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Mossy Creek Documentary Arts Festival

The Mossy Creek Documentary Arts Festival screens documentary shorts, features, historical and narrative films for the campus and community. It is a place for students, faculty, filmmakers, photographers, and the general public to share in stories and consider important issues facing the region and the world. Past festivals have featured Academy Award-winning filmmakers and compelling new documentary projects.

Mossy Creek Documentary Arts Festival

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Phoenix Theatre, Henderson Humanities Building 
10:00 a.m. – 8:45 p.m.
Theme: Steve James and Documentary Storytelling

10:00 – 10:50     Film Block I: First To Go

In a short film directed by Myles Matsuno, we meet the Kataoka family, Japanese Americans imprisoned in Topaz, Utah, following President Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066.  Persons of Japanese ancestry were relocated to desolate Internment Camps during World War II.  In this very personal film, we find that even in the darkest chapters in American history happiness and love can blossom.  Also watch two students documentaries by Wesley Wood and Ksenia Naydenova.

11:00 – 11:50    Film Block II: CN Film Grads Showcase

Two award-winning Carson-Newman Film graduates now working in the industry bring their latest documentaries home to their alma mater. Daniel Hamby is a North Carolina filmmaker who will screen his new short I Care for Your Brain, and Ben Gibson, who works in production for The Bingham Group, will screen Smoky Mountain Strong.  Gibson's film tells the story of the Gatlinburg wildfires of 2016 and the efforts to recover.

1:00 – 2:50     Film Block III: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Nominated for an Academy Award this year and winner of the Critics' Choice Award for Best Political Documentary, Steve James' film Abacus: Small Enough to Jail is an extremely compelling story.  It is the saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, the only U.S. bankers to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown.  Over a five year battle, they defend their bank's legacy and integrity in serving their community in Chinatown.  The award-winning director, Steve James, will be on hand to answer questions following the film

3:30 – 4:30      Film Block IV: Student Films

Watch Carson-Newman student documentary shorts by Troy Rowlette, Kelsey Hensley, Helyca Sulbaran Martinez, Tanner Burleson, and Tanner Heath.   Then hear documentary filmmaker Steve James respond to the students' work

5:00 – 6:30      Reception at The Creek

Meet the guest filmmakers and enjoy food sponsored by the CNU Film Program.

7:00 – 8:30      Film Block VI: The Films and Stories of Steve James  -  CLW Credit

Watch clips by acclaimed filmmaker Steve James and hear the stories of the making of his award-winning documentaries.  Since his film Hoop Dreams captured national attention in 1994, James' innovative documentary style has transformed the genre and brought to the screen some of the most poignant and challenging stories in documentary history.  Whether it is his film Life Itself about film critic Roger Ebert or The Interrupters, in which James follows the lives of violence interrupters who attempt to protect urban communities, James tells the most compelling narratives to film audiences.  The director will even share clips from his upcoming film series America to Me.

Space is limited for this screening. Arrive early to ensure entry.


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