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The Union County Community Arts Council and the George A. Batte, JR. Fine Arts Center at Wingate University have joined together for the third straight year to sponsor multiple free film screenings as a part of the Southern Circuit Film Series.

Founded in 1975 as a community project attempting to build on southern heritage, South Arts, the creative organization behind the film tour, is the largest artistic council is the southeast. The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, often referred to simply as the Southern Circuit, is a brainchild of South Arts and is the nation’s first regional tour of independent filmmakers.

“Southern Circuit was developed to connect audiences with new, independent films that they normally wouldn’t have an opportunity to experience,” said Teresa Hollingsworth, Senior Program Director at South Arts in a 2014 interview. “We send directors into communities for screenings as well as audience discussions about their work and the filmmaking process.

The Southern Circuit will be visiting Union County for the third year in a row. With free admission to the public, the tour aims to provide both the filmmakers and audience members with an opportunity to grow.

“South Arts works collaboratively with screening partners to expand their programming and to provide audiences with the opportunity to meet filmmakers and learn about the art of filmmaking,” says the Circuit’s website.

UCCAC and The Batte Center have a proven history of growing audiences and artists in Union County and both groups find the Southern Circuit Tour to be a successful artistic venture for the community.

“Together we offer quality films that are free and open to the public.  This project is important in that it extends our mission to serve the people of Union County by promoting the arts as an essential component of community life,” said UCCAC executive director Barbara Faulk.

Laura Kratt, Director of Cultural Events at the Batte, graciously noted the generosity the Union County Community Arts Council in their grant sponsorship of the films.

“None of this would be helpful without the help of the arts council,” said Kratt.

The films that will be screened at the Batte center each have a different genre and theme yet all will tackle various global topics.

“The subject matter in the film series is diverse and broad-based and will appeal to a wide range of viewers,” said Faulk.

Between “Do Not Resist”, a film that explores the militarization of local police departments—in their tactics, training, and acquisition of equipment—since 9/11, and “Dalya’s Other Country”, a project that tells the nuanced story of members of a family displaced by the Syrian conflict, audience members will explore the stories of people and organizations affected in various ways by wartime tragedies.

While viewing both “Swim Team”, a film about parents with a child on the autism spectrum who form a competitive swim team, or “First Lady of the Revolution”, the remarkable story of Henrietta Boggs, audience members will admire the passion and endurance felt by those of us with a powerful mission.

All viewers will find a common idea of hope in the films. The important message disguised in different global experiences is something that artists and community members alike can bond over. Audience members will have the opportunity to engage in a rich dialogue with the film directors about the content and impact of the films after each screening in a Q & A session.

More information on the films, dates and show times can be found at battecenter.org

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