More than 50 years ago, residents of the small community of Bladenboro, N.C., were terrorized by a predator that viciously killed numerous domestic animals. The events of those few weeks in January 1954 are told through accounts of five individuals who were children or teenagers living in Bladenboro at the time. They are joined by two carnivore behavior “experts,” who speculate on what this creature could have been. Laura Dunne – In December 2005 Laura traveled to the coastal state of Tamil Nadu in India to study and film the accounts of survivors of the tsunami that devastated the region the year before. That experience highlighted the power of documentary filmmaking as a means to bring public awareness to issues of social injustice. Before rushing out to shoot more films, she thought it best to actually learn the process of filmmaking, and she began taking classes at the Center for Documentary Studies. “The Vampire Beast of Bladenboro” is her first completed film.+ More details
When Bladen County consolidated its school system in the late 1990s, the town of Bladenboro lost more than its high school. Some of its traditions, rich culture, and commerce faded. The voices in this documentary, like many people in and nearby the town today, help bring the spirit back to Bladenboro. Chak Koonapareddy – Chak is currently working to complete his Certificate program in Documentary Studies at Duke. He has been a clinician and clinical research scientist in several therapeutic areas for the past fifteen years and has published papers in scientific journals. His dream is to make progressive films that emphasize improving quality of life and to fuel dreams around the world.+ More details
Filmmaker Jon Parker returns to his ancestral roots to document BeastFest 2008 - “The Beast of Bladenboro Festival.” Filmed on October 25, 2008, this video features the sights, the sounds, and the spirit of the day from pre-dawn to after- hours. Hope you enjoy the ride! Jon Parker – Jon is pursuing a Certificate at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. One of his areas of interest is “portrait videography,” capturing the essence of the person and the subject matter suitable for viewing in the present and in the future+ More details
Despite having fallen on hard times, Bladenboro is keen to revitalize financially and has much to offer potential businesses. Boat building? Peanut processing? Who knows what’s next. The bottom line is it’s time to “rural source” to towns, like Bladenboro, where people have strong mechanical skills, a solid work ethic, and a great attitude. Kim Best – Kim Best worked as a medical/science reporter and editor for newspapers and health journals for over 20 years. Why move from print journalism to video? Video documentary work affords a chance to tell great stories – like that of Bladenboro – in a new way. This course is Kim’s seventh with Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies.+ More details
Most small towns have at least one central gathering spot: a place where friends and family – young and old – come to replenish the body and soul; a place where social connections are just as important as the food. In Bladenboro, Diamond Dave’s is just that kind of place. ... Come on inside; let’s take a closer look. Teresa Pigeon – Teresa was born in Raleigh and has lived in North Carolina most of her life, attending school at N.C. State. Throughout a career in printing, she has nurtured a love for local landscape and portrait photography. It was this passion that introduced her to the Center for Documentary Studies, so that she could capture the people and places of North Carolina using video, in addition to still photography. To see more of her work visit www.pigeongallery.com.+ More details
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