Southern Movements

To experience a distinctly southern strain of spirituality, let Southern Movements overtake you. Raw and otherworldly, these radical music videos, documentary portraits, and narrative shorts locate the sublime among the maligned and the misunderstood, centering vulnerable characters who, more often than not, turn to art as a means of liberation or catharsis. In these films, bodies are vessels—the earthly shapes that transcendence takes, if only for a moment.

Jared Dawson is The Church of Lavonia Elberton

Adam Forrester | Atlanta, GA | 14 min
Genre: Documentary Short

At a theater in Atlanta, Georgia, a lapsed gay Baptist exorcises his personal demons through a witchcraft-infused drag routine, one that culminates in a dramatic act of self-crucifixion on his thirty-third birthday. This poignant examination of spiritual trauma is the latest documentary from Indie Grits alum Adam Forrester.

Blato Zlato – “Vodata Teche”

Sasha Solodukhina | New Orleans, LA | 7 min
Genre: Music Video

Pursued by masked singers, a mysterious figure in white flees into the woods. Immersing its viewers in a woodland metamorphosis, “Vodata Teche” is the second film by Sasha Solodukhina to screen in this year’s festival. Solodukhina’s narrative short Date Movie appears in our Forever Young block.

Bodies Like Oceans

Kat Cory | Portland, OR | 13 min
Genre: Documentary Short

Bodies Like Oceans is a dreamy documentary portrait of photographer Shoog McDaniel, a self-described queer fat freak whose work with fat bodies in nature transgresses reality.


Vogue Virgin

Fraser Jones | Atlanta, GA | 8 min
Genre: Documentary Short

Because he’s never performed at a ball before, Chicago native Travii Mizrahi considers himself a “vogue virgin.” His days as a virgin are numbered, though: this documentary portrait (from Indie Grits alum Fraser Jones) follows Travii as he prepares to perform onstage at the ATL is Burning Ball.

Birth of Pleasure

Anicka Austin & Lev Omelchenko | Durham, NC & Atlanta, GA | 13 min
Genre: Experimental Short

Choreographed by Anicka Austin, this dreamlike meditation on eroticism is a sensual disco-ballet that draws on the writings of Audre Lorde for inspiration.


Catalina Jordan Alvarez | Yellow Springs, OH | 15 min
Genre: Narrative Short

Shrink-wrapped baby doll toes, skillet-fried roaches, salvage yard showdowns: MUÑE is a delightfully unhinged romp through rural Tennessee, the likes of which you’ve never seen before. Elizabeth De Razzo (HBO’s Eastbound & Down) mesmerizes as the title character, a headstrong Mexican woman who refuses to do as she’s told.



Syd Horn & Olivia Perillo | Lafayette, LA | 5 min
Genre: Documentary Short

Some move by choice. Others by necessity. Shot alongside a misty bayou, this unconventional, lyrical documentary triptych features three Louisiana residents, all of whom hail from different parts of the globe, and all of whom contribute to the rich and varied culture of south Louisiana.


Roni Nicole Henderson | Columbia, SC | 13 min
Genre: Experimental Narrative Short

Forced from the comfort of her mother’s 84’ Bonneville, Nena ventures into the home of a gentrifying heroin dealer and discovers her power to truly awaken and transform. AND THE PEOPLE COULD FLY, directed by Columbia’s own Roni Nicole Henderson, premiered at the 2019 BlackStar Film Festival.

Shorts Index


Feature Index