|CLICK TO SEE FILM TRAILER||Zora Neale Hurston:
Jump at the Sun
Kristy Andersen, Writer/Producer
Meet the Filmmaker Receptions
Tickets (includes reception):
The Arts Council, Inc. and Gainesville State College are proud to present a screening of Kristy Andersen’s feature film “Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun,” as part of the South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers at the Gainesville State College Continuing Education Building – Room CE 108 on Thursday, March 17, 2011.
Meet the Filmmaker:
Following a screening of her feature film, “Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun,” Kristy Andersen and the audience will engage in a discussion about the film and her work as a filmmaker. A reception with the filmmaker will be provided by The Holbrook of Lake Lanier Catering Services.
Flamboyant, scandalous and unpredictable, writer Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) was the first black anthropologist in the United States. Born to former slaves, she embraced black culture and chided race champions for their angry diatribes. She was strongly criticized by the black male intelligentsia for her failure to take a political stance, and died in poverty and obscurity. This documentary includes rare footage of black culture shot by Hurston in the 1920’s and 1940’s, as well as interviews with Maya Angelou, Henry Louis Gates and Alice Walker.
About the Film:
Jump at the Sun is the first feature length documentary on Zora Neale Hurston. With footage of Zora, and her actual voice singing and talking, it’s a tour de force. Chock full of her anthropological footage shot or produced in 1927 and 1943, it swells with an honest verve, never losing its melodic pace. Today there’s no question that Zora is a major force, a race champion, one of the greatest writers of her time, and a pioneer in feminist perspective and philosophy. The film puts to ample use the blues and folk music that Zora gleaned with musicologist Alan Lomax, and includes Zora’s explanations of African-American tradition and verse. The film is narrated by S. EPATHA MERKERSON and stars ZORA NEALE HURSTON as herself as well as KIM BROCKINGTON as Zora Neale Hurston. Also featuring MARCELINE HUGOT as Mary Margaret McBride. Featured Interviews include conversations wtih ALICE WALKER, MAYA ANGELOU, DOROTHY WEST, and HENRY LOUIS GATES.
Produced and Written by KRISTY ANDERSEN
Directed by SAM POLLARD
About the Filmmaker:
Kristy Andersen has worked in the broadcast television industry since 1975. In 1989, her interest in Hurston was galvanized and started her on an 18-year journey. At the time, many of Zora Neale Hurston’s works were out of print. Through collective efforts with the Library of Congress, she uncovered a cache of 45 minutes of Hurston’s film footage. Through research at the Smithsonian Institution, Andersen brought to light field materials titled “Folktales from the Gulf States,” the basis for Hurston’s book “Mules and Men.” These materials later became the first major new book by Hurston in more than 40 years, “Every Tongue Got to Confess.”
About Zora Neale Hurston:
Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960) was an American folklorist and author during the time of the Harlem Renaissance. Of Hurston’s four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Hurston was the fifth of nine children. Her father was a Baptist preacher, tenant farmer, and carpenter, and her mother was a school teacher. Her family moved to Eatonville, FL, the first all-Black town to be incorporated in the United States, when she was three. Her father later became mayor of the town, which Hurston would glorify in her stories as a place black Americans could live as they desired, independent of white society. Hurston spent the remainder of her childhood in Eatonville, and describes the experience of growing up in Eatonville in her 1928 essay “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”.
Hurston was sent away to boarding school in Jacksonville, Florida, but was eventually expelled for failure to pay tuition. She later worked as a maid to the lead singer in a traveling Gilbert & Sullivan theatrical company. In 1917, Hurston began attending Morgan Academy, the high school division of Morgan College in Baltimore, Maryland. It was at this time, and apparently to qualify for a free high-school education, that the 26-year-old Hurston began claiming 1901 as her date of birth. She graduated from Morgan Academy in 1918.
When Hurston arrived in New York City in 1925, the Harlem Renaissance was at its peak, and she soon became one of the writers at its center. By the mid-1930s, Hurston had published several short stories and the critically acclaimed Mules and Men (1935), a groundbreaking work of “literary anthropology” documenting African American folklore. In 1930, she also collaborated with Langston Hughes. Her last published novel, Seraph on the Suwanee, notable principally for its focus on white characters, was published in 1948. –Courtesy of Wikipedia
Independent Filmmakers Series Corporate Sponsors:
The 2010-2011 Southern Circuit is a program of South Arts. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and local partner organizations. Special support for Southern Circuit was provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.