The documentary-feature film, “UNSPOKEN,” has been named an Official Selection for the eighth annual Reedy Reels Film Festival. The debut feature film from Georgia-based filmmaker Stephanie Calabrese will screen its South Carolina premiere in-person on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. at South Carolina Children’s Theatre (153 Augusta St.).
“UNSPOKEN” shatters a code of silence that has distanced neighbor from neighbor for generations. By tracing her journey as a small town Georgia resident, Calabrese uncovers buried truths and explores how the tight-knit community has been impacted by its racial divide deepened in part by the 1946 Moores Ford Lynching, also known as the “the last mass lynching in America.” Sourced from 40 interviews with fellow Monroe residents and research over the course of three and a half years, the film offers an insider’s intimate look at the impact of the lynching, segregation and integration through today.
“As a former resident of South Carolina during my formative high school years, I’m grateful to screen the film at this festival,” Calabrese said. “While ‘UNSPOKEN’ offers an honest portrait of my current home town in Georgia, much of the history and challenges we still face today along the racial divide are common across the South. The film inspires conversions that are important to have.”
“UNSPOKEN” was written, directed, produced and edited by Calabrese, who shot the film with an iPhone camera to demonstrate that important documentary work doesn’t always require big budgets and gear, but a passion for storytelling from within one’s own community. With an original musical score by Kwame Brandt-Pierce, the film strives to enable viewers to become better community members by working together to solve problems our society still faces.
“UNSPOKEN” won the Audience Choice Award for Documentary at the Macon Film Festival in August and the Documentary Features Special Jury Award at the Rome International Film Festival in November. The film was also an Official Selection for the Morehouse College Human Rights Film Festival, Chagrin Documentary Film Festival and Portland Film Festival in 2022 and the Cinema on the Bayou Festival in Louisiana in 2023.