Film by Prof. Dee Garceau Accepted by Indie Memphis Film Festival
Publication Date: 9/22/2011
A feature-length documentary,"Stepping: Beyond the Line," by Rhodes History Professor Dr. Dee Garceau, has been accepted into the 14th Annual Indie Memphis Film Festival, which will run Nov. 3-6, 2011.
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, have become a window on the history of African-American struggles for justice in the segregated South. Featured in the documentary are interviews with steppers, footage of step practices and step shows, and archival images of its historic roots.
In the spring of 2010, Garceau taught a history course at Rhodes in which participating students functioned as a film production team. The students researched stepping and its history, filmed interviews with members of Black Greek letter organizations (BGLO), and filmed step practices and step shows as well. 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.
Since then, Garceau and Joann Self-Selvidge have collaborated on post-production work, further refining the content and quality of the documentary film. For example, an original soundtrack, produced by Memphis musician Steve Selvidge, has been added to the historical sequences, and the narration has been improved. "But the real credit," says Garceau, "goes to the BGLO members who shared their stories and dances with us. They are the heart and soul of this of film, and we could not have done it without them."
Erik Jambor, Indie Memphis festival director, wrote, "We loved ′Stepping: Beyond the Line′ and are thrilled to let you know that it has been officially accepted as part of the lineup of the 14th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival."
The film is funded by the Mike Curb Institute for Music and the Curb Family Foundation.