The Fort Myers Film Festival presents a screening of the independent documentary Farewell to Factory Towns at the Alliance for the Arts on Friday, August 8 at 7:30 PM. The one-hour film centers on the former factory town of North Adams, Massachusetts, where a huge museum of contemporary art was seen as a key engine of economic development for the community. The film asks, “Can Art Save North Adams?” In doing so, it examines the role that the museum and the influx of artists in the community are playing economically and socially.
Through interviews and dynamic footage, the film looks at other key sectors in the community like the college and human service agencies. A wide range of interviewees include the last CEO of Sprague Electric (a “Fortune 500” company headquartered in North Adams, whose buildings now house the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), the mayor of North Adams, high school students concerned about their future, social scientists and historians, union activists, a co-founder of a community garden, and artists new to the city.
The film includes newsreel footage, data and trends that point to the toll taken on other former factory communities from the events of the past 35 years. Since the financial crisis that hit in 2008, some of the broad questions that are raised in the film are quite germane to the rest of the country.
Doors will open at 7:00 PM. A $5 suggested donation supports educational programming at the Alliance. The Fort Myers Film Festival will also present a screening of the film Heroes for a Semester at the Alliance on Friday, September 12.
The Fort Myers Film Festival will be screening films every first Monday of the month, called TGIM, leading up to their 5th annual festival which will be held March 25-29, 2015 at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Alliance for the Arts and Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Visit www.fortmyersfilmfestival.com for more information.