Dalton State College hosts independent film series

Sep. 7—Dalton State College is putting a spotlight on up-and-coming directors, writers and actors with its new independent film series.

"We wanted to bring in independent filmmakers for our students to know their work and be able to talk to them about what they've done," said Barbara Tucker, DSC's chair of communication, performing arts and foreign languages. "We've lined up, for this semester, four filmmakers — they're relatively local."

The series kicked off on Wednesday with a screening of "Amazing Gracie," a comedy-drama written by Chattanooga-based filmmaker Sarah Wood, who also stars in the movie.

Wood was scheduled to be on hand for the screening at the Goodroe Auditorium to field questions from the audience about the picture and working in the film industry.

"We wanted our students to have access to the experience and the wisdom of some of these folks," Tucker continued. "Just so they have a connection point, networking, that kind of thing."

The art of independent filmmaking has changed immensely over the last two decades. At one point, aspiring directors had to spend tens of thousands of dollars to simply rent the equipment needed to make movies.

But today, feature-length, award-winning films can be recorded — and edited — on a smartphone.

The distribution model for such movies, Tucker said, has also gone through a radical shift.

"You can put it on Vimeo and just do it through social media, you can put it on YouTube, you can show it at independent venues," she said. "The whole thing is to let them know that there are venues for them to get their work out there and to get some recognition, if the independent way is the way they want to go."

As part of the ongoing film series, three more DSC screenings and Q&A sessions are slated for the remainder of 2023.

Matthew Fisher's "The Good People of Orphan Ridge" — which "follows an indie rock band who sneaks into a haunted house to record their final album" — is lined up for an Oct. 11 presentation, while Chris Flippo's "Edge of Town" — a coming of age family drama with scenes filmed in Dalton —is set for a Nov. 29 screening.

The series is scheduled to wrap up on Dec. 6 with a screening of Andrew J. Bullard IV's "Access Control," about "an unlikely duo of hospital security guards who team up to solve a pill thief case."

All of the showings at 656 College Drive in Dalton have a start time of 6:30 p.m.

"All these are feature length films, they're not little short films," Tucker said.

All of the events are free to attend and open to the public.

"Anybody who's interested in filmmaking can come and see a movie," Tucker said. "Independent filmmakers all have their vision and a story they want to tell — and we have different kinds of stories that will be told."