Film festival to highlight civil rights struggle

Lydia Shaw, Contributing Writer


This year’s Embarras Valley Film Festival will expand on Booth Library’s “Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights” exhibit Wednesday through Friday in the Coleman Hall Auditorium.

This year’s theme will be “For All the World to See 2: Film Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights.”

The festival will include a showing of the 2015 film “Chiraq,” which is about gang violence in Chicago. The film will be shown 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The student film contest screenings and awards will be on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. and on Friday at 4 p.m.

A new film based on the rise and fall of Cairo, Ill., “Between Two Rivers,” will also be shown.  The documentary gives an in-depth look at Cairo, which is divided by the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Audience members are introduced to citizens of the town who believe that they have been forgotten about.

The film is directed, shot and edited by artists Jacob Cartwright and Nick Jordan, both based in the United Kingdom.

Political science professor Kevin Anderson said looking at films and presentations about what is really going on in the community can hopefully help people come up with some solutions.

English professor Robin Murray said the student film contest focuses on students in high school this year. Over 1,500 films have been entered in the contest, with a variety of genres to choose from.

The film festival has been hosted in Charleston since 2004, with a team of three people picking the theme each year.

At the festival, the finalists will be chosen and given an award.

In the past, Eastern students have won awards but this year no one submitted an entry.

This festival will honor one person who has yet to be announced for their relevance and dedication to Embarras Valley.

In past festivals, Gregg Toland, a man who was born in Charleston, was honored. Toland was a cinematographer who directed films such as “Wuthering Heights,” “Citizen Kaneand “The Grapes of Wrath.”

Murray said with this event being so popular each year from the community and students, the city of Charleston can expect for it to continue for years to come.

Lydia Shaw can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].