Three Independent Films and their Filmmakers in the Spotlight this Fall

Three Independent Films and their Filmmakers in the Spotlight this Fall

One documentary that delves into politics, race, and religion, and two others that show that sports are more than about sports kick off the 2019 – 2020 Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers on campus this fall.

“This season’s films and filmmakers represent the voices and conversations occurring throughout our region and nation,” said Teresa Hollingsworth, the program’s director.

“They resonate with audiences and lead to impactful, sometimes challenging discussions of topics relevant to their communities.”

The filmmakers will be in attendance at each one of the showings.

Sam God | Southern Film Circuit 2019 | English Department | Presbyterian College | Clinton SCSame God
Linda Midgett, Director
Thursday, September 19th, at 7:00 p.m.
Kuhne Auditorium

In December 2015, the political rhetoric against Muslims was escalating. Dr. Larycia Hawkins, an African American political science professor at Wheaton College, a prestigious evangelical school outside of Chicago, wanted to show support for Muslim women. She posted a photo of herself in a hijab on Facebook.

“I love my Muslim neighbor,” she wrote, “because s/he deserves love by virtue of her/his human dignity. … [W]e worship the Same God.”

Within days, Wheaton’s Provost suspended Dr. Hawkins, eventually moving to terminate her tenure. Were the school’s actions a move to protect its Christian theological purity, as it insisted? Or was it, as some suggested, the result of racism and Islamophobia?

Same God, directed by Wheaton alumna Linda Midgett, explores the polarization taking place within the evangelical community over issues of race, Islam, religious freedom … and Donald Trump.

Wrestle | Southern Film Circuit 2019 | English Department | Presbyterian College | Clinton SCWrestle
Suzannah Herbert, Director and Lauren Belfar, Co-Director
Wednesday, October 23rd at 7:00 p.m.
HP Amphitheater

Hoop Dreams goes to the mat in this intimate, coming-of-age documentary about four members of a high-school wrestling team at Huntsville’s J.O. Johnson High School, a longstanding entry on Alabama’s list of failing schools.

Coached by teacher Chris Scribner, teammates Jailen, Jamario, Teague, and Jaquan each face challenges far beyond a shot at the State Championship: splintered family lives, drug use, teenage pregnancy, mental health struggles, and run-ins with the law threaten to derail their success on the mat and lock any doors that could otherwise open.

Tough-love coach Scribner is not off the hook, either; he must come to terms with his own past conflicts while unwittingly wading into the complexities of race, class, and privilege in the South.

Director Suzannah Herbert and co-director Lauren Belfer captured over 650 hours of footage during the course of the team’s final season to create this closely observed, deeply affecting depiction of growing up disadvantaged in America today.

Float | Southern Film Circuit 2019 | English Department | Presbyterian College | Clinton SCFloat
Phil Kibbe, Director
Thursday, November 14th at 7:00 p.m.
Kuhne Auditorium

Winning a championship is everything in popular professional sports, as it often brings athletes fortune and fame.

However, the sport at the heart of Float is not exactly pro, nor is it well known. This intriguing documentary, with its stunning cinematography, chronicles the small but dedicated scene of competitive model aviation.

While the modern world is obsessed with attention and speed, these devoted, unknown challengers like to take things slow. Patience is their true talent, coupled with unwavering passion. After all, they do not make a dime competing, but instead deplete their savings to buy supplies.

Call it obsession, but there is something refreshing about their thankless allegiance to the sport. They spend countless hours designing and constructing their complex planes (F1Ds, to be more technical), which could easily pass for art.

The detailing is as remarkable as their impressive ability to stay airborne for long periods. To see them all soaring at once is truly a remarkable sight.

At first glance, Float may seem like a niche documentary for model plane enthusiasts. However, everyone can learn from the graceful simplicity, loyal camaraderie, and undying devotion these competitors exhibit.

What’s Happening on Campus

PC is among 24 colleges, universities and arts organizations participating in the Southern Circuit Tour. The tour will continue with three more films in the spring semester.