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Fresh Docs Double Screening of “The Last Barn Dance” and “Abandoned”

Stills from "Last Barn Dance" (top) and "Abandoned" (bottom).

Stills from “The Last Barn Dance” (top) and “Abandoned” (bottom)

On May 30, the Center for Documentary Studies and the Southern Documentary Fund will present free screenings of two docs-in-progress as part of the Fresh Docs series, which features works-in-progress and recently completed films. Screenings are followed by a moderated conversation with the filmmaker in which the audience participates.

Friday, May 30, 7 p.m.
Full Frame Theater, Power Plant Building, American Tobacco Campus
320 Blackwell Street, Durham, North Carolina

The Last Barn Dance by Ted Richardson and Jason Arthurs: In an economy that has eliminated most other family farms in Alamance County, North Carolina, Randy Lewis is worried he’ll lose his dairy business, and along with it a family heritage of hosting barn dances for nearly fifty years. The farm is fragile, the band is old, the barn is beaten, and Randy, with little faith that the younger generation will pick up the pieces, is scrambling to find new ways to save the old ways—to salvage the homeplace and to save the dance.

Abandoned by Philip Brubaker: This innovative documentary combines the filmmaker’s personal struggle with spirituality and his obsessive search for clues in a tragic, real-life mystery. Philip Brubaker discovers an abandoned house in the country and enters it with the intent to shoot some photographs. What he finds inside will set him on a journey fueled by superstition and a desire to right a wrong.  A fascinating, humorous, and shocking essay film, Abandoned holds a corporation accountable and ponders the unanswerable question: “Is God watching us?”

Ted Richardson is a veteran photojournalist and freelance videographer based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He has covered assignments in Afghanistan, Cuba, and Mexico, and has taught courses in photojournalism and multimedia journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill. Jason Arthurs is a documentary filmmaker and photographer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. During his five years as of working with newspapers, he was twice named North Carolina Photographer of the Year. Philip Brubaker is a 2013 graduate of Duke University’s MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts program. His short film Brushes With Life won him international exposure, and his documentary Observing Animals was shown at the 2014 Ethnografilm Festival in Paris, France.

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