Special Screenings
Traveling Festival


Mr. Dial Has Something to Say
(60 minutes) USA
Director/Producer: Celia Carey

Has Afro-American improvisational visual art been disregarded by the mainstream art world as less important? Have terms such as "outsider", "visionary," "primitive," "folk," "self-taught," and "naïve"--all of which have been applied to this particular style-- downgraded the importance of this art?Are these terms classist, or racist? The film explores the visual arts sibling of jazz, the blues and gospel. As the visual interpretation of life from America's former slave culture, this improvisational style is a unique artistic view in American history--and one of America's few very home-grown artistic styles. Are works produced by artists who never received formal training equal in dollar value to pieces created by talent honed in art classes? The current movement toward recognizing and elevating great Southern African-American talents, such as Dial, is causing the artistic intelligentsia to reexamine its own prejudices.

Celia Carey grew up in Alabama. She left the South to train with experienced filmmakers in New York City, where she also received her MS from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. After thirteen years of working on films around the world for a variety of broadcasters (including National Geographic, Discovery and the BBC) Celia returned home with a global perspective, and a mission to tell stories about Alabama. In December of 2003, Alabama Public Television (APT) hired Celia to start their first documentary unit. Since that time the unit has been honored with: three regional Emmy awards for films that she directed and produced, two Emmys for films that she executive-produced, and nine total regional Emmy nominations.Awards for other films she has directed and produced for APT include: a NETA award, a Golden Gate Award for best short documentary from the San Francisco International Film Festival, an audience choice award from the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Two APT documentaries currently air nationally on PBS: The Quiltmakers of Gee's Bend, which Celia directed, and Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change, which she executive-produced.

Contact information:
Celia Carey
2112 11th Ave. South, Suite 400
Birmingham, AL 35205
E-mail: ccarey@aptv.org
©2007 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)
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