Arts and Culture 2011

Amy Holtcamp



Indie Grits – Independent Film Served Southern Style

Posted 4/10/2010 5:26:00 PM

This year marks the 4th annual Indie Grits Film Fest in Columbia. The festival is sort of a South Carolinian version of Sundance. Hosted by the Nickelodeon Theatre, SC’s only non-profit movie house, the festival is designed to give early career and first-time filmmakers the opportunity to screen their work for a live audience – and to give us all an exciting taste of the unconventional world of independent film.

Screenings run nightly from April 14-18 and include a wide variety of films with a Southern flair. Many of the films either draw their inspiration from the stories and people of the South. and in many cases the filmmakers hail from Southern states.

This year, there definitely will be something for everyone. In addition to the 14 feature-length pictures competing for the jury’s $5,000 cash prize for best film, there are programs devoted to short films, student films and documentaries.

There also are a couple of cool, out-of-the-ordinary programs as well. The first is a filmic sampler of treasures from the University of South Carolina’s Moving Image Research Collection. This promises to be an intriguing night at the movies as the program includes, among other things, local 1970’s TV commercials (especially handy if you are researching leisure suits) and old Movietone newsreels.

I’m also curious about Saturday night’s event: an evening of experimental film. The audience will be invited to walk from room to room and examine four different “installations,” and the filmmakers will be on hand to discuss their work.

But don't let the fun end when the credits roll. It sounds like there will be lots of after parties at some of my favorite Columbia haunts like Hunter-Gatherer and the rooftop bar at the Sheraton. The exquisite and historic Arcade Mall also will play host to some of Columbia’s best local bands.

You can buy tickets individually for each program or a festival pass for $50 that provides admission to all five days’ events.

WHERE: The Nickelodeon Theatre, 937 Main Street, Columbia, SC and various locations throughout the city

WHEN: April 14-18th