Coming to a Campus Near You: Southern Circuit


Consider your typical Thursday night. Are you busy? Do you want a break from studying? How about an early start to the weekend? Do you want to watch a movie?

Well, it doesn’t have to be a summer blockbuster, but I would recommend spending your Thursday night watching the upcoming films in the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. The first film is being shown next Thursday, September 18th at 7:30 pm in Harrington-Peachtree 214.

Southern Circuit is based in Atlanta, Georgia, by South Arts, an organization that allows independent filmmakers the chance to screen their films at colleges and communities across the South. These films have already been shown at various film festivals, won awards, and some have even been featured on HBO. Dr. Barr, who helped organize the Southern Circuit film series this year, says that the tour “exposes students to films they usually wouldn’t see and makes them aware that what they see in popular theaters is not all that film can do.”

He added, “It’s also the little stories that have a profundity and relevance that we can find today.”

Each of the films shown will feature a discussion with the filmmaker after the screening. These films are often documentaries, with some taking place relatively close to home, physically or emotionally. The upcoming film My Toxic Backyard by Katie Damien takes place just a few hour drive north in Asheville, North Carolina. These films seek to engage students in an entertaining yet thought-provoking way that sometimes only a movie can do. Dr. Barr also hopes that these films will spark a conversation in students that lasts long after the discussion with the filmmaker.

While it’s only in its third year here at PC, the Southern Circuit Tour is a great chance to gain exposure to a world outside the PC bubble, and it is thanks to the Russell Program and English and Southern Films Departments that pull together the funding for the tour that make this experience happen.

“It’s fortunate that we do have the funding to host the Southern Circuit on campus,” Dr. Barr said. “I love that the college takes it as a mission to offer extracurricular activities to grow and expand and consider new ideas.”

If you can, come on September 18th to the showing of My Toxic Backyard, a documentary chronicling the health and ecological hazards of chemically polluted water in a small town community as told through the citizens. It’s surely a story to talk about later. It will be shown at 7:30 pm in H-P 214.

So, do you want to watch a movie?