School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Posts Tagged ‘documentary’

Filmmaker to screen Robert Penn Warren documentary Feb. 26 in Overby Center Auditorium

Posted on: February 23rd, 2020 by ldrucker

A veteran filmmaker who created a documentary about poet and novelist Robert Penn Warren will screen his film Wednesday, Feb. 26 at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics.

Tom Thurman’s film “Robert Penn Warren: A Vision” will be shown at 5:30 p.m. in the Overby Center Auditorium inside Farley Hall. After the screening, the filmmaker will talk with professor Joe Atkins about the documentary. Thurman has also completed documentaries and projects about other notable figures, including actor Harry Dean Stanton.

Journalist Nick Tosches and Tom Thurman

Journalist Nick Tosches and Tom Thurman

“Thurman is a veteran filmmaker whose past work includes ‘Crossing Mulholland,’ a 2011 documentary about Harry Dean Stanton,” said professor Joe Atkins. “I met Tom, who lives in Lexington, Kentucky, while doing my research on the actor.”

Atkins book Harry Dean Stanton: Hollywood’s Zen Rebel is expected to be published by the University Press of Kentucky in October.

Tom Thurman

Tom Thurman’s documentary

Thurman has produced and directed 36 documentaries on art, film, music, sports and literary figures, including Nick Nolte, John Ford and Hunter S. Thompson.

As a producer/writer for Kentucky Educational Television in Lexington, Thurman produces documentaries for the series Kentucky Muse, a showcase for artists with Kentucky roots, including Stanton.

“In high school, I became interested in painting, drawing and writing,” Thurman said via email. “In college, these interests expanded to sculpture and film history. Filmmaking allowed me to collapse all of these interests into one creative process: the written word, color, composition, and storytelling. Documentary filmmaking seemed more intimate to me, and connected me closer to the oral history tradition that was a part of my (very) rural upbringing.”

On the surface, Thurman said his documentary is about Warren’s life, work and career. More pointedly, however, it is about The Civil War, Southern culture, race, and how a sense of place comes to inform the creative process.

“Ideally, viewers will be inspired to read Warren’s work: not simply his greatest book—All the King’s Men—but also his poetry, his literary criticism, and his journalistic pieces on his changing views of race relations as seen through the eyes of a Southerner born and bred in the early 1900s,” Thurman said.

Tickets are not required for the event. If you plan to attend and require accommodations for a disability, please contact Sarah Griffith at 662-915-7146 or jour-imc@olemiss.edu. For more information about our journalism or IMC programs visit jnm.olemiss.edu.

If you have a comment or question about this story, email ldrucker@olemiss.edu.

Documentary about Faulkner household set for Thursday, Oct. 24 in Overby Center

Posted on: October 21st, 2019 by ldrucker

Much has been written and broadcast about William Faulkner. But there has been nothing produced that talks about life in the Faulkner household from an insider’s point of view.

Thinking of Home: Falkner House and Rowan Oak is a 30-minute documentary featuring Oxford writer Larry Wells, who with his late wife Dean Faulkner Wells, lived at Falkner House, the home of Faulkner’s mother.

Wells and Bill Griffith, curator of Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak, narrate a video tour of both historic houses that includes historical photos, drone footage and Larry’s personal stories about the Faulkner family.

A black and white illustration featuring Faulkner's face with historic buildings in the background.

A black and white illustration featuring Faulkner’s face with historic buildings in the background.

The public is invited to the first open showing at 4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics. The documentary was previously shown at the Faulkner Conference on campus last summer and in New Orleans at the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Birthday Bash in September.

Unlike Rowan Oak, Falkner House on South Lamar is not open to the public, thus the documentary provides a rare glimpse into the residence. (William’s parents spelled the name without the ‘u’). Virtually every day, Faulkner walked the half-mile from Rowan Oak to Falkner House to visit his mother, Maud Falkner. Her husband, Murry, died shortly after the house was built. In the 1920s Murry served as business manager at the University of Mississippi.

The Rowan Oak segment includes tales of family members staying at the home and incidents, such as when famed CBS broadcaster Edward R. Murrow phoned Faulkner. The fable about Judith, the family ghost, and her untimely death at the home is dramatized.

The documentary was produced by Dr. Kathleen Wickham, professor of journalism in the School of Journalism and New Media, with videography by Mary Stanton Knight and Deborah Freeland, who also served as editor/director.

Drone footage was provided by Ji Hoon Heo, an instructional assistant professor at the School of Journalism and New Media. Music was recorded and performed by Diane Wang and Stacy Rodgers of the Ole Miss Department of Music. Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library, provided photographs.

Funding was provided by the School of Journalism and New Media and the Mississippi Film Alliance. The documentary will be donated to Rowan Oak. Plans call for it to be permanently available for viewing.

If you require special assistance relating to a disability, please contact Sarah Griffith at 662-915-7146 or via email at slgriff@olemiss.edu. Please request accommodations as soon as possible to allow time for arrangements to be made.

Lens Collective student film accepted as Oxford Film Festival entry

Posted on: November 9th, 2018 by ldrucker

The beauty of learning how to use video software is that you can potentially create something important and impactful, even if it is very short.

Congratulations to Matt Cipollone, of American University, and Mikey D’Amico, of West Virginia University. Their Lens Collective short film “Signs” was accepted into the Oxford Film Festival that will be held Feb. 6-9, 2019.

“Signs” is a 3:37 short film about a company that is replacing the bullet-ridden sign that memorializes Emmett Till and marks the site where his body was found after he was lynched in 1955 at age 14 in Money, Mississippi.

Oxford Film Festival Executive Director Melanie Addington said the film was chosen for the Oxford Film Festival because it had a “powerful message and is a story that needs to continue to be shared.”

She offers the following advice to student and area filmmakers who are interested in producing short or full length documentaries to submit to the festival.

“I recommend attending and seeing what other work is out there,” she said. “With our new student category and new $50 VIP pass for students only, along with free workshops, the festival is very accessible to new filmmakers.”

Addington said short film entries must be one minute to 30 minutes. They should be submitted via Film Freeway when submissions are open for 2020 next summer.

Cipollone and D’Amico’s mentor was Josh Birnbaum of Ohio University. University of Mississippi professor Vanessa Gregory lined up the story and made the initial calls.

Click this link to watch the short film “Signs.”

SIGNS from Lens Collective Conference on Vimeo.

For more information about how you can become involved in the Oxford Film Festival as a filmmaker or volunteer, visit the website.

New Course: ‘Documentary and Social Issues’ offered at School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: March 29th, 2017 by ldrucker

One the areas that the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media takes pride in is its history of race, civil rights and social justice reporting.

Meek School professor Joe Atkins will be offering a new journalism course in the fall called “Documentary and Social Issues.” J580 will be offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 10:50 p.m. as a graduate elective course, but undergraduates in their junior and senior year are welcome to register for the course.

Atkins said the course “will look at the history of documentary making and its impact on major social issues of the day.”

“From Robert Flaherty’s “Nanook of the North” in 1922 and Leni Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will” in 1935, to Michael Moore’s films today, the documentary has brought important issues to the public’s attention and produced intense controversy,” Atkins said. “This course explores its central role in our media world past, present and future.”

Atkins said the course looks at the role – in print, broadcast, film or social media – the documentary has played in exploring and bringing light to key social problems and issues. Students will gain fuller insight into the role journalism and documentary film can play in the discussion and possible resolution of social problems and issues.

The course will improve their ability to think critically about journalism and documentary film and to write analytically, persuasively, and comparatively about film and related texts. Some of the films that may be shown in the course include:

“Nanook of the North,” by Robert Flaherty, 1922

“Triumph of the Will,” by Leni Riefenstahl, 1935

“Inside Nazi Germany,” by Jack Glenn, 1938

“Harlan County USA,” by Barbara Kopple, 1976, about coal miners.

“The Uprising of ’34,” by Stoney, Helfand and Rostock, 1995, about the bloody suppression of striking textile workers in South Carolina.

“I Am A Man,” by Jonathan Epstein, 2008, about the 1968 sanitation workers strike in Memphis.

A yet-to-be-determined film by Michael Moore.

Atkins has taught at the University of Mississippi since 1990. He teaches courses in advanced reporting, international journalism, ethics and social issues, media history, and labor and media.

He is the author of Covering for the Bosses: Labor and the Southern Press, published by The University of Press of Mississippi in 2008, and editor/contributing author of The Mission: Journalism, Ethics and the World, published by Iowa State University Press in 2002.

He organized an international “Conference on Labor and the Southern Press” at Ole Miss in October of 2003. A statewide columnist and 35-year veteran journalist, Atkins was a congressional correspondent with Gannett News Service’s Washington, D.C., bureau for five years.

He previously worked with newspapers in North Carolina and Mississippi. His articles have appeared in publications, such as USA Today, Baltimore Sun, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Progressive Populist, Southern Exposure, Quill and the Oxford American. Atkins is also author of the novel “Casey’s Last Chance,” published by Sartoris Literary Group in 2005.

  • Story by LaReeca Rucker, adjunct journalism instructor