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Indie films run in High Point

by Mark Burger

The Southern Circuit Film Series has selected the High Point Theatre as one of the North Carolina sites this year.

The series, which is now in its 32nd year, is an annual tour that showcases the work of the state’s independent filmmakers,

This year, the series runs six films – and will open Sept. 4 with Ritual Etchings: The Experimental Shorts of Eric Patrick, a compilation of four animated shorts that demonstrate the filmmaker’s cinematic sensibilities.

Subsequent screenings will include Cynthia Hill’s documentary The Guestworker (Oct. 9); Jay Craven’s Disappearances (Oct. 30), which stars Kris Kristofferson, Genevieve Bujold and Luis Guzman; debut filmmaker Socheata Poeuv’s award-winning documentary New Year Baby (Feb. 5), which explores Poeuv’s own background as a Cambodian refugee and survivor of the massive genocide which took place there; Thomas Nbyo’s documentary Guerrilla Radio: The Hip-Hop Struggle Under Castro (March 4); and the final film of the series, Cathy Lee Crane’s Unoccupied Zone: The Impossible Life of Simone Weil, a speculative and fictional black-and-white drama depicting the flight of the noted philosopher, trade unionist and mystic from the invading Nazi forces during World War II.

As you can see, the series encompasses a wide variety of topics and tones – but each film has an independent voice and an independent spirit. No green ogres or flying pirate ships here!

The series is designed is provide independent filmmakers with the opportunity to meet and greet audiences throughout the Southeast as they screen and discuss their films. The filmmakers are scheduled to attend with their films. This is the only such regional tour of its kind, and we’re getting it right here in the Piedmont Triad.

Each screening will begin at 7 p.m. and be followed by an informal discussion with the filmmaker (or filmmakers). Admission to each film is $7, $5 for students and senior citizens.

The High Point Theatre is located at 220 E. Commerce St. – in High Point, of course. The local sponsor for the Southern Circuit Film Series is Simon Jewelers, but I’ll refrain from making a joke about what a “gem” the series is.

Some of the films have not been rated by the MPAA, but the screenings are nevertheless recommended for mature audiences… so I guess that leaves me out.

Actually, for all of the people who whine and moan about not having anything “different” to see at the movies, maybe this will keep you quiet – for now. You’re not likely to see any of these films at your local multiplex.

For more information about the series, call 336.887.2001 or see highpointheatreonline.com.

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