Jule Collins Smith Museum hosting Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers

AUBURN – As one of only ten venues in five states to host the 2008-09 Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art will screen “Member of the Club” on Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. After the screening, the film’s director, Phoebe Ferguson, will lead an audience discussion about the film and her work as a filmmaker.

“Member of the Club” tells the story of a debutante, Marisa Arianne Mitchell, who has been groomed from infancy to be a New Orleans Mardi Gras queen. With an observational, cinema verité approach, the film follows the Mitchell family through the 2003-04 debutante season as the debutante experiences a flurry of interviews, dress fittings, rehearsals, academic challenges and ball practices. The film explores black social clubs in the South, as well as issues of race, class and the powerful desire of an American family to belong.

A native of New Orleans and a 1978 Mardi Gras debutante, Ferguson lives in New Orleans where she produces and directs documentary projects. “Member of the Club” is her first feature film.

Prior to the screening of “Member of the Club,” the Museum Café will offer a buffet, prepared by caterer Ursula Higgins, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The cost is $15 per person plus gratuity. A cash bar will be available to guests 21 and over. For reservations, call the Museum Café at (334) 844-7016 or (334) 844-3085.

Also as part of the Southern Circuit Tour, the museum will screen “All About Us” on March 24, a film directed by Christine Swanson and produced by Michael Swanson; and “A Man Named Pearl” on April 14, a film produced and directed by Scott Galloway. For descriptions of these films, go to http://jcsm.auburn.edu/special_events/08_09_sc_film_festival.php#short. For a still image from the film, “Member of the Club,” go to http://wireeagle.auburn.edu/multimedia/aumemberclub.jpg.

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is the nation’s only regional tour of independent filmmakers. It is a program of the Southern Arts Federation, a nonprofit regional arts organization making a positive difference in the arts throughout the South since 1975. The film series is presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Jule Collins Smith Museum.

For more information about the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, go to http://jcsm.auburn.edu/index.php or call (334) 844-1484.

(Contributed by Colleen Bourdeau.)

Contact: Colleen Bourdeau, (334) 844-7075 (cst0001@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)

A still image from the film Member of the Club.

A still image from the film "Member of the Club."