Become a Screening Partner

Applications to become a Screening Partner for the 2020-21 season are now closed. Applications for future seasons will open in later 2020; please follow us on social media and subscribe to our mailing list for updates. The content below is provided for reference only.

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is the South’s only tour of filmmakers. We collaborate with a network of Screening Partners and filmmakers to share the transformative power of indie film with communities across the South.

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!

The Circuit Tour runs September-November and February-April. Screening Partners present one film and filmmaker per month during the touring Circuit season of six films and filmmakers. 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 a $500 screening fee for each filmmaker’s tour, with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ready to Apply?

Applications for the 2021-2022 Southern Circuit season are expected to open December 2020. For more information, contact Teresa Hollingsworth or Jordan Young or call 404.874.7244 x106.

Screening Partner Requirements

Non-profit, educational and governmental organizations (i.e. Screening Partners) that host the 2020-2021 Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers are required to:

  • Provide South Arts a participation fee of $6,000. Returning Screening Partners (from the 2019-2020 Circuit) provide South Arts a participation fee of $5,500. Participation fees are invoiced in spring 2020 and must be paid by July 31, 2020.
  • Return signed contract to South Arts by April 15, 2020.
  • New Screening Partners must participate in an introductory Southern Circuit webinar to become familiar with program expectations and requirements. The webinar will be presented April 2020.
  • Send one to two representatives from your organization to the Film Selection Meeting, May 15-16, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. During the meeting, representatives select films and filmmakers that will tour with the 2020-2021 Southern Circuit. Travel expenses incurred to participate in the meeting are the responsibility of Screening Partners.
  • Coordinate on-site screenings and audience discussions for six (6) visiting filmmakers at the organization’s screening site.
  • Provide advance publicity and promotion within your community for each of the six 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 2020.
  • Provide a qualified projectionist for each of the six Southern Circuit programs, 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 make reservations and filmmakers are responsible for payment of accommodations based on applicable per diem.

South Arts Responsibilities

  • Solicit films and coordinate preliminary review of submitted films.
  • Coordinate the selection process for filmmakers and films to tour with the 2020-2021 Southern Circuit.
  • Contract filmmakers to screen work, participate in post-screening discussions, and educational events coordinated by Screening Partners, and contribute to Southern Circuit marketing including social media.
  • Provide Screening Partners with access to promotional materials for the 2020-2021 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.
  • Develop filmmaker travel itineraries. Coordinate and provide filmmaker transportation and per diem for lodging and meals. Manage the reimbursement of airfare, rental cars, gas, and airline baggage fees.
  • Provide honoraria to filmmakers at the conclusion of their Southern Circuit Tour.
  • Provide on-going support to filmmakers and Screening Partners.

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. More about DUNS numbers and how to get 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

  • Screenings must take place monthly between Sep-Nov 2020 and Feb-Apr 2021.
  • Projects must include a public screening and 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 is not only required, but also can help your organization build audiences and strengthen engagement. The National Endowment for the Arts has resources to assist organizations in making accommodations. 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, 2021 to South Arts.

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of South Arts. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. South Arts was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. We offer a portfolio of activities designed to address the issues important to our region and to link the South with the nation and the world through the arts. We work in partnership with the state arts agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. South Arts is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, member states, foundations, businesses, and individuals.