We write a lot about artists in the Independent, and we're fortunate to have so many on staff. They're musicians, graphic designers, photographers and filmmakers, and we're excited that the works of two regulars will be on display this week at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival: Film writer Godfrey Cheshire will be premiering his film Moving Midway, and photographer Rex Miller will be showing his work-in-progress Yo Tek: A Uganda Tennis Story.
Cheshire's film chronicles the move of his family's antebellum plantation home that was in the way of North Raleigh's relentless growth. And it's about much more, as Kate Dobbs Ariail reported in 2005 ("Moving Midway," www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A24802). The movie is the story of Cheshire's family dating back to the 17th century, covering the plantation culture—including slaves—that existed when the house was built in 1848 and Cheshire's remarkable discovery that the grandfather of an African-American historian at NYU was born a slave there. Robert Hinton and Cheshire worked together on the film, exploring the way a place can mean such different things to different people. We look forward to seeing in Cheshire's writing the ways his time behind the camera enhances his understanding of film.
While Cheshire is well-known to readers from his years as a founding editor at Spectator and later as a film writer for the Indy, Miller is new to the area and the paper. He's one of two photographers who trade off the job every month, allowing them to pursue their own projects in their off-time. Yo Tek—meaning "difficult journey" in Ugandan dialect—is the story of Patrick Olobo. He was 4 when rebels destroyed his home and killed his brother, later moved to a displaced persons camp, and then seized on tennis as a way to help his family. Olobo rose to Davis Cup competition, and Miller captures his last days in Uganda and his move to the United States as a professional tennis player adjusting to the country club world of pro tennis—all to help his family escape civil war.
Miller was a freelance photographer doing magazine and corporate work in New York before moving to Wilmington three years ago, and now to Durham. He has already brought his story-telling style to the Indy in articles like Lisa Sorg's March 7 piece "Great expectations" about autistic students in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system, and we look forward to seeing more of his narrative photojournalism in print and on the Web.
In last week's UpFront ("Downtown dirge"), I misattributed to Molly Miller the quote, "Everything comes down to money. But there's something to be said for energy, too—especially if creative vitality is to be part of the future." It was from David Menconi of The News & Observer in his story about the closing of Kings.