Daphne Maxwell-Reid, actress and host of “Virginia Currents” on WCVE
Location: Grace Street Theater
Founded in 2010 to explore how the distinctiveness of the South has been portrayed onscreen, the Southern Film Festival brings together films and those involved in their making with constructive commentary. It is sponsored by the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Historical Society, with additional support from Cous Cous restaurant, and the VCU departments of history, English and dance.
This academic year has been designated the “Year of Freedom” at VCU. A series of programs on both campuses are happening to explore the meaning of emancipation and Civil War, on this 150th anniversary.
For additional information about the Southern Film Festival, visit http://wp.vcu.edu/sff/.
- About VCU and the VCU Medical Center
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 223 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.