A free monthly independent film series is coming to the Cabarrus Arts Council's Davis Theatre.
Michael Knox, 36, is the co-founder of Modern Film Fest and an Asheville-based filmmaker. He and co-founder Ben McNeely from Concord are partnering with the council after Knox and McNeely's nonprofit hosted a three-day film festival in 2009 at the Gem Theatre in Kannapolis.
Knox's film, "Tearing Down the Tent," a documentary about traveling with a circus, will kick off the series at 9 p.m. Nov. 19 in the Cabarrus County historic courthouse at 65 Union St. S. in Concord. Knox, who spent part of his childhood with the Cole Brothers Circus, will talk about the film and answer questions that night as well.
The screening also will be a part of the city of Concord's Christmas tree-lighting activities and an art walk.
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The events will begin at 5:30 p.m.; fireworks will be at 7:30 p.m.
"Tearing Down the Tent" depicts a snapshot of life with a circus, following Jamie Reel as he helps with the camels, rides an elephant and works as a clown for a week in Wilmington.
Knox said he hopes the monthly series expands on the area's growing cultural opportunities.
"We see Kannapolis' culture changing, with the loss of Pillowtex and the creation of the North Carolina Research Campus," said Knox. "Cinema, to me, is the height of culture and something to be celebrated.
"And I love introducing people to movies I know they probably never heard of. The monthly screenings will help build on that and offer another venue to show movies that often don't get huge distribution deals."
The films shown at the Davis' Modern Film Fest won't be your typical Hollywood standards either and, hopefully, the series will reach out to younger audiences.
"When we designed the Davis Theatre, we installed a high-quality projector and film screen in anticipation of creating a movie series," said arts council Executive Director Noelle Rhodes Scott. "We will be able to show movies that are not available in commercial cinemas - ones that are more complex, thought-provoking and, frankly, artsy."
The series also will host a director, producer or writer of each movie so audiences can discuss films with their creators. If those people are not available, university professors will lead discussions.
"I love hearing people's thoughts and debates over films, whether they like them," said Knox. "And I'd like to meet other advocates and learn what films they love and why I should see them. In the end, we just want to show good movies and get people talking about film and, from that, hopefully get to know the filmmakers in our community and partner with them."