Thursday, April 12 at 2:00 PM
Friday, April 13 at 4:30 PM
Shorts Block: People Portraits
Sam Smartt | Grand Rapids, MI | 6 min
Danny Slemp, a hardworking, seventh-generation dairy farmer living in rural Sugar Grove, Virginia, was deeply unsatisfied with both presidential candidates in the 2016 election. Refusing to compromise his values as a conservative, Slemp made an inspired choice for the future of the country when he cast his ballot.Buy Tickets 04/12 Buy Tickets 04/13
We asked our filmmakers some questions about them and their work. For further questions, join us at the designated post-screening Q+A!
1. What is your connection to the South?
I am originally from Chattanooga, TN and went to school in Winston-Salem, NC. My wife grew up in Sugar Grove, VA, and her father (the subject of the film) is a seventh-generation farmer on their family farm there.
2. Where did you get your inspiration for this work?
The land in southwest Virginia is stunning, and it’s not a part of the country a lot of people know about. On top of this, I was of course aware of how Danny cast his vote in the election and I thought it would make a wonderful short film. The original version of this piece was part of a web series called America Heard. I have since expanded it for festivals (what you have here), and am continuing to shoot with Danny for a possible longer project.
3. How did you start making films?
I started when I was a kid with my parents mini-dv camera and just slowly got more and more into it. I took a few film production courses in college and then decided to get my MFA in Documentary Filmmaking.
4. Did anything interesting or funny happen on set during the shooting?
I shot the film over the course of five days, but in those five days we experienced just about every extreme of weather possible, including snow, and so the final product looks like it took place over a longer period of time.
5. What do you look forward to the most during Indie Grits?
I have always heard about this festival, but have never had a film screen here!
6. Why should someone see your film?
I consider it to be one of the better shorts I’ve made. It’s truly a complete emotional journey in six minutes, and I think the landscapes are gorgeous.
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