Become a Screening Partner

Applications to become a 2017-18 Screening Partners are now closed; please contact Teresa Hollingsworth with any questions.

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Both filmmakers were very engaged with the students. I think they might have stayed all night at the reception talking with those that waited in line to speak with them. The film (Kings, Queens & In-Betweens) was very thought-provoking, eliciting comments from attendees that showed us we opened a few minds. There was a joyful feeling about the event, and I think the way the material was presented in the film was largely responsible for that atmosphere.

Anita DeAngelis, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is the South’s only tour of filmmakers and provides communities with an interactive way of experiencing new independent film. 

Southern Circuit provides non-profit, education and governmental organizations the opportunity to screen new work from emerging filmmakers and some of the medium’s most respected directors. Southern Circuit is managed by South Arts, a regional organization serving nine states.

Launched in 1975, Southern Circuit has impacted over 100 communities across the South. Since its inception, audiences have viewed hundreds of films and engaged filmmakers in post-screening discussions about their work.

South Arts works collaboratively with Screening Partners to bring new, independent films and filmmakers to Southern communities. The Circuit Tour runs September-November and February-April. Screening Partners present one film and filmmaker per month during the touring period for a Circuit season of six films and filmmakers. As a Screening Partner, your organization can expand 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.

Tropic Cinema - Key WestScreening Partner requirements  

Non-profit, educational and governmental organizations (i.e. Screening Partners) that host the 2017-2018 Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers are required to:

  • Complete a Screening Partner application on or before February 17, 2017.
  • Provide South Arts a participation fee of $6,000. Returning Screening Partners (from the 2016-2017 Circuit) provide South Arts a participation fee of $5,500. Participation fees are invoiced in spring 2017 and must be paid by July 31, 2017.
  • Return signed contract to South Arts by March 31, 2017.
  • 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 2017.
  • Send one to two representatives from your organization to the Film Selection Meeting, May 19-20, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. During the meeting, representatives view segments from the Top 40 Films selected from the pre-screening process. The representatives select films and filmmakers that will tour with the 2017-2018 Southern Circuit. Expenses incurred to and from 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 marketing webinar to learn about marketing strategies for selected films and steps for managing effective filmmaker relationships. The webinar will be presented summer 2017.
  • Provide a qualified projectionist for each of the six Southern Circuit programs, functional DVD or Blu-ray projection and audio equipment. Blu-ray or DCP projection is preferred when/if available.
  • Make arrangements for 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 2017-2018 Southern Circuit.
  • Engage audiences in post-screening discussions and educational events coordinated by host organizations, and contribute to Southern Circuit marketing efforts.
  • Provide Screening Partners with access to promotional materials for the 2017-2018 Southern Circuit to 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 itineraries. Coordinate and provide filmmakers’ transportation and per diem for lodging and meals. Manage the reimbursement of rental car fees, 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 eligibilityDonald Cried flyer

  • 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 2017 and Feb-Apr 2018.
  • 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 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.
  • A final report must be submitted at the conclusion of the Southern Circuit season by May 31, 2018 to South Arts.

For more information, contact Teresa Hollingsworth at