Public spaces, such as Park Central Square in Springfield, Missouri, can be designed to attract people. But what kind of people? And will those people interact and get along?
These are the questions behind Dr. Andy Cline’s new documentary short film “Shared Spaces,” which screens at the downtown Springfield movie theater Moxie Cinema on Sept. 23. The free screening will be followed by a panel discussion with some of the people featured in the film.
Film tells story of a new downtown
The 18-minute film explores the limits of shared public spaces and the people who use them, including Joonyper Light, a local artist and musician, who moved to Springfield from a “suburbia town” in California. Her encounter with a couple of college professors illustrate the story of the converging lives and stories in downtown Springfield.
“Shared Spaces” was recently selected to be screened at the New Urban Film Festival in Los Angeles on Oct. 8-11. It is based on Cline’s upcoming feature-length documentary “Downtown” that details the difficulties and opportunities metropolitan areas face as more residents seek out sustainable, human-scale communities.
Cline, an associate professor in media, journalism and film, said the scope of the documentary’s reporting is national, but the stories are based in Springfield, a microcosm of the trend at large.
“Springfield, while it’s not Portland, Oregon, it’s also not the armpit of America. It’s somewhere in the middle. We are struggling with the same things that many urban areas are struggling with, and similar things are happening here in terms of this trend.”
Courses to result from partnership with students
Cline used the talents of many Missouri State students on the film’s production, though not in a credit-giving capacity. He hopes to change that in upcoming years with two courses in planning stages that will produce student-led films.
In the meantime, Cline is on sabbatical this semester to wrap up “Downtown” and work on a research project exploring First Amendment issues in documentary filmmaking.
Donate to the cause
Cline funded “Downtown,” produced by his company Carbon Trace Productions, mostly out of pocket. He has received in-kind donations from individuals and from the Doug and Linda Roller Foundation. Visit the MSU Foundation site to make a donation to the project. Contact Dr. Cline by email for more information about “Downtown” or future classes associated with his projects.
Come to the ‘Shared Spaces’ screening
Date: Sept. 23
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Moxie Cinema, 305 S. Campbell Ave., Suite 101
Admission: Free and open to the public