We are pleased to announce the Folk School will be a 2021-22 Screening Partner for South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers!

South Arts is a regional organization that supports southern artists, arts organizations, and communities. We’ll be a Screening Partner for the Southern Circuit, a series of film screenings and programming that connects US-based documentary filmmakers with communities throughout the south to share their work, discuss their process, and engage with audiences about issues impacting their community. To learn more about the other ways South Arts give back to artists, including their grants and fellowships, programs, conferences, and more, visit their website.

This fall, we’ll be hosting five virtual film screenings that allow our community to connect through thematic workshops, Q&As with filmmakers, and more. Films are available to watch up to four days after their screen date through Eventive, so you won’t miss out on viewing.

All screenings will be free to viewers. Read below to learn more about each film and its filmmakers, and find links to register for upcoming screenings and events.

Fall 2021 Screening Schedule

Stateless, 2020

Film Screening: Tuesday, September 14

Filmmaker Q&A: Wednesday, September 15 from 7:00–8:00 p.m.


In 1937, tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent were exterminated by the Dominican army, based on anti-black hatred fomented by the Dominican government. Fast-forward to 2013, the Dominican Republic’s Supreme Court stripped the citizenship of anyone with Haitian parents, retroactive to 1929. The ruling rendered more than 200,000 people stateless, without nationality, identity, or a homeland. In this dangerous climate, a young attorney named Rosa Iris mounts a grassroots campaign, challenging electoral corruption and advocating for social justice. Director Michèle Stephenson’s new documentary Stateless traces the complex tributaries of history and present-day politics, as state-sanctioned racism seeps into mundane offices, living room meetings, and street protests.

Filmed with a chiaroscuro effect and richly imbued with elements of magical realism, Stateless combines gritty hidden-camera footage with the legend of a young woman fleeing brutal violence to flip the narrative axis, revealing the depths of institutionalized oppression.

Filmmaker Bio

Michèle Stephenson

As co-founding member of the Rada Film Group, filmmaker, artist, and author Michèle Stephenson (Director/Producer) draws from her Panamanian and Haitian roots and international experience as a human-rights attorney to tell provocative stories in a variety of media that speak to personal and systemic liberation. Her work has appeared on numerous broadcast and web platforms, including PBS, Showtime, and MTV.

Her most recent film, American Promise, was nominated for three Emmys, including Best Documentary and Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story. The film also won the Jury Prize at Sundance and was selected for the New York Film Festivals’ Main Slate Program. Stephenson was recently awarded the Creative Capital Fellowship and the Anonymous Was a Woman Award, as well as the inaugural Chicken & Egg Pictures Breakthrough Filmmaker Award. She is also a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow. Her current feature-documentary work in progress is supported by the National Film Board of Canada and the Sundance Documentary Fund. Her community-engagement accomplishments include the PUMA BritDoc Impact Award for a Film with the Greatest Impact on Society and a Revere Award nomination from the Association of American Publishers, and she is a fellow of the Skoll Stories of Change initiative. Her recent book, Promises Kept, written with co-authors Joe Brewster and Hilary Beard, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work.

At the Ready, 2021

Film Screening: Tuesday, September 28

Filmmaker Q&A: Wednesday, September 29 from 7:00–8:00 p.m.


Home to one of the region’s largest law enforcement education programs, students at Horizon High School in El Paso train to become police officers and Border Patrol agents as they discover the realities of their dream jobs may be at odds with the truths and people they hold most dear.

Filmmaker Bio

Maisie Crow

Maisie Crow is a documentary film director, cinematographer, and photographer. She lives in Marfa, Texas with her husband and two dogs. Her 2016 award-winning documentary, Jackson, is an intimate, first-of-its-kind look at reproductive health care through people in the Deep South who stand on both sides of the debate. Village Voice praised it as “elegant, unsettling” while New York Magazine said it “comes at a pivotal moment for reproductive rights”. The Last Clinic, a short-film and multimedia collaboration with The Atavist Magazine about Mississippi’s last abortion clinic, was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy and a finalist for a National Magazine Award in 2014. Maisie has taught as an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

Not Going Quietly, 2021

Film Screening: October 10–13, Anytime

Filmmaker Q&A: Wednesday, October 13 from 7:00–8:00 p.m.


When 32-year-old activist and father Ady Barkan is diagnosed with ALS and given four years to live, he finds himself in a deep depression, struggling to connect with his newborn son, whose presence reminds him of the future he will miss. But after a chance confrontation with Senator Jeff Flake goes viral, Ady decides to embark on a cross-country tour of America, using his final breaths to fight for healthcare justice. Ultimately, Ady discovers that collective action and speaking truth to power offers a source of hope for the future that transforms his relationship with his son and his belief in what is possible for his family.

Filmmaker Bio

Nicholas Bruckman

Nicholas Bruckman (Director) produced the feature film Valley of Saints, which won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Independent Spirit award. The film was released on Netflix and was a New York Times Critics Pick. He previously directed the feature documentary La Americana, which won the best documentary prize at the NY and LA Latino Film Festivals. The film broadcast worldwide on networks including PBS, Nat Geo, and Al Jazeera. Nicholas’ work has received support from foundations including the Fledgling Fund, Cinereach, NYSCA, NYFA, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He is the founder of People’s Television, a New York and D.C.-based branded & original content company.


Amanda Roddy

Amanda Roddy (Producer) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with People’s Television. She has led projects as a director, producer, and writer for clients such as the Democratic National Convention, Covergirl, Elizabeth Warren’s presidential Campaign, Equal Justice Works, The Nature Conservancy, and The Equity Fund. Recently, she directed and produced a two-minute primetime television spot that appeared on NBC during the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Her work has been supported by the International Documentary Association, Rooftop Films, Film Independent, IFP, and HBO.

And So I Stayed, 2021

Film Screening: October 24–27, Anytime

Filmmaker Q&A: Wednesday, October 27 from 7:00–8:00 p.m.


And So I Stayed is an award-winning documentary about survivors of abuse fighting for their lives and spending years behind bars. These women paid a steep price with long prison sentences, lost time with loved ones, and painful memories. Activist and formerly incarcerated survivor Kim Dadou Brown, who met her wife while incarcerated, is a driving force in the passage of New York’s Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA), a new law meant to prevent survivors from receiving harsh prison sentences for their acts of survival. Nikki Addimando, a mother of two young children, suffered the consequences when a judge didn’t follow the law’s guidelines. Tanisha Davis, a single mother who was ripped away from her son in 2013, is hopeful the new law is her way out of a harsh prison sentence. This film is made for and by survivors. For them/us to feel heard, seen, and believed.

Filmmaker Bio

Natalie Pattillo

Natalie Pattillo (Co-Director, Producer, Writer) is a New York-based multimedia journalist. Her reporting bylines include the New York Times, MSNBC, VICE, Jezebel, New York Magazine, Al Jazeera America and Salon. In 2020, she was awarded the Media Award from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She received a Master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School in 2017. Because Natalie has experienced domestic violence in a past relationship, her mission to uplift survivors and their stories is a personal one. Natalie’s own experiences as a survivor, as well as the passing of her sister who was killed at the hands of an abusive boyfriend in 2010, helps her understand what position the survivors in the film might have been in when they were fighting for their lives.

Daniel A. Nelson

Daniel A. Nelson (Co-Director, Producer, Director of Photography) worked as a cinematographer and researcher on Oscar-nominated director David France’s feature-length documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, which celebrates the lasting political legacy of trans icon Marsha P. Johnson and seeks to finally solve the mystery of her unexplained death, that premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival and landed on Netflix. Daniel received his Master’s from the Columbia Journalism School in documentary filmmaking in 2016. His thesis at Columbia was a short documentary called Posture about the controversial world of competitive yoga, which premiered at the 2017 Long Island International Film Expo and was published on Yoga Journal.

Duty Free, 2020

Film Screening: November 7–10, Anytime

Filmmaker Q&A: Wednesday, November 10 from 7:00–8:00 p.m.


After a 75-year-old immigrant mother gets fired without cause from her lifelong job as a hotel housekeeper, her son takes her on a bucket-list adventure to reclaim her life. As she struggles to find work, he documents a journey that uncovers the economic insecurity shaping not only her future, but that of an entire generation.

Filmmaker Bio

Sian-Pierre Regis

Sian-Pierre was a Firelight Media Fellow 2018-2020 and a Film Independent Documentary Fellow 2019. He is also an award-winning journalist, on-camera personality, and cultural critic with an undying love for both pop-culture and social responsibility. He has been a contributor for CNN, HLN, MTV and CBS, covering stories of youth political activism and pop-culture.

John C. Campbell Folk School
About John C. Campbell Folk School

The Folk School transforms lives, bringing people together in a nurturing environment for experiences in learning and community life that spark self-discovery. Located in scenic Brasstown, North Carolina, the Folk School offers year-round weeklong and weekend classes for adults in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing.