The McKinney Center will be rolling out the red carpet on Thursday, November 8 at 6PM to welcome the young film students who will debut their films for the public for the first time. This year will mark the fifth annual Jonesborough Student Film Festival, a night to celebrate the achievements of students in the McKinney Center’s Film Classes from the spring and fall of 2018.
All of these films are student written and directed. This year, the students in both classes focused their attention on Jonesborough’s historic people and places. A series of “History Minute” films, news programs, and documentaries will take a look at such subjects as Ella Russell, an African American hospital-trained nurse, and the first hospital trained nurse to serve East Tennessee. Other subjects include the Chuckey Depot; Elihu Embree and his newspaper, The Emancipator, the first publication solely dedicated to the abolitionist movement; Captain Christopher Taylor and the Christopher Taylor Cabin; the Historic Chester Inn; train wreck in Jonesborough during the 19th Century; a feud between Andrew Jackson and Parson Brownlow that spilled into the downtown street; Jonesborough’s own Buffalo Soldier, Alfred Martin Rhea; and a wide perspective of the Civil War, and its effects on Jonesborough before and after.
Students in the classes learned how to create a story board, develop a film concept, and write a simple script. They learned how to operate a high-definition video camera, how to operate studio lightning, how to use sound and music, and basic film direction. They also learned how to speak and act for film. They gained a new awareness of the vital role Jonesborough has played in the history of Tennessee and of the United States, as they did “location shots” throughout town as well as studio shots.
Film teacher Jules Corriere, who also serves as the McKinney Center’s Outreach Programming Director, said, “The students this year were really hard-working and dedicated to learning about their subjects. It was exciting for me, as their teacher, to watch them find creative ways to bring this history to life, in their own way.”
Corriere also noted that the Heritage Alliance played an important role in these classes, providing archival photographs and information, stating, “Whenever a student asked for a certain photograph or newspaper clipping or other artifact, Anne G’Fellers-Mason was always there, providing the resources the students needed.”
The Film Festival is a way to acknowledge the hard work and creativity needed to make these films. Students will be picked up in a Limo Van, and driven through town. When they arrive at the McKinney Center, they will each have their own red carpet walk. Popcorn and drinks will be served, and the films, ranging from 2-6 minutes in length each, will be premiered to the public for the first time. The event is free and open to the public, and the community is encouraged to come and celebrate these young film makers, and their contribution to telling Jonesborough’s stories.
The Film Class is part of the broader Jonesborough Story Initiative, and a program of Jonesborough Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts at the McKinney Center. For more information, contact the McKinney Center at 423-753-0562.