TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Cinema lovers rejoice — the Black Warrior Film Festival is back this spring with a new lineup of screenings, panels, and director meet and greets April 8-10 at the Ferguson Theater inside The University of Alabama Student Center.
Using a hybrid approach, the festival’s staff will host virtual panels as well as in-person screenings of 38 films April 9-10. Thirteen UA student films will also be featured.
The three-day festival is the first of its kind for the College of Communication and Information Sciences. Dr. Kristen Warner, associate professor in the department of journalism and creative media, said offering a hybrid selection gives students more opportunities, as well as brings in industry professionals.
“The pandemic forced us to re-envision how we hosted panels,” Warner said. “We couldn’t bring people to us, so we adjusted and transformed those panels into virtual sessions. This expanded our lineup and brought us more sought-after industry professionals, such as Christine Vachon and Nicole Kassel. This year we have screenwriter Phyllis Nagy doing our virtual keynote, as well as Sundance Film Festival director Tabitha Jackson visiting.
“The students have an opportunity to think more about the careers they want to pursue post-graduation with these successful filmmakers offering such valuable insights and advice.”
The festival will feature seven categories: experimental, comedy, horror, Capstone, documentary, drama and Holle. The Capstone category includes films about UA, while the Holle category is for films that will be nominated for the College of Communication and Information Sciences Holle Awards for Excellence in Creativity and Communication.
UA students Andrew Rutledge, Lauren Brock, Maya Browning, Kailey New, Trevor Henry, Catherine Peinhardt, Ross Thrash, Kristin Johns, John Hanninen, Maytreecia Harriell, Lily Prater, Nolan McKinney and Emilia Stuart will screen their films.
Created in 2013, the Black Warrior Film Festival provides a cultural experience for student filmmakers and the surrounding community. Dozens of films that were screened at the Black Warrior Film Festival have gone on to other regional, national and international film festivals.