Any animal lover will want to make hir or her way up to Kershaw County for the inaugural Camden Film Week. Between a fourth-annual visit from the Equus Film Festival and a week of panels, art and …
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This article was originally published in Lakeside, a monthly publication of The Sumter Item. To see a digital version of the entire magazine, click on the following link:'
Any animal lover will want to make hir or her way up to Kershaw County for the inaugural Camden Film Week. Between a fourth-annual visit from the Equus Film Festival and a week of panels, art and educational classes on animal rescue and other canine-centric films, the event is an experience for the whole family.
If you’re a lover of horses, dogs, animal rescue in general, art or even film making, mark your calendar for late February and the inaugural Camden Film Week in Kershaw County.
Camden’s fourth-annual tour stop for the international Equus Film Festival serves as the catalyst for the week of activities, according to Julianne Neal, event organizer and executive director of The Marley Project Inc., a nonprofit that serves as the host and sponsor for the equine film festival’s tour stop. She spoke in late January on this year’s expanded week filled of activities, set for Feb. 18-24.
With its rich horse tradition, Camden is a perfect stop for the New York-based Equus Film Festival, the world’s premier showcase for U.S. and international equestrian-content feature films, documentaries, music videos, training and educational materials, art and literature, Neal said. More than 20 equine film-makers, artists and authors will descend on Camden during the week for film screenings, art exhibits and classes on filmmaking – even with your phone. Panel discussions and Q&A sessions will also be a part of film week.
Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, will be the big days for the film festival at the Little Theater in downtown Camden.
Recently released short- and full-length documentaries will be shown, including “A Pony and His Boy: The Story of Berry and Josh,” “Their Last Ride” and “The Great Flip-Off.”
The 20-minute “A Pony and His Boy” was partially filmed in South Carolina and premiered in Chicago last year. The film tells the story of a young boy, Josh, with Down Syndrome, who is initially terrified of animals but later falls in love with horses in his own display of courage.
Neal said filmmakers take great pride in their work and often travel with their movies to the various festivals. In the Q&A sessions, filmmakers will discuss with attendees why particular storylines appealed to them.
“The Great Flip-Off” – 95 minutes – follows extreme circus bareback riding families as they face the potential loss of their livelihood with the cutting of many circus acts in a new era of animal rights.
Neal said this year’s festival will also be ideal for dog lovers with the addition of the “Bow Wow Film Fest” and the Camden premiere of “Life in the Doghouse” – 84 minutes long. The documentary tells the story of two Camden men, Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw, and their efforts to rescue more than 11,000 dogs during the last decade.
The film week’s theme will be a spotlight on animal rescue efforts with proceeds to assist local organizations.
Camden horseman Bruce Anderson is also an event organizer, Neal said.
The beginning of the week will feature educational classes for students during the day centered on arts activities. In the evenings, classes will be available for the public at the Kershaw County Fine Arts Center in Camden.
Saturday is the marquee day on the Town Green in downtown Camden with Marley’s Round Up, which will feature carriage horses, performances, the opportunity to meet visiting authors, filmmakers and artists, a petting zoo, food trucks and more.
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