Indie filmmakers bring social justice documentary to UNCA

Mary Thomas
Advertising Staff
[email protected]
Rick Dillwood and Carrie Hart are filmmakers from Greensboro who dedicated themselves to making films that matter, with subjects that can make a change in the world.  
UNC Asheville screened their documentary about a queer overnight camp held in the area and hosted a discussion with the filmmakers on Tuesday.  
“We wanted to highlight ways we saw queerness manifesting in the world around us,” Hart said.
Through their film Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer (QORDS), they showed the ins and outs of a camp based in North Carolina, where queer teens could go to be themselves.
“It’s really a grassroots effort. That’s what I like about the film,” Hart said. “It highlights activism and helps to spread the word.”
QORDS is an organization that is run out of Durham, Greensboro and Asheville. One of the camp leaders, Rae Swersey, said creating this camp in North Carolina specifically was important.

An advertisement for the Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer camp. Photo courtesy of the QORDS tumblr page.
An advertisement for the Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer camp. Photo courtesy of the QORDS tumblr page.

“I think it’s important to have a place in the South for parents to send their kids for a queer overnight camp,” said Swersey. “We want to create an environment where the campers can bond with each other.”
Swersey said at the weeklong camp the leaders focused on teaching the campers about social issues while still having fun.
 “We try to have a social justice focus and also a fun focus. We have workshops about consent and queer/trans history through a lot of activities that are exploratory and informative,” said Swersey.
While filming at the camp, the filmmakers said they tried to keep the environment as pure as possible, so they would not make the campers feel intruded upon.
“We wanted to highlight what was going on at the camp, but we did not want to create an uncomfortable environment by filming around the campers,” Hart said.  
Swersey said the social change does not stop with the campers. They initiate a conversation with the camper’s parents at the end to propel the change even further.
“We have all the parents get in a group before the showcase with a person who facilitates the conversation about creating a safe environment for their children,” Swersey said.