Film Camp

La'Nardo Talley holds a boom mic as Chance Young acts during film camp for high school students at Longleaf Studios in Jacksonville. (Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star)

Jacksonville’s Longleaf studios this year will again host several movie screenings as part of a circuit celebrating Southern independent filmmaking.

The first film, to be shown Thursday, is the documentary “hillbilly,” which looks into the long standing caricature of people raised in the Appalachian region.

“This is an overdue documentary highlighting hurtful and insulting stereotypes of Southerners,” said JSU administrator and Longleaf Studios Director Pete Conroy. “We invite our community to this reception, screening and open discussion.”

After Thursday’s screening, the film’s co-director and an associate producer will be on hand for a Q&A session.

The screening is part of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. The program is funded  in part by a grant from the Atlanta-based nonprofit South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Longleaf Studios, a 7,500-square-foot sound stage, serves as an incubator for independent filmmaking in the region and hosts courses on movie production. The studios were founded by the Northeast Alabama Film Initiative, which was created by a state law passed in 2009 to lure the film industry to Alabama.

For more information about upcoming films, go to

Filmmaker synopses of the upcoming films:

Oct. 25: Road to Race Day

With Road to Race Day, Producer/Director Cynthia Hill (Private Violence, A Chef’s Life) digs deep into stock-car racing’s marrow with unprecedented access to NASCAR’s most-winning team, Hendrick Motorsports.

Nov. 8: Quiet Heroes

In Salt Lake City, Utah, the religious monoculture severely complicated the AIDS crisis, where patients received no support from—or were cast into exile by—the political, religious, and medical communities. Further, Mormon culture encouraged gay men to marry women and have a family to cure themselves of their “affliction,” counsel that led to secret affairs and accidental marital transmissions of HIV. In the entire state and intermountain region, there was only one doctor to serve all HIV/AIDS patients. This is the story of her fight to save the lives of a maligned population everyone else seemed willing to let die.

Feb. 14, 2019: The Blood is at the Doorstep

After Dontre Hamilton, a black, unarmed man diagnosed with schizophrenia, was shot 14 times and killed by police in Milwaukee, his family embarks on a quest for answers, justice, and reform as the investigation unfolds.

Filmed over the course of three years in the direct aftermath of Dontre's death, this intimate vérité documentary follows his family as they channel their grief into community organizing in an attempt to reset the narrative.

March 21, 2019: Parallel Love: The Story of a Band Called Luxury

This film follows the path of Luxury, a band from small-town Georgia, who, on the cusp of success, suffer a devastating touring wreck with long-term consequences. In the intervening years, they continue to make records and three members of the band become Eastern Orthodox priests. Through interviews and archival footage, Parallel Love tells the gripping and poignant story of Luxury and documents the making of a new record, now as priests.

April 25, 2019: The Pushouts

“I was in prison before I was even born.” So begins the story of Victor Rios a high school dropout, gang member and three-time felon by 15. When a teacher’s quiet persistence, a mentor’s moral conviction, and his best friend’s murder converge, Rios’ path takes an unlikely turn. Two decades later Rios, by then a 36-year-old tenured UC professor, author and national thought leader on the school to prison pipeline, gets a call. “Hey, hotshot Professor.” It’s Martín Flores, Rios’ high school mentor, who Rios hasn’t heard from in 15 years. “I need you to come to Watts and work with my kids.”

Assistant Metro Editor Daniel Gaddy: 256-235-3560. On Twitter @DGaddy_Star.

I'm the assistant metro editor for The Anniston Star. I edit, post online stories and write the occasional story.