Wednesday, March 02, 2011

"Southern Stories" - Johnson City, TN

SRF Logo
Paul Harrill and I have worked together since 2005 and on our leg of the Southern Circuit tour we are screening three of our shorts films, which have screened at over 40 film festivals on 5 continents. We are thrilled to be a part of the Southern Circuit this year and look forward to screening our work in 11 cities over the next three weeks!

We make films together under the banner of Self-Reliant Film--that's our production company. The name self-reliant says something about the way we work as filmmakers: we live and make our films in the South with primarily local cast and crew and we aim to tell stories that reflect our home as we know it, which isn't the way our region is always represented on the silver screen. You can read more about our ideas about self-reliant filmmaking and the three films we're touring with on our website.

Paul and I kicked off our Southern Circuit tour last night with a screening in our native Tennessee. We were hosted by Anita and Heidi of East Tennessee State University's Mary B. Martin School of the Arts. Anita, a printmaker, fell in love with our hand letter-pressed posters from Knoxville-based Yee-Haw Industries. We were equally impressed with the Martin School's season program: In addition to hosting the Southern Circuit tour, they had an impressive lineup of guests scheduled throughout the school year, including one of our favorite writers, James Elkins.
Any trip to TN isn't complete without a taste of the local barbecue, so, after dinner with our host at Firehouse Restaurant, we headed to the screening. Outside the auditorium, ETSU's burgeoning Film Studies Club was recruiting new members before and after our screening. Paul agreed to cover their table during the screening so that the film studies students could go in and watch the movies. Check them out on Facebook!
During our screening, which was the first time we'd screened all three of these films together on one program, we were interviewed by a student journalist and photographed for the university newspaper.
The films were warmly received and were followed by a nice Q&A and, after that, a reception. We met with a variety of folks, including some cool filmmakers who teach at ETSU. We were lucky enough to stay with some friends in nearby Kingsport, TN, for the evening before heading out to our next destination: Charleston!