Become a Screening Partner

Screening Partner applications for the 2021-22 season are now closed. The guidelines below are for reference only.

The confluence of the continuing global health crisis and fight for racial equity has embolden the South Arts staff to reimagine the 2021-2022 Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers.  

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers remains the South’s only tour of filmmakers. We will continue to share the transformative power of independent documentary film with communities across the South. We will expand our reach to engage new Screening Partners. We will tour the work of voices who have been historically excluded. We will increase the participation of Southern filmmakers. 

A commitment to Equity 

South Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in all programs. We are committed to sharing feature-length documentary work by filmmakers who tell their own stories or the stories of their community. We will present films created by film teams representing Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and LGBTQ+ communities, and filmmakers with disabilities. 

A commitment to Southern filmmakers 

Southern Circuit will tour feature-length and short documentary films by Southern filmmakers who reside in South Arts nine-state region as we work to advance the filmmaking network and media arts infrastructure of the South. South Arts works in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.  

Historically Black Colleges & Universities 

South Arts is invested in partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the South Arts region to present the Southern Circuit Tour. To discuss a potential partnership, please contact Teresa Hollingsworth at or 404-874-7244 x. 14 for additional information.  

2021-2022 Online & In-person Hybrid Tour 

The 2021-2022 season (September-November 2021 and February-April 2022) will be a hybrid in-person/online program with all Fall films presented online through the Eventive events platform. With increased access to COVID-19 vaccines and increased immunity for audience members, we anticipate some spring films will be presented in-person. In Fall 2021, Screening Partners will have access to five online films with pre-recorded filmmaker and discussant presentations. In Spring 2022, Screening Partners will have access to two online films with pre-recorded filmmaker and discussant presentations and three in-person films with filmmakers in attendance (pending health crisis).  

Film Selection 

Screening Partners will no longer be assigned Circuits. We will work together to select ten films that will be available to all Screening Partners. Screening Partners may choose to present all ten films to their audiences or select fewer presentations (we encourage at least six film opportunities per Screening Partner).   

Dates and Deadlines:

  • DEADLINE EXTENDED: Screening Partner applications must be submitted on or before April 15, 2021.
  • Applicants will be notified of their status in April 2021.
  • Screening Partners will attend a virtual Film Selection meeting June 3-4, 2021.
  • Film Screenings will occur September - November 2021 and February - April 2022.

Southern Circuit invites nonprofit, educational and governmental organizations to screen new work from some of today’s best filmmakers for an exclusive look at the art of filmmaking and the opportunity to learn about a host of relevant topics. Southern Circuit isn’t just for film aficionados. We work with new and established indie film audiences that include high school and college students, community members of all ages, families, social clubs—everyone!

Southern Circuit runs September - November and February - April each year. As a Screening Partner, your organization can create new or expand existing programming; provide audiences with the opportunity to meet filmmakers and learn about the art of filmmaking; and encourage community engagement using film as a conduit for discussions about social and community issues. South Arts recognizes the value of filmmaker participation by providing an honorarium for each filmmaker’s tour, with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ready to Apply?

Applications to become a Screening Partner for the 2021-2022 Southern Circuit season are now closed. For more information, contact Teresa Hollingsworth or Jordan Young or call 404.874.7244 x106.

Applications Closed

The deadline for this program has passed. The guidelines below are for reference only.

Screening Partner Requirements

Non-profit, educational, and governmental organizations (i.e. Screening Partners) that host the 2021-2022 Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers are required to:

  • Provide South Arts a participation fee of $5,000. Participation fees are invoiced in spring 2021 and must be paid by August 31, 2021.
    • If the participation fee is a barrier to your organization’s participation, please contact Teresa Hollingsworth at 404—874-7244. 14 or
  • Return signed contract to South Arts by April 30, 2021.
  • New Screening Partners must participate in an introductory Southern Circuit webinar to review program expectations and requirements. The webinar will be presented April 2021.
  • One to two representatives from your organization will be required to participate in the online Film Selection Meeting, May 20-21, 2021. During the meeting, representatives select films and filmmakers that will tour with the 2021-2022 Southern Circuit.
  • Present online and/or in-person screenings
    • For in-person screenings, organize an audience Q&A with visiting filmmakers.
  • Provide advance publicity and promotion within your community for each Southern Circuit screenings, including but not limited to print, electronic, and social media.
  • Participate in a Southern Circuit audience development webinar to learn about marketing/communications strategies for selected films, and steps for managing effective filmmaker relationships. The webinar will be presented in summer 2021.
  • For in-person screenings (anticipated Spring 2022):
    • Work with Southern Circuit staff and filmmakers to develop schedules
    • Provide a qualified projectionist, and functional projection and audio equipment. Blu-ray or DCP projection is preferred, when/if available.
    • Make recommendations for safe, clean, economical overnight accommodations for each filmmaker. Organizations may make reservations on behalf of filmmakers. Filmmakers are responsible for payment of accommodations based on applicable per diem.
  • Participate in a Southern Circuit audience development webinar to learn about marketing/communications strategies for selected films, and steps for managing effective filmmaker relationships. The webinar will be presented in summer 2021.

South Arts Responsibilities

  • Solicit films and coordinate preliminary review of submitted films.
  • Coordinate the selection process for filmmakers and films to tour with the 2021-2022 Southern Circuit.
  • Contract filmmakers to screen work, participate in recorded and post-screening discussions, community engagement events, and contribute to Southern Circuit marketing including social media.
  • Provide Screening Partners with access to promotional materials for the 2021-2022 Southern Circuit that include high-resolution photographs, individual film posters, Circuit series posters, film synopses, filmmaker biographies, logos, web banners, Southern Circuit filmmaker social media, and press release templates.
  • Provide informational webinars to Screening Partners.
  • For in-person screenings:
    • Work with filmmakers and Screening Partners to develop schedules
    • Develop filmmaker travel itineraries.
    • Provide per diem for filmmaker lodging, meals, ground transportation.
    • Reimburse filmmakers for approved airfare.
  • Provide ongoing support to filmmakers and Screening Partners.
  • South Arts recognizes the value of filmmakers’ participation by providing artists honoraria with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Screening Partner Eligibility

  • Non-profit, educational, or governmental organizations within South Arts’ nine-state region: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 
  • Non-profit tax-exempt status or an official unit of local, county or state government. Tax-exempt status will be verified by a third-party entity. Proof of governmental status is required. Fiscal agents will not be considered.
  • Applicants must have a DUNS number. Applications will not be accepted from organizations that do not have a DUNS number. Visit the Dun & Bradstreet website for additional information about DUNS numbers as well as instructions on how to receive one.
  • Projects must take place in South Arts’ nine-state region.
  • Applicants must acknowledge the support of South Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts in all marketing activities and contact with traditional (print, radio, TV) and social media.
  • Complete and submit a final report to South Arts at the conclusion of the tour.
  • Invited Screening Partners must comply with eligibility requirements. Failure to do so will result in disqualification of future project participation and grant funds from South Arts.

General Guidelines

  • Six screenings must take place during the season.
  • Online film presentations must include access to a pre-recorded discussion with the filmmaker and discussant or for in-person, public screenings a post-film Q&A with the filmmaker.
  • Events must be marketed to and include the public. Projects are not required to serve the entire geographic community but should target diverse audiences.
  • Applicants are required to provide reasonable accommodations for constituents with disabilities during events, and to include physical access (ramps, accessible parking/box office/restrooms/seating, etc.). Communications and programmatic accessibility are required and can also help your organization build audiences and strengthen engagement. Please visit the NEA's website for more information. Applicants must commit to the Endowment’s Assurance of Compliance.
  • An electronic final report must be submitted at the conclusion of the Southern Circuit season by May 31, 2022 to South Arts.


For questions about becoming a Screening Partner, contact the Southern Circuit team by emailing us or calling 404.874.7244 x106.

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