CEPA’s latest film project will screen at Birmingham’s international film festival on August 27 at 12:45 p.m. A local premiere will be held at CEPA on August 20 at 7 p.m.
A Pell City student film project months in the making will have two feature screenings in August. “SEM;COLON”, a 16-minute short produced and filmed this summer by CEPA’s Spotlight Studio, was accepted last week into the Sidewalk International Film Festival, scheduled for August 26-28, 2022.
SEM;COLON will screen as part of the Teen Shorts Block scheduled for 12:45 p.m. on August 27 at the Sidewalk Cinema in the Pizitz building in downtown Birmingham.
Since limited seating is available at the festival, CEPA is holding a premiere on Saturday, August 20 at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public. The film is not rated, however it contains adult themes and focuses on the subject of teen suicide. Parents are advised to use caution.
SEM;COLON started as a short film for the Pell City High School Film Club and was later converted by Anna Claire Hathorn and Emma Gibson to a podcast script. The audio version, directed by Anna Claire and produced by CEPA as part of The Black Box by Spotlight Studio, is available on all platforms.
Anna Claire and Emma adapted the film script in spring of 2022. Anna Claire directed the film, which was recorded in April using a student crew. Filming and post-production were managed by Spotlight Studio Coordinator Nicholas Fason throughout the summer.
The podcast and film are part of a greater effort by SEM;COLON to raise awareness for mental health among students at Pell City High School, which was recently featured by WBRC in Birmingham.
The process of scripting and recording an audio performance and converting that script to film included several students from Pell City High School and beyond. The significant work involved creates a hands-on educational process that results in learning new skills for artistic content creation including writing, directing, filming and editing.
“At CEPA, our goal is to provide new, educational opportunities in the performing arts, and we are honored that Anna Claire is working with us to produce SEM;COLON,” Thompson said. “But personally, I salute the bravery of these students, and I sincerely hope that their work on this project is able to reach people in need of an empathetic voice in the fight against teen suicide.”
CEPA is supported through partnerships with Pell City Schools and the City of Pell City. Spotlight is supported annually by St. Clair County Schools, the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Local program sponsors include Hargray Communications, Trussell Funderburg Rea Bell and Furgerson and Goodgame Co.
This year, CEPA also received additional funding to support the growth of Spotlight Studio through a State Council on the Arts Recovery Grant and from a South Arts Sustainability Grant. South Arts is an Atlanta-based nonprofit regional arts organization empowering artists, organizations, and communities, and increasing access to arts and culture.