Southern Scenes


Thrivers and strivers, underdogs and outcasts: the queer Appalachian painters, Guatemalan stable hands, and 911 operators turned quiltmakers that populate these Scenes are unmistakably Southern, in outlook if not always in identity. Why? Because they’re all reaching–reaching for redemption. For a life of dignity and purpose in a landscape hostile, in some instances, to their very being. Does the place we live determine who we are, or what we become? Not for these determined few.

The Derby

Remington Smith | Louisville, KY | 15 min
Genre: Documentary

From loquacious, bow-tied gentlemen showing off their winnings, to modest horse handlers working in the stables, colorful characters abound in this eclectic group portrait from Indie Grits alum Remington Smith, a reflective documentary short exploring the range of personalities on view at the Kentucky Derby.

Shoot the Duck

Shannon Silva | Wilmington, NC | 8 min
Genre: Narrative

Working past her rattled nerves with the help of her two best friends, roller skating aficionado Mia decides to challenge the uber-talented Zoe to a skate-off at their local rink’s eighth-annual “Shoot the Duck” competition.

Street Flame

Katherine Propper | Austin, TX | 12 min
Genre: Student

Wracked with grief over the loss of one of their own, a group of skateboarders grapple with their friend’s absence, arguing amongst themselves, tagging the underside of a trestle with graffiti—all grasping for a way to honor their lost companion.



Will Berry | Portland, ME | 4 min
Genre: Narrative

In this charming Tennessee travelogue (shot entirely on Super 8mm film), a rudderless, Esperanto-speaking guitar player sets off for Nashville after the death of his father, but has trouble fitting in with the locals given his language limitations.

To West End, With Love

Melissa Alexander | Atlanta, GA | 12 min
Genre: Experimental

Shot in stark black-and-white, director and cinematographer Melissa Alexander’s monochromatic marvel–a visual love letter to Atlanta’s historic West End neighborhood–celebrates Blackness and community identity against the backdrop of a rapidly transforming urban landscape.


Mark Raafat Kammel | Durham, NC | 16 min
Genre: Documentary

Sweeping, assured camerawork. A swelling, emotional score. This gripping, well-crafted documentary short follows 911 operator Sidney Brodie, who–spurred to act by the wrongful death of a child years ago–founded Durham’s Homicide & Memorial Quilt to honor the fallen of his community.



Ryan Darbonne | Austin, TX | 10 min
Genre: Narrative

In this droll comedy short, a trio of Black hardcore punk musicians on the last leg of a cross-country tour contend with racial profiling from the cops, bigoted fans, pretentious critics, and other routine horrors before their performance at a popular Austin music venue.

Whistle Down Wind

Julia Christgau & Andie Morgenlander | Asheville, NC | 15 min
Genre: Narrative

Frustrated artist Janie feels boxed in by more than just the intolerant folks populating her small mountain town. Her childhood friend turned lover, Alex, doesn’t mind keeping their relationship a secret–especially from her boyfriend–nor does she seem too interested in escaping to more enlightened climes.

Nomadic War Machine – “The Fields Lay Fallow”

Charlotte Taylor | Asheville, NC | 4 min
Genre: Music Video

Ritualistic woodburnings, riverbed initiation rites, and roadside ambushes, all set to a pulsing industrial soundtrack: savor the occult thrills and chills on display in the latest music video from Indie Grits alum Charlotte Taylor.

Shorts Index


Feature Index