Ritz Theater offers student tickets for film screenings

Life Editor Chandler Mordecai

The Tennessee Valley Art Association will partner with South Arts and offer UNA student tickets to the screening of six films from the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers at the Ritz Theater.

The Shoals is one of the stops on the circuit, where independent filmmakers screen their documentaries and discuss them afterward with audiences.

“This program is truly unique because it allows audiences to view thoughtful films that do not get a theatrical release and to interact with filmmakers about their work after each film screening,” said Katie Owens-Murphy, assistant professor of English at UNA.

Prior to each screening, filmmakers will give insight into their artistic process, discuss filmmaking and how creative talents are adapted to the big screen.

“We are passionate about connecting filmmakers with communities,” said Teresa Hollingsworth, program director with South Arts.

The films that will be screened offer different perspectives to life.

“Our first film, “Hillbilly,” examines stereotypes about Southern culture from a variety of angles,” Owens-Murphy said.

“I think it is important for students to take advantage of these opportunities, because there is something for everyone in the arts,” said Maggie Steward, a sophomore at UNA.

“The Blood is at the Doorstep” follows a grieving family and community that seeks justice in the wake of the killing of an unarmed black man by law enforcement in Milwaukee. “Quiet Heroes” tracks the development and treatment of HIV in the 1980s in Utah, where Mormons and other religious groups stigmatized the disease.

“Road to Race Day” follows NASCAR rookie Chase Elliott as he begins his career as a race car driver and “Parallel Love: The Story of a Band Called Luxury” tells the story of a Southern rock band from Georgia that defied their genre and Christian record label and saw three of the band members become Greek Orthodox priests.

The final film of the series,“The Pushouts,” takes a look at educational systems from the perspective of a high school dropout turned gang member turned felon turned tenured college professor, Victor Rios, who now works to break down the school-to-prison pipeline.

“I do encourage folks to view the entire series in order to appreciate the balance we’ve achieved in this year’s selections,” Owens-Murphy said.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and TVAA members. Season tickets are $30.