Southern Belle is headed south — real south, that is — to Sydney, Australia to screen as part of this year’s INPUT conference and festival. Filmmakers Mary Makley & Kathy Conkwright will be in attendance to present the film, and will follow it with a Q&A with attending public television professionals from around the world.
According to its site:
INPUT is dedicated to the proposition that television should be public service in the public interest. That access to the most honest, innovative, provocative, courageous and challenging broadcasting is a universal fundamental human right.
INPUT has organised international television’s most important and influential annual screening conference for more than 35 years. This unique event — held in a different country each year — encourages the development of public service television by screening and debating the most outstanding programmes from around the world.
Southern Belle, a MakeWright production presented by NPT together with ITVS, is a unique insider’s look at the 1861 Athenaeum Girls’ School in Columbia, Tennessee, where the antebellum South attempts to rise again. Every summer, young women from around the world eagerly sign up to become that iconic and romantic image of southern identity: the southern belle, replete with hoop skirt, hat and gloves, singing the region’s anthem, Dixie. Is the camp a self-esteem building, living history experience or does it ultimately reinforce separations between race, gender, and geography? As we begin the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Southern Belle captures the divisive historical memory of an American subculture and challenges us to consider how a romantic portrayal of the past can affect current attitudes that continue to define and divide America today. The film premiered at the 2010 Nashville Film Festival.