Six independent filmmakers and their films will land on the campus of Western Carolina University this school year.
WCU’s Arts and Cultural Events series, in collaboration with South Arts, will host the Southern Circuit, a tour of independent filmmakers that provides communities across the South access to smaller films and opportunities to join film directors in post-screening discussions. All Southern Circuit offerings are free and will start at 7:30 p.m. in the theater of the A.K. Hinds University Center.
Kicking off the season is “Surviving Hitler: A Love Story” by filmmaker John-Keith Wasson on Tuesday, Sept. 13. This documentary chronicles war, resistance and survival through the eyes of Jutta, a teenager in Nazi Germany, and her sweetheart, Helmuth, an injured soldier. As members of the Nazi resistance, the two become co-conspirators in the final plot to assassinate Hitler. The film includes narration by Jutta and original 8 mm footage shot by Helmuth.
“MARS,” directed by Geoff Marslett, will screen Tuesday, Oct. 11. This romantic comedy is told in the style of a graphic novel and follows three astronauts on the first manned mission to Mars. With a veneer of silliness, the film also is a deeper look into the nature of exploration.
Amy Elliot directed “World’s Largest,” showing Tuesday, Nov. 1. This documentary examines place and community by showcasing small towns and their claims of “world’s largest” attractions, from 15-foot fiberglass strawberries to 40-foot concrete pheasants.
“NY Export: Opus Jazz” will show Wednesday, Feb. 1. A reimagining of choreographer Jerome Robbins’ 1958 “ballet in sneakers,” the film was shot on location in New York with an ensemble cast of New York City Ballet dancers. Ellen Bar, a former New York City Ballet dancer who developed and produced the project with a fellow dancer, will be on hand for the post-screening discussion.
“We Still Live Here,” written, produced and directed by Anne Makepeace, will show Tuesday, March 13. A documentary, “We Still Live Here” tells of the cultural revival of the Wampanoag of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. The film looks at the lives and language of contemporary descendants of the American Indians often credited with aiding the survival of the first English settlers in the New World.
John Henry Summerour accompanies his film “Sahkanaga” on Tuesday, April 17. Based on actual events, “Sahkanaga” is a coming-of-age story about a teenager in rural Georgia who makes a gruesome discovery in the woods that threatens to unravel the fabric of his life.
The goal of ACE is to bring high-quality, entertaining, thought-provoking arts and cultural events to the WCU campus. For more information about the Southern Circuit film series or other ACE offerings, contact Lori Davis, assistant director for campus activities, at 828-227-3622 or ledavis@ wcu.edu. Visit ACE online at ace.wcu.edu.