The Daily Gamecock

USC to host annual archaeology film festival

The University of South Carolina will host the annual Arkhaios Cultural Heritage and Archaeology Film Festival for the first time in its five-year existence. 

The festival will be held in Gambrell Hall from Oct. 19 to Oct. 21. It will feature 14 documentaries from 10 different countries. The films will highlight a wide range of cultural discoveries made possible by archaeology. The event is held every October in recognition of South Carolina’s Archaeology Month, and admission is free and open to everyone.

Jean Guilleux, the founder and director of Arkhaios, says the goal of the festival is to educate people about archaeology and hopefully inspire an interest in exploration.  

“It’s an educational festival,” Guilleux said. “It’s very up-to-date, so you can learn about the latest development in archaeology and anthropology. It broadens your perspective of this little Earth we live in."

Guilleux said the feedback from previous years has been very positive. 

The featured films will explore a wide variety of topics, including South Carolina’s anthropological history, Paleolithic cave drawings, Roman mines, Egyptian tombs and the ancient and sacred history of chocolate. On the last day of the festival, a panel of judges will announce the winning film. 

“A varied jury is important,” Guilleux said. “Because you want people with different backgrounds that will bring to the party, to the judgment, their own vision and represent a part of the audience.”

Several of the films’ creators will be interviewed during the festival, either on stage or via Skype. There will also be breaks in between screenings in which the audience will have the opportunity to talk with the filmmakers one-on-one. 

Arkhaios is sponsored by USC’s Department of Anthropology, the Heritage Trust Program of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Greater Piedmont Chapter of The Explorers Club and Woodhouse Chocolate.

“It brings together films from around the world,” Kenneth Kelly, who is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at USC, said. “Some really top films that have been made in a number of different countries, so it’s a great opportunity to see evidence of what kind of archaeological investigations are going on in different places.” 

Even though the film festival centers on archaeology, the diverseness of the documentaries being screened should attract numerous kinds of people. 

“There’s something for everybody I think in it,” Kelly said. 

More information, including a list of the films and showtimes, can be found on Arkhaios’s website