“Hollow Tree” is final film in Wallace State’s screenings of Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Films

Apr 16, 2024Gail Crutchfield
Hollow Tree

Hanceville, AL — The final film in the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Films at Wallace State Community College will be shown on Thursday, April 18 at 5:30 p.m. in the Bailey Center Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.

The documentary “Hollow Tree” follows three teenagers coming of age in their sinking homeland of Louisiana. For the first time, they notice the Mississippi River’s engineering, stumps of cypress trees, and billowing smokestacks. Their different perspectives — as Indigenous, white, and Angolan young women — shape their story of the climate crisis.

Kira Akerman“This film invites three young women, who did not previously know each other, to learn with me and my filmmaking team, and their respective communities,” said director Kira Akerman in the film’s director’s statement. “They travel to different sites along the Mississippi River, where they engage in dialogue with engineers, activists, and Indigenous leaders. The idea was to use filmmaking as a classroom, and to develop a documentary practice for the climate crisis. As I encourage the young people in my film to notice their surroundings, they begin to imagine Louisiana's past — its history of slavery, Indigenous dispossession, and colonization — and, by extension, Louisiana's future. The one that they will experience and help to shape.”

Akerman is scheduled to attend the screening and will be available for questions after. She lives in New Orleans, La., and works as an educator and documentary filmmaker. “Hollow Tree” is her debut feature film, and won a Jury Prize at its premiere at The New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF). It was selected for the Sundance Institute’s 2019 Talent Forum, The Climate Story Lab, and The Gotham Documentary Lab.

Previously, Akerman directed and produced the short “Station 15,” (PBS, 2017), winner of an Audience Award at the New Orleans Film Festival. Screenings included a Smithsonian exhibit, Sheffield Doc/Fest, The Climate Museum, the UN Global Climate Summit, and DOCNYC. She directed and produced the short, “The Arrest,” (“The Atlantic,” 2018). Screenings included The Camden International Film Festival, MOMA, and The Ford Foundation Gallery.

Prior to directing, Akerman worked on art departments, including a visual effects unit mentored by Doug Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey), and as a producer for commercials and shorts, including “In the Wake” (dir. Cauleen Smith). She currently works with the educational nonprofit Ripple Effect, which is pioneering water literacy in k-12 education, and the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University, an interdisciplinary, place-based institute that promotes the understanding of New Orleans and the Gulf South region.

To view the trailer for “Hollow Tree,” visit https://vimeo.com/763398145

 or the film’s website: https://hollowtreefilm.com/

The Southern Circuit films shown at Wallace State an extension of the college’s Burrow Museum offerings in conjunction with Wallace State Student Engagement.

Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts, a regional arts organization, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information about Southern Circuit please visit www.southarts.org/southerncircuit.


About Wallace State

Wallace State Community College (Ala.), a member of the Alabama Community College System, is a comprehensive community college in north central Alabama offering more than 200 options in academic, health and technical programs of study leading to an associate degree, certificate or transfer, as well as non-credit training and adult education. An Achieving the Dream Leader College, nationally-recognized by the Aspen Institute among the top 10 percent of institutions according to student outcomes, ranked by Southern Business and Development among the Top 3 institutions in the South for workforce development, named a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing Center and the National Security Administration, rated the Top Online Community College in Alabama, a Military Friendly Institution and an All-Steinway School, Wallace State is an outstanding place for students to pursue their education and career goals. Classes are offered online and on campus, day, evening and on weekends, with numerous start dates each year. Visit Wallace State’s beautiful main campus located on 300-acres in Hanceville, Ala., our satellite location in downtown Oneonta, Ala., find us online at www.wallacestate.edu, or call 256.352.8000.


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