Evansville Showtime!

evansville annoucementOn August 30th & 31st, Owensboro: Portrait From Middle America will be shown at the Evansville Civic Theater Annex in the North Park Shopping Center, 1000 North Park Drive, Evansville IN 47710.

Tickets to this august event are $5.00 per person.

Join with filmmaker Keenan Powell as he talks to civic leaders and a few residents about Owensboro today and what they hope the future holds for Owensboro.


1st night

Well, the first night of the Owensboro: Portrait From Middle America premiere is over with.

We had a few show up for the film. Over half of which I had never met before. They had seen the article in the Messenger-Inquirer and came to see the film. That’s great.

Not too many people, but more than I thought would turn out. And sold some of the DVDs.

Hopefully, an even better response tomorrow night. Then Evansville at the end of the month!

Onward! Forward! Mush, mush! Don’t eat the yellow snow!

Owensboro stars in documentary

Owensboro stars in documentary
By Angela Oliver
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer

With “Owensboro: Portrait From Middle America,” Keenan Powell has merged his love of history and filmmaking.

The documentary will premiere at 7 p.m. Friday and will show again at 7 p.m. Saturday at Theater Workshop of
Owensboro’s Trinity Center, 407 W. Fifth St. It was produced by his company, South Cicero Media.

It features black-and-white clips of early Owensboro life, present day scenes and interviews with Mayor Ron Payne,
Judge-Executive Al Mattingly, long time journalist Keith Lawrence and the Rev. Larry Birkhead, among other residents.

Powell said he was inspired to the start the documentary by the opening of Smothers Park last August.

In the film, Payne describes as “the most exciting place in the state of Kentucky, if not the region.”

“I hope that with the film, 50 years from now, people will have an idea of what Owensboro was at this time, Powell
said. It’d be hard to make a definite film right now because (the city) is constantly changing.”

Though he’s made five other documentaries, including “Before I Sleep: Remembering John Kennedy” and “Blood, Toil,
Tears & Sweat: The Saga of World War II,” Powell said his recent effort is his most involved.

“The others were mostly old clips and narration, some interviews,” he said. “This has far more interviews. The
mayor, the judge-executive, everyone was really receptive. Those two have seen the film and they’ve told me they loved
the film.”

The documentary highlights some of the bright sides of Owensboro, such as the development, but Powell didn’t shy
away from asking his interviewees about the trouble spots, such as teen pregnancy rates, substance abuse, homelessness and
recovering from the economic downturn.

Though lacking in some aspects, Powell said he’s proud of “Owensboro: Portrait From Middle America.”

“I wish it was more diverse, he said, noting that he would consider a more inclusive follow-up.

Powell, who grew up on Chicago’s South Cicero Avenue, has lived in Owensboro for 11 years. His interest in films
came during a family trip to Universal Studios in California in 1970 when the tour guides demonstrated a few production
tasks. He was also inspired by a silent film version “Phantom of the Opera” that he saw at Disney
nd. It reminded him of the silent comedies he often saw as a boy at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.

His next project, due in 2014, will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The documentary will also show at 7 p.m., Aug. 30th and 31st at Evansville Civic
Theater Annex, 717 N. Fulton Ave., Evansville. Admission is $5 at all shows. For more information or to purchase the
DVD, see southciceromedia.net



We are now accepting pre-release orders for Owensboro: Portrait From Middle America. The official release date is August 11, 2013. On that day, all pre-release orders will be shipped. From now till August 11, you can order a copy at our pre-release sale price of $7.99 each, with $3.99 S&H and possibly KY sales tax. Go to southciceromedia.com and click the button marked “Store” to order your copy today!

Owensboro is a small town in a rural area of Kentucky. Known mostly for being the hometown of Florence Henderson and Johnny Depp, Owensboro finds herself in a position where she is trying to cling to her past while pressing ahead with her future.
Keenan Powell interviewed civic leaders, and residents to hear their opinions about Owensboro, her past, present and what they hope for the future.

NTSC Region 1 DVD.

Owensboro: Portrait From Middle America

Smothers Park, Owensboro, on the Ohio River

Smothers Park, Owensboro, on the Ohio River

Not the greatest name for a film, I admit, but much better than the working title, “Stalking Project.”

My Owensboro project is finished. Next step will be artwork and getting the film to the distributor as well as making plans for exhibition and getting copies to film festivals.

This film is not quite what I envisioned at the start. How many filmmakers say that about any movie they create? This film is not quite what I envisioned, mainly because I wasn?t able to interview sufficient people for this film. This film tends to be a little on sided for my tastes. Something else to remember in the future.

This has been a nice learning project. I’m lucky it was a local subject. Made things a little easier. However, I need to work on organizing for projects. Furthermore, I can’t allow myself to be intimidated by people or locations. I took my lighting with me to interview Judge Mattingly and Mayor Payne, but I intimidated myself, let their offices make me very self-conscious and didn’t use them. The end film shows it. Let me state, for the record, Judge Mattingly and Mayor Payne are both good people who went out of their way to help me relax. I allowed myself to become intimidated. And I can’t allow that to happen anymore. The next film I’m planning on will be larger in scope, so I need to do everything right the first time.

There are technical problems with the camera work and the sound. Some were unavoidable, such as taping Governor Brashear’s speech at an outside event. Some “shaky camera syndrome,” learn to use your tripod more, quit laughing when your hand is still on the tripod. You’ll see.

I’m very glad I followed through on this project. This was the first time I conducted any interviews at all. I wish I had conducted more interviews, but I did arrange all the interviews, by approaching people in a professional manner, both by letters and by simply talking to people. Although several people declined to be interviewed, it is good that some agreed.

This won’t quite be the last you hear of this film, with any luck. But I’m already to begin the research for the next one.

Here is the link to the trailer for Owensboro: Portrait From Middle America: