The Portraits on display in this block are much like their subjects: uncompromising, thoughtful, and fiercely individual, in both style and substance. If you’re hungry for a vision of the South and its people as they really are, void of all those down-home, Southern Gothic caricatures plucked straight from some two-bit meemaw’s storybook, look no further than this dynamic crop of documentaries, music videos, and narrative shorts.
Daniel Robin | Atlanta, GA | 11 min
In this moving study of memory and silence, director Daniel Robin contemplates–with zen-like tranquility–his older father’s fading mind and his own fading voice, the latter a casualty of a rare condition called Spasmodic Abductor Dysphonia. All the Leaves Are Brown was shot entirely on Super 8mm film.
Dorian Warneck | Portland, OR | 5 min
Verdant visuals abound in this thoughtful documentary short from Indie Grits alum Dorian Warneck. For Portland-based artist Zoe Keller, drawing in graphite is just another way of engaging, in a meaningful way, with the lush natural landscape that surrounds her.
Abraham Felix | New Orleans, LA | 12 min
In this poignant narrative short, a mixed-race woman in the midst of a move to New Orleans finds an old cassette recorder stashed in her car–one that contains a host of painful memories she recorded during her formative years.
Will Nichols | New Orleans, LA | 3 min
Genre: Essay, Documentary, Student
A college student’s ill-fated 16mm short about a bagel becomes an occasion to pay homage to one of his idols, the late Helen Hill, a noted animator (and Columbia native) who championed DIY cinema and whose irrepressible creative spirit can still be felt in the work that survives her.
Beth Fletcher | Brooklyn, NY | 15 min
Genre: Documentary, Student
Quiet, determined, and blessed with a singular focus, Ethan Gingerich pursues what some might consider a strange line of work: transforming old film projectors and other antiques into guitar amps. This observant documentary portrait introduces unfamiliar viewers to a young musical mind on the rise.
Savannah Cerniglia, Chelsie Griffin, Bri Hamlin, & Rachel Smith | Columbia, SC | 5 min
Genre: Documentary, Student
Topiary artist and Bishopville, South Carolina resident Pearl Fryar is known the world over for his whimsically intricate landscape art. This fresh and engaging documentary explores Fryar’s process and cuts close to the heart of what inspires his unique creative visions.
Danniel Rodriguez & Robert Colom | Los Angeles, CA & Miami, FL | 11 min
In this heated drama, the relationship between a closeted Cuban boxer and his closest friend turned rival comes to a head, with the two men sparring over a last-ditch opportunity to escape their rural town for a big city environment.
Gen Liu & Zach Strum | Cary, NC | 3 min
Genre: Music Video
Combining scratchy animation with black-and-white cinematography to mesmerizing effect, this plaintive music video follows a solitary figure as he journeys through cemeteries, along shorelines, and beyond.
Grant Conversano | New York, NY | 19 min
Genre: Narrative, Student
This expressive narrative short offers a glimpse into the vivid interior life of Melodia, a budding writer and recent transplant to the North Carolina public school system. A native of Venezuela, Melodia grapples with the pain and isolation of this new environment the only way she knows how: through writing.