Southern Film Festival features Margaret Mitchell, moonshine, and an NFL hall-of-famer

This year’s Southern Film Festival has the theme: “Screening Southern Rebellion.” The festival features film screenings, panel discussions, and guest speakers that will even include a former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker.

Margaret Mitchell, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Gone With the Wind, is the subject of the first film (Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel) to be screened at the 3rd Annual Southern Film Festival, which begins this Friday.

In addition to screening the documentary (which will take place at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts), there will be supplemental content that discusses Margaret Mitchell and her most famous literary work. A keynote speaker (Molly Haskell, author of Frankly My Dear: ‘Gone With the Wind’ Revisited) and a panel discussion with the authors of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind will ground audiences in the iconic work. Surpassing simple screenings, the Southern Film Festival aims to discuss all films in this year’s batch in a much more thorough manner.

“I think people enjoy the opportunity to engage in dialogue about films,” said festival organizer Emilie Raymond, Ph.D., associate professor of history in a press release. “While there are a lot of opportunities to see films, there are very few opportunities to actually talk about the films with the people involved in their making or with experts in their subject matter.” VCU is putting on the festival, and will feature several VCU faculty that will moderate and discuss the featured films.

Films highlighted during the two-day festival include: The Thrillbillys, about a group that avenges the Yankee destruction of moonshine stills and The Black Six, a 1974 film considered to be the first all-black biker film. The latter film starred former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, and Viriginia native, Willie Lanier, who was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in 1986. Lanier will be on-hand to discuss the film following it’s screening.

Screenings and discussions will occur primarily at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts but will also be held at Cous Cous and the Grace Street Theater (full schedule). Prices for attending the various films and discussions range from FREE to $8


stock photo by ToastyKen

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