We’ve asked the filmmakers for the 11th annual Oxford Film Festival the same five questions. Meet Bobbie Baird, co-creator of A Quiet Strength. Also a co-creator is Hannah Caggiano, Deborah Hammond and Tommaso Spinelli.
This film will be screening Friday, Feb. 7 at 3:15 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 9 at noon.
#1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.
Our movie is about Jackie, a single, working mother in the heart of the Mississippi Delta who sees hard work, education and faith as the foundation for raising her three high school daughters. She is neither a hero nor a victim of society, but rather a simple, hardworking woman who puts one foot in front of the other each day with quiet strength. Many people of diverse backgrounds and points of view have told us they relate to Jackie. There is universality about Jackie that transcends circumstances or place. It’s possible that people from Mississippi will experience a special appreciation of Jackie’s quiet strength.
#2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?
Collaboration! It is hard to make a film. There’s much more involved than most people realize. It takes a dedicated team of people willing to work to the point of exhaustion, sacrifice their egos for the good of the film, be united in their commitment to completing a quality piece of work that is authentic and honors the subject. There will always be, naturally, creative differences. But if the team is united with a common purpose it is possible to overcome, and even leverage, the differences to create something that is better than any of the individuals could do alone. The best part was learning how good it feels to complete a real film that people like!
#3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?
I, like the rest of the team, came together to learn about documentary filmmaking in a program called Barefoot Workshops. We all came from different backgrounds. None of us had any direct experience making films. We have all continued to increase our skills in the craft of documentary filmmaking and have made, or plan to make, other films.
#4 What do you want the Oxford Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title or description?
This film puts a human face on the Mississippi that people hear and read about in the media. Our film humanizes the statistics. At the end of the day, we all do the best we can with what we have to work with for the good of our families.
#5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?
Hopefully, A Quiet Strength will screen at festivals around the country. We hope many people will see it and be moved by it. Perhaps they will leave with a new respect for persons often described in political debate as the struggling middle class.