The Indie Film Corner: An interview with USCB Center for the Arts director Bonnie Hargrove

By Dennis Tavernetti
Since no Indie film is being shown this week at USCB Center for Arts, the “Corner” will focus on the availability and selection process of the films that the center exhibits.
The films that USCB has access to are films that have “limited distribution.” These are the films created mostly by Independent movie makers and normally cover Indie, Documentaries, and World (Foreign) films. However, some major movie companies have formed their own Indie companies with limited distribution.  For example, the award-winning “Midnight in Paris” was made by the Indie division of Sony. This movie would never have been screened in Beaufort, except for USCB’s Center for Arts.
In order to understand how USCB Center for Arts selects the films, we interviewed Bonnie Hargrove, Director of the center.
IN: About how many films are available to the center from Emerging Pictures?
BH: They have over 100 films available at any one time. They constantly change.
IN: What is the mission that you keep in mind during the selection process and how has that influenced your selection?
BH: The USCB Center for the Arts’ mission is to entertain, educate, and enlighten residents, students, and visitors through the visual and performing arts. Yes, we entertain, but we also strive to inform and educate.  This is why we have selected documentaries such as “The Whale” and “Turtle”; World films, like “The Women on the 6th Floor,” which reveal different cultures; and Indie films that present different social issues, like diversity in “Toast.”
IN: When we go to some of the major multi-screen facilities, it seems that frequently only 10 -15 people are there.  What is your experience at CFA?
BH: Our largest audiences have been for special interest films that Beaufort groups rally around, like “The Way,” where members of St. Peter’s had a special interest and “Turtle,” where we had more than 200 supporters of Hunting Island State Park attend. For other types of films, we have been building our audience and now are averaging about 30-40 per showing. It is a bargain opportunity for high quality big screen entertainment in very nice surroundings. These films are not available anywhere else in Beaufort County.
IN: So how do you go about selecting the movies?
BH: Our exhibitor partner, Emerging Pictures, has a very well informed programmer, who has firsthand knowledge as to how the films have been accepted in the other 139 venues. We also learn as we go.
IN:  What do we have to look forward to in April and May?
BH: So far, we have had more drama than comedy, and the next two months we are going emphasize lighter, brighter fare, fitting for spring.
IN: See you at the movies!

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