Filmmakers to discuss making of their film ‘An Outrage’

WINCHESTER – In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Shenandoah University and the Alamo Drafthouse Theater will host screenings of the award-winning documentary film “An Outrage” on Monday.

The screenings will feature a question and answer session with the directors, who are on a 22-state tour.

The 33-minute film highlights stories with descendants of victims, community activists and historians about lynchings.   “An Outrage” was filmed at lynching sites in Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Tennessee.

Lance Warren and Hannah Ayers directed, edited and produced the film through their film company Field Studios, which is based in Richmond.

The filmmakers began ork on the film in January 2016.

“American history, especially in the South, resonates with people,” Warren said. “It’s an ugly era that many of us tend to forget about. It’s sad. Because the civil rights movement helped shape our county we see today.”

“An Outrage” had its world premiere at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., in March. In April, tahe film received the festival-wide Audience Award at the Indie Grits Film Festival in Columbia, South Carolina. The film was honored as Best Documentary Short at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival in Vermont in August

Warren said their hope for the film is to spur conversation on racial violence and encourage communities across the United States to talk to one another.

“We want people of all walks of life to see the world for what it is and come together on this idea about how unchecked murder is wrong,” Warren said. “It’s an opportunity for communities to discuss how the past can bring a better future.”

Warren added that he believes the film does showcase the anger seen today in cities like Charlottesville and Ferguson, Missouri.

“We wanted to paint a picture that connects everything as one. Jim Crow to now,” Warren said. “What we see happening today is not the same, but it’s not different either.”

The Shenandoah University screening will take place from 3:30-5 p.m. Monday on campus in the Goodson Chapel and Recital Hall. Admission is free.

The filmmakers will attend for a discussion with the audience and will be joined by Supremia Bostick, president of Shenandoah University’s Black Student Union; Jermaine James, of the Mosaic Center for Diversity; and Jonathan Noyalas, director of the McCormick Civil War Institute.

An evening screening of the film at the Alamo Drafthouse in Winchester will begin at 7 p.m. Monday and will be followed by a feature presentation of “Bronx Gothic,” another acclaimed new documentary film. Admission is $9.50 for both films.

Andy Gyurisin, organizer of the Alamo’s Film Club, said this type of screening leaves people talking for days.

“I decided on this film for two reasons,” Gyurisin said. “One to kick-start out NAACP event in February where we show six to seven films that are rich in culture. And two, because it’s the genesis of today. It will speak to people on so many levels.”

When asked what Warren wants viewers to walk away with, he said an understanding and that it only takes one individual to make a change.