Though it started 12 years ago as a DIY Southern film festival, Indie Grits has become much more than an annual, celebratory weekend of film, art, music, and creative culture from across the Southeast. As a result of over a decade’s worth of explosive growth, Indie Grits Labs was born late 2016 out of the Nickelodeon Theatre to strengthen its support for Southern filmmakers and artists, as well as deepen its investments in the local arts community and media education programming.
Today, year-round media literacy programming and focused incubation projects capitalize on the relationships formed, over the history of the festival, with artists, filmmakers, educators and organizations. IGL operates out of a two story house just off North Main Street in the historic Eau Claire community in Columba, SC. The house features a contemporary art gallery, a PrintLab, meeting/workshop spaces, and a small screening venue.
Founded in 1979 by Carl Davis and Linda O’Connor, the Nickelodeon has served as the gathering place for lovers of film and critical dialogue in the Columbia area for nearly 40 years. In 2007, the Nick created the Indie Grits Festival to showcase the uniquely Southern diversity, challenges, joy, and aspirations of its community and the Southeast.
Originally located in a converted bank at 937 Main Street, the Nickelodeon moved to its new home in the former Fox Theatre at 1607 Main Street in August of 2012. This coincided with the creation of the Helen Hill Media Education Center to commemorate the life and legacy of animator/activist/filmmaker Helen Hill through media education and social justice activism. In 2015, Indie Grits began building an expanding art program around a central theme, which soon turned into year-round projects, each with a different central fellowship of artists. In 2016, Indie Grits Labs was born to consolidate the festival, the creation of new media artwork, and media education.
The Columbia Film Society (CFS) serves Columbia, SC, as a center for critical dialogue, anchored by the presentation of films that showcase the diversity, challenges, joy, and aspirations of its community. A destination for enjoyment, enrichment, and education, CFS provides the tools to make, interpret, appreciate, and teach the moving image in all its variety through its two arms: the Nickelodeon Theatre (the Nick) and Indie Grits Labs (IGL).
Through the Fellows program, IGL will continue to bring together teams of storytellers, filmmakers, visual artists, and community organizers to facilitate, collaborate, and find the most creative and effective ways to tell the various stories in our city and region. In a series of artist-led educational workshops, public forums, exhibitions, and project development sessions beginning in the Fall and running through the festival in the spring, a selected Fellowship of artists (filmmakers, artists, activists, community organizers, etc) primarily residing in South Carolina will work with Columbia-based community stakeholders, partnering organizations, and rural communities to develop and create projects exploring the project theme from that year. Artworks will be revealed by the Fellowship during the preceding Indie Grits Festival the following year.
1013 Duke Ave
Columbia, SC 29203
1607 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29201