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Southern Circuit Tour promotes filmmaker interaction
This is Oxford's fourth year of hosting the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers.

The Southern Circuit Tour returns to the Oxford campus for the fourth year to encourage interaction between audience members and independent filmmakers.

Oxford College wrapped up the fall segment of the Southern Circuit film series with a documentary chronicling the lives of three women caught up in the complex issues surrounding abortion access. Jackson by director Maisie Crow follows the fight to close the last abortion clinic in Mississippi.

Crow remained following the Nov. 1 screening of her film for a Q&A session with the Oxford audience. After each Southern Circuit screening, students and other audience members engage in direct conversations with a diverse array of filmmakers.

"The Southern Circuit offers a wonderful opportunity to not only watch current, well-regarded independent films, but also ask the filmmakers questions about their interests and creative process," says David Resha, assistant professor of film studies. "From a distance, the creative process can sometimes seem mysterious. Engaging the filmmakers allows the students to see that filmmaking is like most other kinds of work. It’s about solving problems."

This is Oxford's fourth year of hosting the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. The documentary series includes six films–three each semester–during the 2017-18 academic year. The screenings are free and open to students, faculty, staff, and members of the general public.

Resha, who serves as Oxford's Southern Circuit Tour faculty coordinator, plans to connect one of the upcoming films 78/52 to a course he teaches. 78/52 is a documentary about the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. "I have a section devoted to Hitchcock and authorship in my Introduction to Film course, and the students watch Psycho—as well as a number of other Hitchcock films," he explains.

Viewers have already seen When God Sleeps and Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four this fall. The next film, Liyana, comes to Oxford on Feb. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Liyana is an animated film with five orphaned children in Swaziland telling the imaginative story of Liyana. This young Swazi girl embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue her young twin brothers. The story of perseverance draws from the young narrators’ memories and dreams to blend documentary scenes with animation. Amanda Kopp and Aaron Kopp, directors/producers of Liyana, will conduct an audience Q&A session following the screening.

The two other spring semester screenings include the March 7 showing of Quest, a film shot over a 10-year period that follows a North Philadelphia family with a home music studio, and the April 11 showing of 78/52, which delves into the iconic shower scene in Psycho.

An initiative of the Atlanta-based arts organization South Arts, Southern Circuit takes art directly into communities, including college campuses, to bring people together to experience documentary films as a group. Funding for the project is provided in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information, visit South Arts website or contact David Resha.

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