COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina ETV (SCETV) today announced plans to premiere season six of Reel South on Thursday, April 8 at 9 p.m. A curated documentary series depicting the South's proud yet complicated heritage and culture, Reel South will again be distributed nationally by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), which will also stream the new season on its PBS app and on PBS.org.
Featuring seven powerful new films, season six of Reel South tackles this moment in American life with nuance and comradery. In two half-hour films and five feature films, themes of ritual and participation emerge from stories that face up to the past and bend to the future by finding pathways away from absolution and toward equity.
In its most geographically diverse season to date, featuring films from seven states, new parts of the region are uncovered, including little-seen explorations of Black life in San Antonio, Texas and Asheville, N.C. in The Passing On and Muni, respectively. The series also explores the majesty of other parts of America through a uniquely Southern lens. Other themes featured in the season are rural youth activism, civil rights through sports and suburban Americana.
For the previous five seasons, SCETV collaborated with PBS North Carolina to executive produce Reel South. This season, Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) joins as the series’ third executive producing station.
The season six films are:
Premiering on SCETV April 8 at 9 p.m.
Directed by Paul Bonesteel, this film is a jovial love letter to the game of golf, told by the Black golfers who, despite segregation and racist systems, built a vibrant culture and lasting community on a municipal golf course in Asheville, N.C.
Premiering on SCETV April 8 at 9:30 p.m.
Directed by Bryan Tucker, this film examines an annual high school football game that unites a historically segregated town in rural Louisiana.
You Asked for the Facts
Premiering on SCETV April 15 at 9 p.m.
Directed by Mary Blessey, this film focuses on the invitation student activists extended to Robert F. Kennedy to speak at Ole Miss in 1966. Although his visit to campus defied the school’s speaker-ban, Kennedy accepted the invitation, revealing in his speech the truth about back-room politics, the belief-systems of those holding the highest power and how campus-activism shapes the future of civil rights and all those who bear witness.
Premiering on SCETV April 22 at 9 p.m.
Directed by Michiel Thomas, this film follows Atlanta teens Cliff, Ahmani and Nicholas as they attempt to trek four 12,000-foot snow-capped peaks in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. They face the thrills, joy and struggles of navigating the wilds of Colorado and daily life back home in Georgia.
The Passing On
Premiering on SCETV April 29 at 9 p.m.
Directed by Nathan Clarke, this film focuses on renowned African American embalmer James Bryant, who puts his faith in a new generation to continue the legacy of Black funeral homes in San Antonio, Texas despite the judgement he receives as a queer, Christian man.
Premiering on SCETV May 6 at 9 p.m.
Directed by Nathan Willis, this film follows an Arkansas community that mobilizes around a divisive ballot initiative for a new high school. The effort is led by a group of high school writers and performers who seek healing for themselves and justice for their community through hip hop.
Premiering on SCETV May 13 at 9 p.m.
Directed by Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb, this film tells the story of a dying shopping mall outside of Birmingham, Ala. as its patrons and tenants embody the diversity and tenderness of Americana culture in a changing South.
For more on Reel South, visit www.reelsouth.org.
"During these extraordinary times, public media's role as a storyteller and connector of citizens couldn't be more important. We're proud to once again be collaborating with our peers in North Carolina, Louisiana and across the Southeast to bring previously untold stories of the South to public media audiences across the country." –SCETV President and CEO Anthony Padgett
“This season is in direct conversation with the year that was 2020 and the perilous role of the South in any kind of pathway forward in America. The value of and need for diverse Southern stories is inextricable from the amazing contributions and lived experiences of Black Americans. We’re grateful for these storytellers, in front of and behind the camera, for allowing audiences to see a better, complex version of the region." -Reel South series Producer Nick Price
“We are excited to be joining the ‘Reel South’ executive producing team. Louisiana has a rich and complex cultural heritage, and we look forward to sharing those uniquely Southern stories in our curated ‘Reel South’ collection.” –LPB President and CEO Beth Courtney
“Echoing Price’s enthusiasm for this timely collection of stories, this season of Reel South takes on the important contributions to Southern culture from a diverse perspective and paints a truly representative picture of history in the American South. PBS North Carolina is honored to play a role in bringing these important stories to North Carolina viewers.” –PBS North Carolina CEO Lindsay Bierman
FIVE FAST FACTS:
SCETV today announced plans to launch the sixth season of Reel South on April 8 at 9 p.m.
The series will again be distributed nationally by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), which will also stream the new season on its PBS app and on PBS.org.
Featuring films from seven states, season six represents Reel South’s most geographically diverse season to date.
This season, Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) joins SCETV and PBS North Carolina as the series’ executive producing stations.
For more information on Reel South, visit www.reelsouth.org.