2014 Film Festival Events


The Center for Collaborative Journalism Welcomes Journalists Karina Longworth and Chuck Reece and Musician Jim Avett to the Macon Film Festival


MACON, February 27, 2014—The Center for Collaborative Journalism (CCJ) at Mercer University welcomes prominent journalists Karina Longworth and Chuck Reece and musician Jim Avett to Macon for events at CCJ and the Macon Film Festival.

Tonight, Chuck Reese, editor-in-chief of The Bitter Southerner online magazine, will join the Macon Film Festival for a Q&A session with the director of “Muscle Shoals,” Greg “Freddy” Camalier. “We are excited to have Chuck for the screening,” said Tim Regan-Porter, director of CCJ. “The Bitter Southerner is one of my favorite online reads, and it’s one that is developing a fervent following across the country. I’m particularly excited that he’s here for ‘Muscle Shoals,’ a documentary with deep resonance for Macon, given our similar roles in the music scene a half century ago.”

Critic Karina Longworth will meet with CCJ students at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 28, in CCJ 132 (1675 Montpelier Avenue) to discuss her latest book, “Meryl Streep: Anatomy of an Actor,” and film criticism in general. On Saturday, March 1, Longworth will join actor/writer/director Matthew Modine and Critic-in-Residence Steve Murray for the fourth Art Matters symposium, a joint initiative with the Macon Arts Alliance and CCJ, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Knight Foundation. The symposium is co-presented by the Macon Film Festival. It will be held at The 567 Center for Renewal at 5:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

North Carolina-based musician Jim Avett will be in Macon on Friday, February 28, for two shows with Music Ambassadors. Avett will play a free outdoor show at CCJ at noon. Friday evening, he will perform a private afterparty for the Macon Film Festival. “I am personally excited to have Jim Avett in Macon,” said Regan-Porter. “His sons, Seth and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers, have produced some of the best music of the past decade. After kistening to their father, I can hear the roots of that great talent. And I know Jim Avett will appreciate the rich music history of Macon.”

Chuck Reece is editor-in-chief and co-founder of The Bitter Southerner, a “new kind of online magazine, offering one great story from the South every week.” Chuck is also a partner at Kredible and has written for numerous publications and served as director of communications for Governor Zell Miller. He is currently a member of the board of directors for The Red and Black, the independent student newspaper at the University of Georgia.

Karina Longworth is a film critic and journalist based in Los Angeles. For three years she served as an editor and film critic at the LA Weekly and Village Voice, and she has contributed as a freelancer to Vanity Fair, The Guardian UK, New York Magazine, TimeOut New York, indieWIRE, Slate, The Daily Beast, Weekend Edition, The Takeaway and other print and online publications and radio productions. In 2005, she co-founded Cinematical, one of the first comprehensive, multi-contributor film blogs on the web, which was acquired by AOL and eventually folded into Moviefone. For two years, Karina served as the editor of the now-defunct SpoutBlog, which was later acquired by indieWIRE.

In 2012, Karina’s film criticism won the Entertainment Reviews of the Year award from the Los Angeles Press Club, while her story on LACMA’s hiring of Elvis Mitchell as the figurehead of their film program won an award for business reporting from the National Association of Black Journalists. In 2011, her study of the restoration of Barbara Loden’s Wanda won a National Entertainment Journalism award, and her profile of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival was honored by the Los Angeles Press Club. She was also a 2012 finalist for the Livingston Award for her LA Weekly story on the fate of the Kim’s Video collection and contemporary socio-economics in Sicily.  She is the author of “Masters of Cinema: George Lucas”, published by Phaidon in 2012, and “Al Pacino: Anatomy of an Actor,” published by Phaidon in 2013. Her book on Meryl Streep — the first published long-form study of the actress through the prism of feminism — was released in January 2014. After studying video and film at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Karina earned a BFA in Film from the San Francisco Art Institute, and an MA in Cinema Studies from New York University.

The son of a Methodist preacher and a concert pianist, Jim Avett has been singing and playing guitar for most of his life.  He’s done a lot of other things in the meantime – built a business as a welder in North Carolina, served in the Navy, raised three children with his wife – and now he returns to performing. In 2008, Avett released his first album on Ramseur Records, “Jim Avett and Family,” a beautiful collection of gospel songs recorded with daughter Bonnie and sons Scott and Seth of The Avett Brothers.  In 2010, he returned with “Tribes,” seven original songs that speak of love and loss, and in 2012, continued on those themes on “Second Chance,” an album that reflects his influences of classic country and early rock and roll.  Jim’s performance style is warm and relaxed, genuine and endearing