Documentary Shorts Highlight the Importance of Community


Dorking Shorts left audiences speechless (in a good kind of way) after the lineup of docs played this morning. The shorts block featured local film “Guns in the House,” directed by Cucalorus Film Festival resident-artist Amanda Edwards, and local filmmaker Will Davis’ “Metal Man,” among others. A theme of community was present in each film, connecting  the films in a deeper way than their documentary category.

Whether it was a town dog bringing a group of neighbors together (“Fred the Town Dog“), guns and political violence tearing people apart (“Guns in the House,” “Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution”), or different communities learning from one another (“Mipso in Japan,” “Heartbeats of Fiji,“), each film inspired reflection on what makes a community and the responsibility we have to ourselves and others. “Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution,” ended the block with a powerful and inspirational call to action in regard to the Syrian struggle for freedom.

The shorts block was followed by a Q & A session with visiting and local filmmakers Davis, Edwards, and Ava Lowrey (“Fred the Town Dog”).

Filmmakers take on questions from the audience during the Q & A

Filmmakers take on questions from the audience during the Q & A

Audience members were curious about Edwards’ inspiration for “Guns in the House,” which tackles the issue of gun violence in Wilmington.

“I found it fascinating that, in America, anyone can have a gun at any time,” Edwards explained. She went on to mention that while guns are not a problem in her native England, decapitations are becoming more common.

Lowrey discussed growing up in a town close to Coosa County, Alabama, where “Fred the Town Dog” is set, and hearing about Fred’s death in her local newspaper. Lowrey’s film is a heartwarming tale about how a pooch united a small southern community on its way to becoming a ghost town.

“Metal Man” profiles 84-year-old Ernie Taylor, who creates unique metal sculptures on his Indiana farm while discussing his life philosophies. Davis said it was difficult to cut certain footage during edits because Taylor was such a fascinating subject.

Edwards agreed, adding, “It can be really heartbreaking.” “There will be deleted scenes on my website,” she added with a smirk. We look forward to it.

Catch a repeat screening of the Dorking Shorts at 10:15 a.m. Nov. 14, at Thalian Hall’s black theater. Additional filmmakers will be in attendance, including “Heartbeats of Fiji” and “Mipso in Japan”‘s Jon Kasbe.

Get your tickets here!