BPAC Screens Independent Film Series

By Cade Holder | September 2, 2020 | Press Release

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Southern Circuit brings the best of independent documentary film to communities across the South. For the second year, the Bologna Performing Arts Center (BPAC) is pleased to be one of the Southern communities screening the 2020-2021 Southern Circuit films this season. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts, a regional arts organization, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information about Southern Circuit and South Arts please visit

From September through April, the BPAC will present seven films and filmmakers. Along with a screening of the film, the filmmakers are made available to conduct a Q&A with audiences following the film screening to discuss the film, their subject, and their work. To prioritize the wellbeing and flexibility of Screening Partners, filmmakers, and audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-2021 Southern Circuit season will feature a hybrid of in-person and online screenings. Please visit for details.

The first event of the series features a screening of Coded Bias followed by a Q&A discussion with director Shalini Kantayya. The film will be screened on the BPAC big screen on Tuesday, September 15 at 6:30 p.m., or patrons can also register to stream the film at home for free. A second screening of the program will be streamed on Sunday, September 20th at 3:00 pm CT. Coded Bias explores two crucial questions: What does it mean when artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly governs our liberties? And what are the consequences for the people AI is biased against? As it turns out, artificial intelligence is not neutral, and women are leading the charge to ensure our civil rights are protected.

Picture a Scientist will be presented October 20. It chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries, who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all.

 On November 17, the documentary Reggae Boyz uses pop cultures’ most transcendent forces – sports and music – to delve into the heart and soul of Jamaica. Plagued with one of the highest murder rates in the world, Jamaica tries to reinvigorate its populace by qualifying their national soccer team – the “Reggae Boyz” – for the 2014 World Cup.

In 2021 offerings continue with a special screening of Far East Deep South on February 18. The documentary is about a Chinese-American family’s search for their roots which leads them to the Mississippi Delta, where they stumble upon surprising family revelations and uncover the racially complex history of the early Chinese in the segregated South.

Code of the Freaks, will screen on February 23. This feature-length documentary is a radical reframing of the use of disabled characters in film. Code of the Freaks (the title is a line from Tod Browning’s 1932 classic Freaks) counters these formulaic entertainments with a powerful corrective: it dares to imagine a cinematic landscape that takes disabled people seriously.

The screening on March 15, PICTURE CHARACTER, depicts the rapid rise of emoji (Japanese for “picture character”). Its directors lead viewers on a deep dive into the ever evolving world of picture characters, from their humble beginnings in Japan to mobile keyboards the world over. It sheds fresh light on the private consortium that approves new emoji offerings and the individuals fighting to make the language more representative of its billions of users.

The Southern Circuit Tour concludes with Mr. Handy’s Blues on April 13. William Christopher (W.C.) Handy is a larger than life figure in American Music History. For more than 100 years he’s been revered internationally as ‘The Father of the Blues,’ but his story has never been told in documentary form until now. The mission of Mr. Handy’s Blues is to entertain and educate audiences to the profound work of W.C. Handy and preserve his legacy for generations to come.

Admission is free to all SC films, and all film screenings are followed by followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. Visit our website for additional information about these and other performances or contact the BPAC Ticket Office at 662-846-4626.