In 1979, two University of South Carolina students created the Columbia Film Society and opened a theater on south Main Street so people could see interesting and diverse film. Forty years later, the Nickelodeon remains the marquee destination for local film lovers. Last year, our diverse offerings attracted 62,000 attendees. As media has changed over the last 40 years, so have we. Part of our evolving role is a commitment to media education through Indie Grits Labs. We served 1,700 students last year through in-school, after-school, and summer programs—equipping them with skills to critically consume media as well as to produce it.
Our community reach is also growing. We formalized our community partnership program, providing theater space to 18 groups that exhibited films and promoted discussions focused on their areas of expertise. We also grew participation in our community programming; community members curated three of our special film series last year, including Black Stories, OUT Here, and For the Record.
Indie Grits Labs (IGL) continues to deepen its connection to the North Main community with the creation of a local radio station that begins programming with local partners this year. In addition, IGL will extend its reach by expanding our media literacy programs into rural counties. Our reputation is growing outside of Columbia; Indie Grits Film Festival (IGFF) was recognized by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World.” We are especially pleased that several films produced by Indie Grits Labs are playing in festivals around the country, including the BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia and the Academy-qualifying New Orleans Film Festival.
This growth is the perfect catalyst to help us prepare for a new strategic plan. We look forward to building on these successes and are eager to explore opportunities that will help us expand our reach, enhance community engagement, and increase our membership, whether through theater access, educational initiatives and, of course, unmatched programming.
P.S. — Don’t forget to circle your calendar for our next IGFF March 26-29!
Originally built in 1940 by the Duke family and most recently occupied for over five years by the North Columbia Business Association, the two-story white house on the corner of Duke Avenue and Arlington Street is the first home of Indie Grits Labs (IGL).
In November of 2017, the staff at IGL and the Nickelodeon, along with many volunteers, began renovating the house, creating a contemporary, multi-function project space with an eye towards adaptability and community. We wanted a space that artists could utilize for many purposes including education, exhibition, performance, and gathering. Featuring a gallery, PrintLab, AudioLab, workshop, gathering spaces, offices, community kitchen, and a spacious yard, the IGL space is designed to evolve with each new project and education program.
Current and past IGL Fellows are empowered to drive the educational and public programming in the space, cultivating an artist-led, community-centered environment. Partner organizations are invited to host events, including professional development workshops, community talks, and dinners. By working together—staff, volunteers, partners, artists, and the community—1013 Duke Ave has become the foundation from which IGL serves communities through it’s three facets: media education, artist-driven projects, and the Indie Grits Film Festival.
14 Features, 17 Documentary shorts, 16 Narrative Shorts, 13 Documentary Features, 6 Animated Shorts, 15 Experimental Shorts, 12 Student Shorts, 21 Youth Media, 10 Music Videos 60% of films by women filmmakers.
19 bands and DJs
totaling over 50 musicians.
Art projects: 5
Indie Bits celebrates independent interactive media— video games, board card games, and virtual reality.
Bank of America
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
City of Columbia Ford Foundation // Just Films
Mast General Store
National Endowment for the Arts
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
One Columbia for Arts & Culture
Richland County Government
In 2018-2019 we focused on the issues facing small town and rural communities in the Southeast in the 21st century. The dominance of industrialized farming and the shrinking of domestic manufacturing have transformed the landscape of much of the South. In its wake, we see communities struggling with many of the same issues faced by underserved urban populations: poor access to education, health care, and opportunities for advancement. We will be identifying rural communities and rural-based artists in 2018-2019. By engaging the artists and community members in a collaborative incubator, the Rural Project will develop projects around the stories and experiences of this often overlooked and disrespected part of our community..
The Rural Project Fellows met monthly and participated in three weekend retreats to (1) explore issues facing small town and rural communities, including education, migration, access to healthy food, race, healthcare, and opportunities for advancement and (2) create new works of art that responded to those issues.
The Last Stand | Kelly Creedon | Durham, NC | Set in Orangeburg, SC, this documentary follows a battle over a Confederate Flag flying in the center of town in the wake of the 2015 Charleston Massacre. Through the battle, the film challenges audiences to consider if the flag has a place in Southern culture of the 21st Century.
Invisible Hands | Yulian Martinez-Escobar | Charleston, SC | With sweat and toil, migrant tomato farmers provide the invisible labor that brings food to the American table from seed to harvest. Invisible Hands is an intimate film documenting this vulnerable community of laborers in rural South Carolina.
Voices of the Land: Sustaining Life in the Rural South | Ian Dillinger | Walterboro, SC | An informative story-driven documentary of the rural South seen and heard through the lives of farmers and individuals who make their living off the land, this film highlights the diverse natural resources and traditions that shape the landscape and issues a call to action for stewardship and sustainability.
Up da Road | Thaddeus Jones Jr. | Columbia, SC | This documentary offers an intimate look into the lives of entrepreneurial businesses through interactions with a current and former breadman in Hampton County, SC. Interviews and decaying spaces are contrasted with scenic sprawling spaces and bumpy roads as residents strive to keep their dying towns alive.
South This Way | Mahkia Greene & Students from Lower Richland High School | Columbia, SC | This film serves as an experimental visual record of Lower Richland StoryLab (LRSL), a high school arts program in rural Hopkins, SC. Fusing both the student and instructor perspective of the art process, this film follows the students of LRSL as they explore the past, present, and potential of their community.
Ten Toes Down | Cedric Umoja | Hopkins, SC | To ensure a future for itself and its children, The Land possesses a man and performs various spells.
Little Saluda USA | Lillian Burke & Amada Torruella | Columbia, SC | In Saluda, SC, established latino immigrants and generations of black and white residents coexist in isolation. A poetic exploration of the rural South, this immersive documentary showcases a collage of experiences from 21st-century America.
Media Literacy defines how we access, analyze, evaluate, and create media. Media Literacy is more important than ever in a society where we are bombarded with media messages on screens big and small, and there is an unprecedented level of accessibility for the average person to create media. At Indie Grits Labs and the Nickelodeon Theatre, Media Literacy is at the core of every education program we offer. We were part of the team that wrote the new SC Media Arts Standards, implemented 2018. This past summer, we hosted a NAEA Institute to teach teachers about Media Literacy. For the past six years, we have partnered with Richland One to deliver several after school programs including Come Around My Way and Mega MediaLab that teach media literacy and film production skills. These experiences remind us of the importance of bringing Media Literacy to as many students as possible, which we do through our flagship program, Media Literacy Labs.
Media Literacy Labs are field trip programs that give a chance for students to visit the Nickelodeon Theatre for a special cinema experience, complete with popcorn and drinks. Programs include hands-on, educational activities, film screenings, and engaging games. Our programs are aligned to the SC Department of Education Media Arts and ELA standards. Media Literacy Labs develop problem-solving and technical skills, as well as analytical thinking through critical viewing and comprehension.
Exploring the “spectrum of representation”, DocLab asks students to consider what forms of bias and distortion can direct an audience’s understanding of a non-fiction subject in documentary filmmaking. This involves analyzing techniques such as the interview, music, the use of archival footage, reenactment, editing, verité style, and much more.
Covering a wide range of stories and storytelling methods from around the world, StoryLab explores the basic archetypes that all stories share, and provides the tools for students to craft their own stories. Exploring fundamentals of plot, setting, characters, as well as more nuanced techniques, StoryLab educates via fun activities, screenings, writing exercises, music, and games.
MediaLab investigates mass culture including news media, social media, advertising, and music videos. Each lesson is made to be relevant to student interests, and to develop a literacy that enables youth to better understand the complex messages we receive from all forms of media every day. Each version of this lab takes on a different theme with a different form of media.
CineLab dives deep into the language of cinema. CineLab presents the tools and techniques of narrative filmmaking while exploring themes in literature, world cultures, languages, social studies, and science. Each CineLab focuses on one central theme or concept to explore using the fundamentals of cinema.
Looking for something fun and creative for the kids to do this Summer and during Spring Break? If you have an aspiring auteur in your family, our summer film camp programs could be for you! Our day camps teach students the basic techniques of video production through producing narrative shorts & stop motion animation films & short docs to be screened at the Nick at the conclusion of the camp!
Artists: Henry Coonrod, Jordan Mullen, Lillian Burke, and David Rinehart
Experience a hands-on introduction to the world of animation! Each day kids will discover a new style of animation walking away with a series of short films they can treasure and share with friends and family! From claymotion and collage to rotoscoping and photography, this camp will serve as a perfect introduction to the world of filmmaking. For ages 8-12.
Dive into an immersive filmmaking experience and make a collaborative movie through our popular high school program. Across two weeks — develop scripts, pitch ideas, shoot, and edit an original short film. Summer FilmLab offers instruction in writing, acting, production techniques, and directing. Student production crews will shoot and edit independently and have access to professional video and audio equipment including mentorship and feedback from multiple instructors.
From graphic design, to filmmaking and sound design, our programming for our adult classes and workshops has something for everyone. ll classes take place at Indie Grits Labs and vary in length and duration—one workshop may meet once a week for four weeks, whereas another workshop may only meet once. Workshops are for ages 15 and up. Nickelodeon Theatre members receive discounts on registration fees for our workshops.
Lower Richland StoryLab focused on the issues faced by small town and rural communities in central South Carolina in the 21st Century. Indie Grits Lab artist in residence, Mahkia Greene, worked with over 60 students at Lower Richland High School to create and present new works of media art that examine the community’s past, tell its stories, challenge misconceptions, explore challenges identified by residents, and present a vision for the future of Lower Richland County. A selection of films premiered at the 2019 Indie Grits Film Festival and student work will travel Columbia from the summer of 2019 through Spring 2020.
TakeBreakMake (TBM) is an after-school, youth media based project dedicated to LGBTQIA+ identified youth and allies in the midlands. TakeBreakMake provides video production and media literacy instruction through the lens of queer theory for the purpose of empowering high school students to not only tell their own story but to develop new modes of storytelling.
Our weekly middle school program at W.A. Perry, Mega MediaLab, centers around critically engaging media screenings of contemporary and historical films, music videos, news programs, commercials, and other forms of current media. This program also provides students with a basic understanding of the languages of film and media: Camera, Editing, Sound & Script. After post-screening discussions, students break into groups to collaborate, write and present new content for the current media in discussion.
Ticket discounts, free popcorn and sneak-peek screenings — Nick members get it all. In addition to lots of great theater perks, members also get discounts on Indie Grits Labs workshops, film festival passes, and amazing merchandise. Plus, members can rest easy knowing that their contributions support great films, engaging conversations, media education programs, and filmmaker support, right here in Columbia.
In an effort to create more family spaces downtown, as well as entertain and educate our youth while introducing them to the world of cinema — we are proud to bring you our new family friendly series!
A national program featured in over 70 cinemas that strives to shrink the gaps in science literacy by pairing classic and current films with local scientific professionals, tackling issues from gene editing to climate change.
After Hours takes the broad categories of “cult film” and “genre film” and aims to create a transformative theatrical experience, casting the familiar in the glow of the uncanny.
A special series presented as part of UofSC Women's and Gender Studies 'Monstrous Mothers and Femme Fatales: Gender and Monstrosity in Horror Film' Service Learning Course exploring the feminine in horror film.
This series engaged a broader exploration of justice and invited the community and UofSC's College of Arts and Sciences into the conversation.
Screening classic films with discussions and special presentations by scholars and cinema experts
Screening both repertory and contemporary music films paired with performances from local bands.
Screening the best contemporary films from across the globe.
A community-curated LGBTQ series screening films of all genres. Films this year were preceded by films created at IGL's TakeBreakMake program.
A combination of new and classic documentary films that explore and interrogate cinematic realism.
Programmed by Indie Grits' Rural Project fellows, this special sereis explores Blackness across its ever expanding spectrum while challenging the truth and relevance of its current societal perception.
Screening world cinema that promotes awareness, appreciation and pride in the diversity of the Jewish experience.
Come out of the cold and into our theater for holiday cheer that will warm even the most frost-bitten of hearts. As always, we’re screening your favorite holiday classics alongside new and exciting picks.
20 Feet From Stardom
A Christmas Story
A Kid Like Jake
A Solemn Promise: America's Missing in Action
Above the Drowning Sea
Afronauts (Afrofuturist Shorts)
Akeelah and the Bee
An Act of Defiance
Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex, Fashion, and Disco
Ash is Purest White
Ask Dr. Ruth
At Eternity's Gate
Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Before We Vanish
Birds of Passage
Blade Runner: The Final Cut
Bones of Contention
Boyz N the Hood
bridge/refrain (Afrofuturist Shorts)
Buena Vista Social Club
Bye Bye Germany
Call Her Ganda
Can You Ever Forgive me?
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Cat Video Fest
Crawfish and Zydeco
Dave Chappelle's Block Party
Dazed and Confused
Deconstructing the Beatles' Rubber Soul
Do the Right Thing
Don't Worry He Won't Get Far On Foot
Gamecock Media Showcase
Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Hale County This Morning This Evening
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Hearts Beat Loud
I Am Not A Witch
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
If Beale Street Could Talk
It's a Wonderful Life
Kids Flicks Two
La Negrada (Black Mexicans)
Leave No Trace
Lee Scratch Perry's Vision of Paradise
Life and Nothing More
Love and Basketball
Mary Queen of Scots
Miracle on 34th Street
Mur Murs (Mural Murals) with Black Panthers
On the Basis of Sex
Oscar Shorts | Animation
Oscar Shorts | Documentaries
Oscar Shorts | Live Action
Pumzi (Afrofuturist Shorts)
Romeo and Juliet (RSC)
Scandal in Ivansk
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
Sorry To Bother You
Soy Cuba (I Am Cuba)
Stan & Ollie
The Biggest Little Farm
The Black Cop
The Book of Esther (Das Buch Esther)
The Dead Don't Die
The Eyeslicer Halloween Special
The Gospel According to André
The Hate U Give
The King of Masks
The Last Movie
The Last Suit
The Last Waltz
The Old Man & The Gun
The People Under the Stairs
The Polar Express
The Punk Singer
The Rape of Recy Taylor
The Third Wife
The White Crow
The Wicker Man
The Wizard of Oz
They Charge for the Sun (Afrofuturist Shorts)
They Shall Not Grow Old
Three Identical Strangers
To Auschwitz and Back: The Joe Engel story
Two For the Road
Valley Maker Concert
We The Animals
While I Breathe, I Hope
Wild Nights With Emily
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Wilmington on Fire
Within Our Gates
Woman at War
Won't You Be My Neighbor?
Written on the Wind
Yours In Sisterhood
The Hive Community Circle
Offie of the Mayor, Columbia, SC
Richland School District One
Richland School District Two
Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
Vietnam Veterans of America
Midlands Area Consortium for the Homeless (MACH)
Jewish Community Center of Columbia
Women's and Gender Studies, UofSC
American Institute of Architects of Greater Columbia
Moving Image Research Collections, UofSC
Councilwoman Yvonne McBride
100 Black Men
South Carolina Department of Education
Women's Rights and Empowerment Network
Spring Hill High School
The Watering Hole
State of South Carolina Human Affairs Commission
Saving our Lives, Hear our Truths (SOLHOT)
Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem Tameika Isaac Devine
Carolina Peace Resource Center
Make-a-Wish Foundation South Carolina
College of Arts and Science, UofSC
ColaTown Bike Collective
Congaree Land Trust
The Honorable Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney Foundation
Alliance for Full Acceptance
Barack Obama Foundation
Central Carolina Community Foundation
City of Columbia
National Endowment for the Arts
The Nord Family Foundation
Richland County Government
South Carolina Arts Commission
South Carolina Department of Education
Abacus Planning Group
Bank of America
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, P.A.
CCM Investment Advisors
Columbia Museum of Art
Curiosity Coffee Bar
Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A.
Good Life Cafe
Governor's School for Arts & Humanities
Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA
LTC Health Solutions
Mast General Store
Michael’s Café & Catering
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP
Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation
One Columbia For Arts and Culture
Rogers Lewis Jackson Mann & Quinn, LLC
South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities
The Braddock Group of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC
Executive Director, Columbia Film Society
Director, Indie Grits Labs
Assistant Director of Programming
Marketing and Membership Manager
Marketing and Membership Coordinator
Development and Operations Manager
Indie Grits Labs
Indie Grits Labs
Manager of Media Education
Indie Grits Labs
Theater Operations Manager
Projectionist & IT Coordinator
John P. Boyd
We are built on the ideas and passion of our members. Please stop by and share thoughts and ideas. We will also periodically reach out with specific questions and surveys.
Anita Floyd, Executive Director
Seth Gadsden, Director of Indie Grits Labs
Omme-Salma Rahemtullah, Assistant Director of Programming
Amanda Windsor, Marketing and Membership Manager
Torres Perkins, Lead Theater Manager
Columbia Film Society (CFS) serves Columbia, SC, as a center for critical dialogue, anchored by the presentation of films that showcase the diversity, challenges, joy, and aspirations of its community. A destination for enjoyment, enrichment, and education, CFS provides the tools to make, interpret, appreciate, and teach the moving image in all its variety through its two arms: the Nickelodeon Theatre (“the Nick”) and Indie Grits Labs (“IG Labs”).