Preview: Indie Grits 2015, Day 4


It’s Saturday at Indie Grits!

That means the Love, Peace, & Hip-Hop festival is already in full swing on the 1700 block of Main Street. The event boasts a bevy of genuine headliners like Nice & Smooth, Monie Love, and Big Gipp (of The Goodie Mob) but is worth attending largely because of it’s family-friendly celebration of the vibrancy and importance of hip-hop culture. Various vendors and non-profits will be dotting the sidewalks as DJs, B-Boy dance crews, and hip-hop visual artists gather together in the spirit of DJ Afrika Bambaataa’s “4 pillars of hip-hop.”

Jasper is particularly stoked for Big Gipp though–Goodie Mob is one of the key outfits in the Atlanta hip-hop scene of the 1990s, and is still one of the most influential outfits in defining “The Dirty South” sound for a genre too-often thought of in terms of East Coast (NYC) vs. West Coast (LA).

There’s also a full day of screenings to take advantage of! The full schedule is at available at the Indie Grits website here, but it’s worth noting how many blocks of shorts are available today–the Embarrassing Love block at 2pm, People Portraits at 2:30, Four Minute Film Frenzy at 4pm, Heritage in Drift at 4:30pm, Burdens of the Past at 8:30pm, and Summoning the Supernatural at 9pm. These blocks are a great chance to experience the full range of filmmaking possibilities and thrive off their juxtaposition to one another, something which is commonplace (and great) a film festival but that we don’t often experience otherwise.

We attended Burdens of the Past yesterday and can personally recommend that block. It’s mostly a collection of portraits of people you would likely scorn–a murderer, child molester, and campus preacher–but each vignette is lovingly rendered and looks to find the depth of humanity in its subject matter. It also showcases the range of motivations and possibilities inherent in making shorts too.

Vidia Propa

Features tonight include Western at 6pm, a nonfiction take on the genre that still simmers prominently in our national imagination, and Vida Propia, which sounds like a heartbreaking observational documentary of first-generation Mexican immigrants struggling to survive in North Carolina. The latter screens at 6:30pm.

Also going on tonight in the second performance of this year’s Spork in Hand Puppet Slam! It’s hard to say what exactly will happen at this anything-goes, adults-only collection of puppetry pieces, but Prairie Willows will be performing and puppeteers from around the Southeast will be showcasing the incredible creative abundance of their art form. That starts at 7pm.

Then there’s the closing party at 10pm, where you can get down with all the filmmakers to the tunes of Mechanical River and Infinitikiss. We would say that’s a wrap on Indie Grits, but there’s more stuff in store for tomorrow, when festival winners will screen throughout the day…

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Preview: Indie Grits 2015, Day 3


By: Wade Sellers

It’s Friday, April 17th- day three and hump day for Indie Grits 2015. The schedule is packed, from 11am until well past midnight. If you don’t have anything pressing at the office, why are you even considering clocking in today?

Two feature films headline the festival’s evening slate.


The documentary American Cheerleader focuses on the world of competitive cheerleading. The film follows the journey of two high school teams- from Burlington, New Jersey and Southwestern, Kentucky, who compete for the National High School Cheerleading Championship. The twenty-four women from both teams revise the preconceived notions of femininity and sportsmanship that hang over the world of cheerleading. Check out our interview with one of the filmmakers here. – The Nickelodeon, Upstairs Theater- 6pm.


Female Pervert, from Atlanta director Jiyoung Lee, follows a lonely video game designer, Phoebe, as she tries to make emotional connections in the modern world. She attempts many changes in her life but as she endeavors to self-improve her interests turn towards a darker more perverted path. Will she be able to change? Or will she accept her fate as a female pervert? Check out interview with the director here. – The Nickelodeon, Downstairs Theater- 7:30pm

If you must work, but have a lunch break downtown, head to the CMA and Boyd Plaza and check out the Mini Cine. Screenings are free and will rotate between a block of short titled Future Perfect Shorts and a curated program of archival footage from the University of South Carolina’s Moving Image Research Collection titled “Past Hopes for Perfect Futures.”

The Indie Bits Showcase starts at noon in the Skyline Room at Tapp’s. Don’t miss out on the chance to play indie games that are in competition from across the southeast.

Heritage in the Drift is a group of experimental shorts playing early in the day. – The Nickelodeon, Upstairs Theater- 1:30pm

Burdens of the Past features a group of documentary shorts with subjects ranging from a street preacher, an openly gay young man in South Carolina, the 1993 killing of Chicago blues musician Boston Blackie and psycho-geographer and convicted sex offender, Denis Wood. The Nickelodeon, Downstairs Theater- 3pm


Brothers Bill and Turner Ross, and Indie Grits alums, screen their Sundance Award winning film Western this afternoon. “What would a nonfiction western look like? If you can find John Wayne, what does he look like, what’s he doing?” Find out at The Nickelodeon, Upstairs Theater- 3:30pm

Finders Keepers tells the almost unbelievable story of Shannon Whisnany, a North Carolina bargain hunter, who refuses to return amputee John Wood’s embalmed leg after he finds it in a used grill at an auction. The Nickelodeon, Upstairs Theater- 8:30pm

There is plenty of evening and late night fun with the Stairwell Concert, the Spork in Hand PUPPET SLAM at 1216 Taylor St., and Weekly Revue at the Big Apple.

Need more? Head to Hunter Gatherer at 11pm for live music or The Whig for a Friday night Taco Party.


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Chatting with Jiyoung Lee, Whose film Female Pervert Screens at Indie Grits 2015


By: Wade Sellers

Female Pervert director Jiyoung Lee took the time to answer a couple of questions about life in Atlanta and her film, which screens in competition tonight [The Nickelodeon, Downstairs Theater- 7:30pm] at Indie Grits.

How is life as an indie filmmaker in Atlanta?

It’s nice to be an indie filmmaker in Atlanta. You have access to great community of actors and film professionals. (Many Hollywood productions are shot in Atlanta.) And the Atlanta Film Festival is very supportive of local filmmakers.

The downside of being a filmmaker in Atlanta is that you have few local sources for funding. But funding is hard these days, regardless of location. Also, the hot and humid summers in Atlanta can make film shoots challenging.

The synopsis of Female Pervert mentions that your film touches on classic issues of young men and women, such as finding true emotional connections in the world, but digs deeper into your protagonist’s eccentric interests. How has the film been received so far and what are some of the responses you have gotten?

Female Pervert is an idiosyncratic movie and I didn’t necessarily try to please people when making it. People either love or hate the movie. Very few people have a middling opinion of the movie. However, most people agree the lead actress Jennifer Kim did a fantastic job. So the movie’s definitely worth seeing just for her performance alone.

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