Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Indie Films Return to the Morris

The Morris Museum of Art is partnering for the second year with SouthArts to bring Southern Circuit to Augusta A unique program that brings recent independent films and their makers to communities throughout the South, Southern Circuit is the nation’s first regional tour of independent filmmakers, providing communities like Augusta with an interactive way of experiencing independent film.

The series includes six programs over the next eight months. Each screening is followed by a question-and-answer session with the filmmaker. Screenings start at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free for Morris Museum members and $3.00 per person for nonmembers.

The 2011–2012 film roster includes:

September 14, Concrete Steel & Paint

When men in a Pennsylvania state prison joins with victims of crime to create a mural about healing, their views on punishment, remorse, and forgiveness collide. Finding consensus is not easy, but as the participants move through the creative process, mistrust gives way to surprising moments of human contact and common purpose. The film, featuring Philadelphia’s internationally recognized Mural Arts Program, raises important questions about crime, justice and reconciliation–and dramatically illustrates how art can facilitate dialogue about difficult issues.

October 12, The Wise Kids

This Southern coming-of-age drama takes place in a Charleston, South Carolina, Baptist church. Three characters intertwine—Brea, an introspective pastor's daughter experiencing debilitating doubt; the hyperactive Laura, Brea's best friend and a devout believer; and Tim, the open-hearted son of a single father, confronting his homosexuality for the first time—resulting in tensions and buried feelings. Brea, Laura, and Tim attempt to hang onto what they have, all the while yearning to break free.

November 16, Welcome to Shelbyville

In one town in the heart of America’s Bible Belt, a community grapples with rapidly changing demographics. Longtime African-American and White residents are challenged by the integration of a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Somali refugees of Muslim faith. Through the vibrant and colorful characters of Shelbyville, the film explores immigrant integration and the interplay between race, religion, and identity. Ultimately, the story is an intimate portrayal of a community’s struggle to understand what it means to be American.

February 15, The Toe Tactic

Mona Peek is jarred by delayed grief for her dead father when she finds out her childhood home has been sold. Her emotional plight is the subject of an esoteric card game played in another dimension by four dogs. When Mona returns to her back yard to disinter a piece of bone she’d buried there, the game begins. The film uses live action and animation to explore the interaction between the human and magical realms as Mona finds her way to reconnect with her world.

March 14, A Good Man

This film follows acclaimed director/choreographer Bill T. Jones (Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Still/Here, FELA!) as he and his company create their most ambitious work, an original dance-theater piece in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s Bicentennial. Jones and his company come face to face with America’s unresolved contradictions about race, equality and the legacy of our sixteenth president. Premiering on the heels of Jones’s Tony Award for FELA! and 2010 Kennedy Center Honor, A Good Man is a window on the creative process and the creative crisis felt by an artist as he explores what it means to be a good man, a free man, and a citizen.

April 18, My Perestroika

My Perestoika follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times — from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Together, these childhood classmates paint a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionment of those raised behind the Iron Curtain.

The 2011-2012 Southern Circuit is a program of South Arts. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and local partner organizations. Special support for Southern Circuit was provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Morris Museum of Art was founded in 1985 and opened to the public in 1992. It is the oldest museum in the country that is devoted to the art and artists of the American South. The museum’s permanent collection holds approximately five thousand works of art that date from the late-eighteenth century to the present. The permanent collection galleries are currently being reinstalled and will reopen March 6, 2010. The Morris is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., and on Sunday, noon–5:00 p.m. For more information about the Morris Museum of Art, visit www.themorris.org or call 706-724-7501.

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