Zaire Love, a first-year student earning her MFA in Documentary Expression, applied for the Indie Grits grant in December and was awarded $1,000 to create a film about the rural south. Only nine people were chosen out of several applicants to receive this grant. This grant helped her extend her original one-minute film, TREES. “Being able to work with my granny while also making family memories have been awesome,” Love said. The Indie Grits Film Festival, where Love will show the film and perform, is March 28-31 in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Film: Artist’s Statement:

TREES is an ode to elderly southern black women. It signifies black women in the South being like trees. They are everywhere you go but are rarely truly gazed upon exposing their majestic stature and wealth of wisdom. If Southern Trees could talk, I would imagine they might sound like the elderly black women I want to capture in this film.

This film will be a hybrid film because it will merge documentary and narrative methodologies. TREES will tell the stories of survival, resistance, and overcoming for black women in the South during the Jim Crow South era as well as reflections on the South today. The Rural South will be the center of this concept because many of the women in the film will be from rural small towns in the Mississippi Delta and surrounding areas. The film will also have some scenes that will capture rural Mississippi and Tennessee.

The performance

“I’ll be performing a 15-20 minute set of my original music at The Weekly Revue which is kind of a big deal at Indie Grits,” Love said. “I’m excited about it because I’m also getting paid to perform. This is my first paid performance where I’m doing my own art.



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