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Also Showing on TPC

TPC is presenting Anytown, USA: A documentary short film series profiling small towns in North Carolina, a series of programs created by Randolph Benson and produced by Critical Focus Pictures in collaboration with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

The next programs are airing Thursday, July 29, at 8 and 8:30 pm, and on Saturday, July 31, at 6 and 6:30 pm. This week’s films are:

  • Are You There, Devil? It’s Me, Ryan by Ryan O’hara Theisen.
  • The Big Hairy Best Of Bladenboro by Adair Hill. This short documentary is a child’s retelling of the Beast of Bladenboro legend. Interviews with the younger generation of Bladenboro residents soon reveal that this beast is not just a legend, but an active source of fear and wonder.
  • One Day At A Time by Kelly Sims. This short documentary explores the past and present of ninety-one-year-old Liberty resident Guy Troy. He competed in the modern pentathlon in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, and remained an active participant in the Olympics for thirty years thereafter.

The following week’s programs are airing Thursday, August 5, at 8 and 8:30 pm, and on August 7, at 6 and 6:30 pm. Next week’s films are:

  • Further Down The Road by Christopher Lusk. Further Down the Road is an intimate and abstract look inside BJ & Sons Motor Co., a body and restoration shop in Star that has been around for several decades.
  • The Story Of Scout Pond by Martha Weeks. Dug with hand tools by Scotland Neck boy scouts and local farmers during the Depression, the Scout Pond was a center of activity every summer for hundreds of area citizens for nearly forty years. A wonderful place for swimming, socializing, and connecting with others, it’s a very fond memory for many to this day.
What is Anytown USA? View a promotional video.

Towns featured to-date

  • Pittsboro, Spring 2006
  • Bladenboro, Spring 2008
  • Smithfield, Spring 2010
  • Star, Spring 2012
  • Scotland Neck, Spring 2013
  • Liberty, Spring 2014
  • Robbins, Spring 2015
  • Roseboro, Spring 2016
  • Siler City, Spring 2017
  • Mt. Gilead, Spring 2018

Mt. Gilead, NC was the featured town in 2018

About Randolph Benson

Randolph Benson

Randolph Benson’s work has garnered numerous awards, most notably an Academy Award for Best Student Documentary at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Academy Awards. Benson received an Eastman Kodak Excellence in Filmmaking Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a First Appearance Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. He has been an instructor of film and video at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for over a decade, and he serves on Award Juries at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival (Durham, NC, USA), the Boone (NC) Film Festival and the Let’s All Be Free Film Festival (London, UK). Benson also serves on the executive board of the Center for Deep Policy Research.

About the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke

The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) is dedicated to documentary expression and its role in creating a more just society. A nonprofit affiliate of Duke University, CDS teaches, produces, and presents the documentary arts across a full range of media—photography, audio, film, writing, experimental and new media—for students and audiences of all ages.

For more information about CDS, visit the CDS website.

About Critical Focus Pictures

For more information, see the Critical Focus Pictures website.

Critical Focus Pictures uses the power of documentary film to tell the unique and personal stories of people and organizations. Critical Focus Pictures was founded by award-winning producer Randolph Benson, who is also director, cinematographer, and editor. The Critical Focus Pictures team includes producers John Schoenfelt and Rachel Baer.