UNA film club and local nonprofit team up to address social issue of racism

Austin Parsons (left), a member of the film club, Amber Hargrove (center) from Living Spirit Church and Justin Latimer (right) of the film club prepare to shoot the video “Getting Uncomfortable.” The video addresses the social impact of racism.

A local nonprofit organization, Say Something Shoals, teamed up with UNA’s film club to produce a short film, “Getting Uncomfortable.”

The film addresses racism, just one of the acts of intolerance in today’s society.

Say Something Shoals’ goal is to address prominent negative social conditions one campaign at a time, said the organization’s founder, Camille Bennett.

“It was a project for the community we wanted to do,” said,” she said. “We wanted to talk about racism and make a video.”

Junior Javarice Moody, a member of the film club, said he expects the video to open people’s minds more to talk about the “uncomfortable” topics such as racism, homophobia and hate toward anyone with different beliefs.

“I want people to realize some issues are uncomfortable,” he said. “It’s OK to feel uncomfortable because you are not the only one.”

Bennett said she hopes people in the community will watch the video and talk about uncomfortable things — such as racism — and be able to identify with another person.

“I hope it inspires people to get to the heart of the matter,” she said. “Communication leads to tolerance and understanding.”

Bennett said making a video was the easiest and fastest way to relay a message, especially with the help of social media.

Reaching out to the film club at UNA was a wonderful decision, she said.

“It was beyond amazing because of the level of passion they brought to the project,” she said. “They were really excited, professional, detailed and timely.”

Once filming began, the students’ level of passion about the subject prompted them to jump in front of the camera, she said.

“I came up with the concept for the video, but the film club made it happen,” Bennett said.

The video was to help others understand racism is relevant and uncomfortable but should be talked about, Moody said.

“The video shows real people who are truly uncomfortable in situations that involve racism,” he said. “The moral of the story ultimately is you should say something because your voice matters.”

Senior Yadira Patino said she thinks the video is a good idea because these are topics everyone needs to talk about.

“People are trying to be serious about it, and other people are like, ‘we don’t want to talk about (racism),’” she said. “It’s already out there, but people just refuse to see it.”

The film club helped create quality content, and Moody said he believes the film will be a great opener for future videos they plan to make with the organization.

“It was a lot of fun, even though we’re talking about this serious topic,” Moody said. “We managed to be laughing and having a good time and grew closer to each other.”

Sometimes it is hard to know how to approach a situation, said sophomore Kaylee Thomas.

“Definitely don’t keep your opinions to yourself,” she said. “Obviously, you do not want to offend people, but I think talking about issues is the way to get them resolved. “It’s not going to help anything if you keep it to yourself.”

The short film is found on the Say Something Shoals Facebook page and the Say Something Shoals YouTube channel.

The plan is to take each campaign addressing the different social issues affecting us all to a national level, Bennett said. Starting it at home was the first step.

Say Something Shoals plans to reach out to UNA and local public schools to hold events which increase awareness about social issues affecting the community, Bennett said.