June 2: Anytown, USA Students Screen Their Films About a Small North Carolina Town

Anytown screening in Roseboro, NC on Saturday, May 14

Anytown, USA screening in Roseboro, North Carolina, May 2016

Now in its eighth year, a continuing education course at the Center for Documentary Studies taught by veteran instructor and filmmaker Randy Benson, Anytown, USA, has once again spotlighted a small town in North Carolina. Over an eight-week period, ten students traveled two hours south of the Triangle to Roseboro  (pop. 1,191), to seek out compelling stories and produce short documentary films. An outdoor screening in Roseboro on May 14 was attended by hundreds of town residents. On June 2, 2016, a second screening in Durham will give Triangle residents a chance to see the projects, described below.

Thursday, June 2, 7 p.m.
Full Frame Theater
320 Blackwell St., Durham, North Carolina

For more information, email cdscourses@duke.edu. For more information on course offerings through the CDS Continuing Education program, click here.


Badhey Butler and Sons

Kamal Badhey Death and the Family
Tim Butler, president of Butler and Sons, tells of hard work, excellence, and care in his Roseboro funeral home. The story shows the origins of their family business, starting with their century-old farm, a family barbershop, and eventually the Butler and Sons funeral home.


Baker Welcome to the Treehouse

Leslie Baker Buddy and the Treehouse
In the summer of 1997, Buddy Melvin built a tiny bar around a tree in his backyard. Over the past twenty years, that small bar grew into a 13,000 sq. ft. tree house. This is the story of Buddy and his unbelievable grown-up play house.


Frachtling Till

Emily Frachtling Till
Till is a portrait of Matilda West as she lives out her remaining years in the only place she has ever wanted to be: Roseboro, North Carolina. In this poignant and experimental portrait, Matilda recalls her successes and her regrets, and opens up about her experience of growing older in a small town.


Levitt and Rahi Lakewood Standing Strong

Zoë Levitt and Rahima Rahi Lakewood Standing Strong
High school can be a challenging time, as students must grow into themselves, find friends, and figure out their next steps. In today’s social media-saturated environment, young people have even more challenges to grapple with. Gossip, rumors, photos, and cruel comments can quickly become public knowledge and follow students home from school, even without their consent. This video highlights a group of Lakewood High School students who have come together to address cyber-bullying, an issue facing students across the country.


Moavenzadeh Leaving Lakewood High

Leyla Moavenzadeh Leaving Lakewood High
Three friends and seniors at Lakewood High School grapple with their approaching graduation, and consider what it means to leave their hometown together.


Nichols hwy 24 and 242

Patrick Nichols 24/242
New roads have the potential for a big impact on a small community. This film explores a highway reconstruction project in Roseboro and the attempts to ensure that the new road benefits the town as much as possible.


Potter Roseboro Colored High School

Rubestene Fisher Potter Roseboro Colored High: A Tale of Two Schools
This film tells the story of the two Rosenwald schools built in Roseboro in 1924: the Snow Hill School and Roseboro Colored School. Alumni give their accounts of school days during the Great Depression and the hardships endured at that time.


Rogers The Man in the School still

Julia Rogers The Man in the School
A portrait of longtime Roseboro educator William Peterson.


Shearer Barbershop

Ian Shearer Small Town Hair
Small Town Hair is an observation piece on how the Public Barber Shop serves many functions in the local community.

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    4 Responses to “June 2: Anytown, USA Students Screen Their Films About a Small North Carolina Town”

    1. Hello, Just tonight, June 1, a friend told me about your film about Roseboro. I am from Roseboro (but not living there now) and would like to see this. I understand there is a showing in Durham, NC tomorrow night, but It is not possible for me to be there. I would very much like to see this. Any ideas how I could?
      Thank so much,
      Susan Herring

    2. […] “Anytown, USA” Screening – Thursday, 7pm – The people and places of the small town of Roseboro will be spotlighted at Full Frame Theater through short documentary films produced by students at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. […]

    3. Anitra Williams says:

      I would really like to see this documentary as well. I wish I had known about it in advance, and I would certainly have attended the showing. My father, Roosevelt Wright, a resident of Roseboro for at least 60 years would have been a very valuable contributor to this documentary, considering his contribution to community service as an educator for well over 30 years and school board member. He is the basketball coach pictured on the far left above at Charles E. Perry School prior to integration. Most of the individuals interviewed were school age at that time when he was teaching and coaching, hired by the man who the school was named after. I’m sure most sound-minded residents would agree that my father, Roosevelt Wright, would have been an excellent and valuable contributor to hear the many stories from his perspective over the years. I am his oldest daughter, Anitra Wright Williams, and I thank you for doing this documentary. I’m like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, clicking my heels! There’s no place like home!

    4. Whitney Baker says:

      Susan & Anitra –

      The student films from Roseboro are now available to view online at http://www.cdsporch.org/archives/26085


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