The Moving Picture Boys Presents

LATEST PRESS:
May 29, 2019 - Nashville Public Radio - Nashville Homeless Camp Documentary Debuts
May 29, 2019 - Nashville Filmmakers Discuss 'Saint Cloud Hill'
May 23, 2019 - Tennessean - Documentary about Fort Negley homeless camp coming to PBS, Belcourt
May 23, 2019 - Nashville Scene - Saint Cloud Hill Documents the Fort Negley Homeless Encampment
May 22, 2019 - Saint Cloud Hill Review - The Contributor

LOGLINE: Under looming construction cranes, a Nashville tent city attempts to build itself up before it’s torn down.

SYNOPSIS: Captain Chris Scott rallies a colony of tent residents to defend their provisional homes against the forces of gentrification. Evolved from a docuseries about the underbelly of Nashville's growing prosperity, Saint Cloud Hill dives deep into the tragic personal experiences of a displaced community losing its last remnant of stability.

DIRECTOR: Sean Clark & Jace Freeman

PRODUCER: Sean Clark, Jace Freeman, Denis Deck & Allison Inman

PRODUCTION COMPANY: The Moving Picture Boys & Sequitur Cinema

With support from The Southern Documentary Fund.

DIRECTORS' BIO: Jace Freeman and Sean Clark are award-winning directors creating narrative nonfiction documentaries in the American South. Utilizing a direct cinema approach, the duo has independently created several films including The Ballad of Shovels and Rope (2014) which won Best Feature Documentary at the 2014 Port Townsend Film Festival and Best Tennessee Feature at the 2014 Nashville Film Festival. They share co-director credits on the forthcoming Baracoa (2019), a new docufiction selected for the 2019 Berlin Film Festival's Generation and for Vision du Réels’ 2018 docs-in-progress workshop. Previously, The Moving Picture Boys created Nashville Docujournal, an innovative web series of cinematic journalism. Selected works from the series screened in the Smithsonian exhibit “The Way We Worked” as well as included in the duo’s feature Nashville 2012 (2013) which won the 2013 Nashville Film Festival’s award for Best Feature in Tennessee.

RUNTIME: 80 minutes

GENRE: Feature Length Documentary

US BROADCAST PREMIERE: May 28, 2019 PBS's Reel South

IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9376126/

INTERNAL TEASER: https://vimeo.com/309348349 (password: saint)

US SALES AGENT: Glen Reynolds // Glen@circusroadfilms.com

CONTACT: info@mpboys.com

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Q&A with The Moving Picture Boys

What inspired you to make this film?

This film was the metamorphosis from a project we produced called Nashville Docujournal which was a collection of short cinematic stories happening within our community. We started in 2012 when Nashville started entertaining delusions of grandeur by highlighting a list of recent achievements, but ignoring issues of affordable housing, dislocation and other growing pains. The idea was to make known stories of underdogs and various subcultures that were often overlooked in the images of the city projected by our tourism board. At the heart of the project was to connect diverse stories through a common thread of a shared identity and destiny.

We were guided by this quote from Wendell Berry’s What Are People For?, “How can they know one another if they have forgotten or have never learned one another's stories? If they do not know one another's stories, how can they know whether or not to trust one another? People who do not trust one another do not help each other, and moreover they fear one another. And this is our predicament now."

In Nashville Docujournal, we documented an Occupy Nashville story of a man willing to camp on Legislative Plaza risking arrest to bring attention to housing rights. Examining the issue of affordable housing led us up a forested hill in a park downtown where the largest tent city had been established as a respite from the streets. On Saint Cloud Hill, we found a fatally flawed but a very real community that was a microcosm of the city as a whole. People were banding together and sharing what little resources they had with one another offering safety, security and a literal foundation to begin building back their lives. We found a story about place, belonging and community. We also found a man named Captain Chris Scott who had a quixotic vision to gain the mayor’s blessing and assistance to legalize the camp as a safe place not hindered by police to help people transition into housing. However, the city had promised the public land to a developer and eviction notices were given to the camp residents. This is when we started filming.  Chris had to not only sell his vision of a transitional camp to city officials in Nashville, but he also had to make sure to keep the harmony that allowed the camp to thrive as a community despite the growing pressures threatening to tear it apart.

What were the challenges and the blessings in making this movie?

We specialize in the narrative nonfiction documentary style meaning that our narratives unfold in the present tense. So rather than using conventional documentary storytelling tools like interviews, photos, or archive footage, we are present to capture all of the elements of the story as they occur in real life. Naturally, the challenge is trying to anticipate when and where these story events will occur, and more importantly making ourselves available and present to capture the video and audio of those moments. Saint Cloud Hill largely revolved around an imminent eviction of our protagonists by law enforcement, so it was imperative that we be there when that eviction took place. This meant that we tried to have someone on location at almost all times. If we could not be there ourselves, we asked friends to be there either armed with cameras, or at least ready to call us just in case something happened. The blessing was that our hard work paid off. Our camera was there for the original eviction notice, the rally, the midnight police arrival, the deforestation, the infighting, the 9-1-1 calls, the court session, the highest celebrations, and lowest defeats. It truly is rewarding to put together a film in this style.

How did the story change you?

Your perspective is broadened when you learn another’s story and become intimately acquainted with another’s struggle. Captain Chris Scott’s desire to restore a lost harmony in a city that he believes can and should be better definitely resonates with us as citizens of Nashville. Our hearts have grown larger and hopefully so has our capacity to share the yoke and bear the burden of others.   

What do you hope will happen after people see this story?

We hope that people will feel what we felt as we witnessed what happened on Saint Cloud Hill. We hope that it inspires, motivates and becomes an impetus for positive change. We hope that you empathize with the characters in the narrative and seek out further connections with them and the world around you.  Mostly going back to our guiding thought from Wendell Berry, we hope that you continue to learn one another’s stories, trust one another and help each other.

 

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