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Randolph College Presents Film Festival

Randolph College will present three documentary films March 19-21 as part of the film festival “Spring into Action: Documentaries to Change the World.”

Sponsored by the Driver Lecture Series (The Sara Driver ’77 Digital Filmmaking Course and Lecture Series Funded by Martha (Lou) Miller Driver ’50), the film screenings are free and open to the public. A silent auction before each film will raise money for various local and global charities.

The festival will feature the Academy Award-winning FreeHeld, the Academy Award-nominated The Garden and Journey Into America. Discussions with the filmmakers will follow after the screenings. All three films will be shown in Martin 315.

The films featured at the festival share a common theme: the role that individuals play in creating change.

Jennifer Gauthier, associate professor of communication studies at Randolph College, organized the festival along with the Festival Planning Committee and members from the campus student groups UMMAH and Bridges.

“I wanted to do a documentary film festival to support my Documentary History and Theory course this semester, and also because there are so many great documentaries out there,” said Gauthier. She has been focused on expanding the film studies program, which combines the study of film history and theory with hands-on courses in filmmaking.

“Such a holistic approach is unique at a small liberal arts college,” Gauthier said.

As part of the festival, Scott Hamilton Kennedy, director of The Garden, will conduct a workshop on filmmaking March 20 at 2 p.m. in Martin 415.

To reserve a seat for the workshop or request more information about the festival, contact Jennifer Gauthier at 947-8501.

Schedule of Films:

March 19, 7 p.m. Journey Into America (Akbar Ahmed et al., 2009)

How do Muslims fit into contemporary American society? And how have the uniquely American ideals of pluralism, openness, and cultural integration held up in post-9/11 American society? Those are the driving questions behind Journey into America, a cross-country adventure led by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, renowned Islamic scholar and author, and his team of enthusiastic young Americans.


March 20, 7:30 p.m. The Garden (Scott Hamilton Kennedy, 2008)

This Academy Award-nominated documentary tells the story of a 14-acre community garden in South Central Los Angeles, the largest of its kind in the United States. Started as a form of healing after the devastating L.A. riots in 1992, the South Central Farmers have since created a miracle in one of the country’s most blighted neighborhoods. The Garden explores and exposes the fault lines in American society and raises crucial and challenging questions about liberty, equality, and justice for the poorest and most vulnerable among us.


March 21, 2 p.m. FreeHeld (Cynthia Wade, 2007)

The Academy Award-winning documentary FreeHeld follows the landmark legal battle of Lieutenant Laurel Hester, a dying lesbian New Jersey police officer who fights to transfer her pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree. As her elected officials, The FreeHolders, stand firmly against her, and the town explodes around her, Hester races against time to provide for the love of her life — before it is too late.



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