Thirteen years after it started as a small film festival, Indie Grits has evolved into a four-day staple in Columbia, S.C. honoring the risk-taking and visionary culture of creative folks from the Southeast. The festival now features film, visual arts, music, poetry, and even arcade games. This year’s Indie Grits takes place from March 28 through March 31.
Before the festival begins, though, an exciting new exhibition with works from Columbia-based artist Cedric Umoja opens at the Indie Grits Lab (1013 Duke Ave.) in Columbia. Umoja’s exhibition, Spells for the Freeman / Liberation of Land Through Breath opens on Thurs. March 21 from 5-9 p.m.
In addition to this exhibit, Umoja (who created the poster art for Charleston’s 2017 MOJA Festival) screens his film, Ten Toes Down, during the opening night of Indie Grits as part of The Rural Project Premiere.
Indie Grits kicks off with an opening night party on Thurs. March 28 from 5 to 10 p.m. spanning across three bars: Indah Coffee, Curiosity Coffee Bar, and The War Mouth. A variety of live music takes the stage at these spots including Charleston-based acts Finnegan Bell, She Returns from War, and DUMB Doctors.
While listening to some nice tunes, attendees can taste some specially brewed Indie Grits beer. The brew, created in collaboration with Columbia Craft Brewing Company, will also be available throughout the festival.
On top of all the music and films, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, Indie Bits is a space to celebrate all the interactive media creators who make board games, card games, and VR experiences.
The Indie Bits 2019 Arcade will feature dozens of independently made and innovative games like Arc of Iris by Bonnie Harris-Lowe, Caterpillar by Linden Reid, Depression Simulator by Parallax Visions, and Hexca by CupCake Studios.
The event also gives real-world knowledge to those interested in getting into filmmaking at their Feature Doc Panel. On Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon, there will be an open conversation between filmmakers who already have their first documentaries in the festival circuit and attendees as they talk about storytelling and production.
Special guests for the event include Andrea Patiño Contreras (Co-Director of America First: The Legacy of an Immigration Raid), Emily Harrold (Director of While I Breathe, I Hope), and Jon Kasbe (Director of When Lambs Become Lions).
There are also plenty of family-friendly events at Indie Grits. On Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., Kindie Grits, presented by the South Carolina Governor’s School of Arts and Humanities, welcomes families of all ages to create their own stop motion animations together.
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