Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Joel Fendelman - Hanceville, Winder, Chattahoochee Hills

The latest update from Joel Fendelman, touring his film David on the Southern Circuit:

Hanceville's performing arts center
Hanceville, Winder and Chattahoochee Hills were the last three stops of my Southern Arts Tour. Before coming on this trip I had not heard of any of these places, in fact most people I spoke to had not either. Hanceville was a small town  of about 3,000 people with a church on every corner. The film showed at a beautiful performing arts center that was donated by some local philanthropists.

The turnout was small and it was probably the least enthusiastic Q/A but the townspeople who showed up were very unique in their own way. I could tell many of them probably have not been far away from their town their whole lives so seeing a film that takes places in New York about Muslim and Jewish families might of been throwing a lot at them. I remember particularly the face of one woman who must of been in her sixties and even though she was very quiet she thanked me in such a sincere way for making the film that I knew that a quiet response didn't necessarily mean any less engaged.

I traveled then to Serenbe, a newly formed community based on sustainable principles.(combining of words Serenity + Be) It's only 30 miles south of Atlanta but was such beautiful farm country that it could have been a thousand miles away.

Serenbe

The filmed showed in a small banquet like room to a very enthusiastic almost full house. The audience had immediate insightful questions to ask. My host at the center moderated with much preparation and the talkback lasted for a nice long while. The next morning I was invited to an interfaith gathering where I saw some of the attendees from the previous night.

Winder Cultural Arts Center
My last stop was at Winder, Georgia, a small town about 40 miles north of Atlanta. It was a nice eclectic group of residents who trickled in until the film began. Everyone stayed for the Q/A. My host who also moderated had such personality and created quite a nice atmosphere. I feel blessed to have been able to see this part of the country showing my film and meeting the nicest of people. Living the dream!

Winder Cultural Arts Center