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Short Films
Competitive- Eligible for Award Consideration

The 30th of May
United States, 2016, 28 min., Black & White and Color, English
This film is a story of African American tradition, patriotism and empowerment in the Deep South. Since the end of the Civil War, African Americans in Vidalia, La., and Natchez, Ms. have come together to celebrate black military service on Memorial Day. For 100 of those years, there were two Memorial Day celebrations in the same city of Natchez---one black and one white. By the mid-1990's, the white celebration faded away, while the black celebration known as the "30th of May" continued to march on. Virtually unknown outside of the region, this annual event is passed down from generation to generation giving evidence that the roots of patriotism run deep in the Mississippi River towns of Vidalia, Louisiana and Natchez, Mississippi. Using animation, archival and aerial footage, and interviews with veterans, organizers and participants, the "30th of May"documentary brings to life the remarkable untold story of this African American-led patriotic tradition in the Deep South. The film's original score captures the spirit of the 30th of May. It's a tradition unlike any other on the country.
Screening with: TORMENTS OF LOVE, C'EST MOI,
James William Theres, Chris Windfield
James William Theres, Chris Windfield
James William Theres
Chris Windfield

Director Bio
ames William Theres is an award-winning Public Affairs Officer and Speechwriter at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington D.C. He has received 10 national awards for speechwriting, feature writing, event planning, and media affairs. James has a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and an MA in History from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. His first film, “The 30th of May” is based on his graduate research paper of the same name. The 28-minute documentary chronicles the 150-year history of an African American Memorial Day parade and tradition in the Deep South to honor black military service to the country. The documentary has screened in England, India, China, and throughtout the United States. His graduate paper received two awards in 2016 for Best Paper at the Mississippi Phi Alpha Theta Regional History Conference and was the recipient of the presitgious Dr. Margaret Walker Alexander Award for Best Paper at the 10th Annual Creative Arts Festival at Jackson State University. “The 30th of May” documentary has received 26 awards to include Best Documentary Short at the Indie Gathering Film Festival in Cleveland, Ohio and has appeared on Mississippi Public Television. Mr. Theres is currently in production of his second documentary entitled, “The Hello Girls: America’s First Female Soldiers.” “The Hello Girls” is a 54-minute Documentary Feature about 223 English/French-speaking American women who were recruited by the U.S. Army to serve as telephone operators in France during World War I. They served near the front lines, wore uniforms, swore an Army Oath, held rank and played an important role in winning the war. After the war was over they were told they were never Soldiers after all. For 60 years, they fought the U.S. government for recognition. In 1977, they won. Unfortunately, most had passed on by then. “The Hello Girls” is scheduled for a world premiere at the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in March 2018.