Local festival draws indie filmmakers

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Local independent filmmaker Chari Bostic leads a discussion during a meeting of the Alabama Filmmakers Co-op on June 26 at the Gadsden Museum of Art.

By Izack Seahorn, Staff Correspondent

The Alabama Filmmakers Co-op, a group of independent filmmakers from across the state, met at the Gadsden Museum of Art on June 26 to showcase films and discuss the Alabama arts industry.

Downtown Gadsden Inc. Director Kay Moore the opened event by talking about the role of the arts in Gadsden, specifically the downtown area. Moore said that “a good downtown is the heartbeat of a community. We’re proud of our downtown, and we’re proud to have things like this downtown.”

The filmmakers showed that films do not have to be made in Hollywood with million-dollar budgets, but that anyone with a creative mind and a camera can have a chance at making art. The festival showed that Gadsden and Alabama are full of creative minds and stories to be told.

The films at the festival shown covered a wide range of genres, including a horror film, several dramas, a film about a family losing a child and one about teens with supernatural powers.

The festival’s first showing was “Horseshoe Bend” by Debbie Wright of Fairhope. The film was a drama inspired by Wright’s experiences with ranch life. Set in Alabama, there were references to the state throughout the film with brands like Back Forty Brewing Company and a Fairhope bar called Bill-E’s. According to Wright, she made the film with a budget of $5,000. 

There was even a documentary that took place locally. Gadsden resident Chari Bostic was the subject of the documentary, “Saving Grace,” which focused on Bostic’s work with Gadsden’s historic Sixth Street Cemetery. She and the Grace Heritage Foundation have gone to great lengths to preserve and protect this historic landmark.

Other filmmakers participating in the festival were Valerie Hale, Laurel Lunceford, Katherine Johnson, Jeff Nichols, Kelcy Williams and Drew Harp.

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