The Daily Gamecock

The Nick's documentary film series promotes dialogue

The Nickelodeon Theatre has stories to tell this fall. Some are from the past, some are more recent. All are documentary-style and address multi-faceted issues that are not always easy to digest.  

On Sept. 5, the Nick will release the first show in its For the Record film series, which aims help the public develop a sense of appreciation for documentaries while also opening up conversations regarding public consumption of information. The series consists of one documentary per month and will run indefinitely. 

Marketing Coordinator Pauline Arroyo explained that the Nick wants to address media literacy with this series. 

“You’re getting hit from every angle it seems — like of news, or content … So it’s just kind of giving people the tools to understand that and navigate that,” she said.

Media literacy is an important topic at the Nick. It is even incorporated into their educational programs so that they can teach kids how to process information and news. 

One major component of this series will be the conversations held with a discussion panel after each screening, giving the viewers a chance to talk about the issues addressed in the documentaries. 

The first film —“Whose Streets?”— will communicate the events in Ferguson that took place in 2014. The discussion panel includes members from Columbia’s Black Lives Matter chapter, Simple Justice.

“We’ve shown other films in the past that have touched on those same topics, and we’ve always gotten a really big community response,” Arroyo said. “People are glad that their stories are being told somewhere.” 

The responses to these types of screenings are generally positive, though there are times when feedback is negative. But it is natural to have conflicting opinions arise out of films that surround controversial events. 

“We’re a public place of education and art, so we try to show a wide range of things … as long as you participate in the discussion, we’re totally happy to have you," Arroyo said.

Selecting which films to run and choosing the order in which they are screened is a process filled with intention. The For the Record series strives to address issues in a time-sensitive manner, taking into account what is relevant in the world and linking that to the films. The curatorial board can also cater to the audience in terms of figuring out what films people are more likely to engage with at different times of the year. 

So far, the theater has three documentaries lined up: “Whose Streets?,” “Grey Gardens,” and “Dolores.” 

“Whose Streets?” and “Dolores” address pressing social justice issues. “Grey Gardens” is an older film described on the Nick’s website as “the ultimate documentary cult classic.”

Tickets for the shows are sold at the box office and online, and student members get a three dollar discount.