Garceau Film Wins Award in Memphis, Is Accepted for Dallas Festival

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Prof. Dee Garceau′s first feature-length documentary, "Stepping: Beyond the Line," earned a Special Jury Award at the Indie Memphis Film Festival in November. Now the film has been accepted for the 2012 Texas Black Film Festival in Dallas.

Garceau’s film explores the history of stepping, a distinctive African-American dance form that emerged from black fraternities and sororities during the mid-twentieth century. The dance and its development, in turn, become a window on the history of African-American struggles for justice in the segregated South. In spring 2010, Garceau taught a History course at Rhodes in which participating students formed the documentary film production team. The students researched stepping and its history, filmed interviews with members of black Greek organizations, and with scholars of black history and culture, as well as step practices and step shows. With the help of co-producer Joann Self-Selvidge, students then learned the rudiments of editing film. In April 2010, they showed the first rough cut of the film to audiences at URCAS, the Rhodes undergraduate research symposium. Over the next year, Garceau and Selvidge refined the film, adding a soundtrack, editing the narrative, and adding additional archival photographs. The final version of the film premiered at the Indie Memphis Film Festival in November 2011.

The Texas Black Film Festival has just accepted “Stepping” for its February 2012 lineup. Created in 2003, the Festival is a three-day event showcasing the best in independent films about African American history and culture, and the African diaspora.