Mississippi: Celebrating Storytellers

“CELEBRATING STORYTELLERS” is a collection of short films and photo documentaries, produced by Blue Magnolia Films in association with Corner to Corner Productions, commemorating 100 community voices for the Mississippi Bicentennial, linking the historic memory of people and places to the future of revitalization for small towns. During 2017, ten “hub” cities hosted community workshops, as part of a statewide storytelling initiative, the first of its kind, sparking a rolling conversation about what is means to be Mississippian at this juncture in history, and how small towns can model the way forward, through sharing their success stories, and helping to cast a positive vision for the future. All stories and storytellers were nominated by the communities. Resulting images are being circulated around the state, integrated into community revitalization projects, downtown interactive galleries, community screenings and events, as well as a coffee table book, honoring the multiplicity of voices around the state. From December 2017-March 2018 a 200-image walking gallery spanned a mile through downtown Jackson, MS. Making it the largest open-air gallery in the United States. Featured in the New York Times, this innovative storytelling model and its creators, Chandler Griffin and Alison Fast, are making their way across the South, holding workshops and assisting communities in the telling of their own stories.

Art Place
A group of artists turn a 20,000-square-foot building into a “hub” for creative industry.
Delta Flavor
Artisan ice cream maker, Hugh Balthrop of Sweet Magnolia Ice Cream Co., invents small-batch recipes like Delta Pecan, Muscadine Gelato and Sweet Tea Sorbet, linking small farmers with major markets, and mentoring youth into first time apprenticeships.

WINNER! Audience Award

Crossroads Film Festival (2016)

Roots
Holly Springs conservationists awaken magic, history and a sense of “place” during the Strawberry Plains Audubon Hummingbird Festival, only to uncover the startling roots of ecological resilience in the heart of community.
85% Broken
One artist’s interpretation of place through sound and a found accordion.
Grin
A family brings to life a coffee truck with the goal of “happifying” their community. Their motto? “Don’t sip sad coffee.”
Stitch
An Oxford-Tupelo company specializing in bespoke, custom-raw-denim, helps to revive the garment industry in northeast Mississippi, tapping local talent, and promising growth and job creation for Mississippi.
Yalo
A small town craft brewery hits it big in what is formerly a dry county. YALO showcases the persistent rise of creative entrepreneurs in Water Valley, and the importance of small businesses to vitalize Main Street.

WINNER! Audience Award

Oxford Film festival (2016)

Selected Photo Documentaries