People Portraits

Inspired and inspiring, the tenacious figures at the center of these People Portraits are exemplars of southern resilience, unwavering in their quests for lives of dignity and distinction. From the barbershops of Statesboro, Georgia, to the professional softball fields of Akron, Ohio, these subjects captivate with their clear-eyed determination and fierce sense of self. In the mood for family-friendly documentary fare? Get to know the compelling characters of People Portraits.

Knocking Down the Fences

Meg Shutzer | Oakland, CA | 12 min
Genre: Student, Documentary Short

Known for making spectacular diving catches in the outfield, professional softball player AJ Andrews, the subject of this inspiring portrait, became the first woman to win Major League Baseball’s Rawlings Gold Glove Award. An ESPN regular playing for high-profile softball teams like the Akron Racers, AJ’s career is taking off.


Abbey Hoekzema | Savannah, GA | 6 min
Genre: Documentary Short

Tre Singleton, founder of the Urban Mentoring Academy of Savannah, devotes upwards of thirty hours each week to the young men of his city. In this inspiring documentary portrait, sit-down interviews with the students whose lives he has impacted demonstrate his unwavering commitment to their success.


Alexis Garcia-Bueno | Statesboro, GA | 11 min
Genre: Student, Documentary Short

It’s 2013, and Terry Lamonte’s life has been turned upside down. A master barber and single father of three, Terry must find a way to support his young family and make a change for the better in his hometown of Statesboro, Georgia.



Kevin Wells | Hillsborough, NC | 11 min
Genre: Documentary Short

Encouraged by his friend and mentor, the late Alabama-based folk artist Bernice Sims, to take up painting, Sam Ezell has forged a successful second career as an artist—even though a stroke in 2015 left him partially blind. Hebo is the latest documentary short from Indie Grits alum Kevin Wells.

Remembering Elwood Higginbottom

Jonathan Smith | Myrtle, MS | 7 min
Genre: Documentary Short

E.W. Higginbottom’s late father, Elwood, was one of thousands of Black citizens lynched by racist whites in the Deep South. This powerful excavation of family trauma and national shame follows E.W. to Oxford, Mississippi, where he dedicates a memorial to the parent he never knew.


David Bliss | Donalds, SC | 13 min
Genre: Documentary Short

With milk prices stagnating and independent dairy operations fading across the US, Dale Tessier—the subject of this heartrending documentary short—sees little hope for his South Carolina farm. In spite of his passion for the work, Dale decides he must shutter his business for the sake of his financial well-being.



W. Feagins, Jr. | Atlanta, GA| 10 min
Genre: Documentary Short

Damita Jane Howard has had quite the career. From professional roller derby player to full-time Hollywood stunt performer, she’s always been drawn to physically demanding work. Now she’s focusing on a new pursuit: riding horses. DAMITA. is the latest film from Indie Grits alum W. Feagins, Jr.

Shorts Index


Feature Index