Well, it was sunny, and the small audience that had heard about the film stayed for a lengthy Q&A with one viewer (a high school teacher) pressing for greater outreach for films like IDEAL, and offering his educational networks to the organizer. There are certainly audiences in southern Florida…I invite them to contact me to see the film and hear about the others in the Circuit!
Last night’s screening with Indie Memphis at the Screen on the Square was such a pleasure! The screen was big, the sound was great and the projected image was perfect. More importantly, members of the board of directors at Indie Memphis worked hard to reach out to a variety of communities, and the post film discussion was hugely enriched by their efforts. Thank You! The audience included, for instance, a retired correctional officer whose son had been an offender, the director and volunteers of a Memphis justice organization, MidSouth Peace and Justice Center, and many other curious and knowledgeable community members. Diverse in age, gender, ethnicity, knowledge about prison and in their professions, it was an audience that shared its varied perspective and experiences with each other and with me. Just the kind of screening that helps move the conversation about the role of prison in America!
Now at my final stop - and the final screening of this year’s Circuit - the beautiful Jule Collins Smith Museum at Auburn University. A land grant school with a great football team (my sons tell me), the school has a very active film program at the museum. While exam week kept many students away, an informed, interested and active group of community members came and shared comments, questions and support for the Southern Circuit.
It’s been a fascinating (and beautiful) tour of the south - an opportunity and access I could not have organized on my own, and I have been thrilled and honored to be a part of it!