2010 Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration

"Humor in the Deep South" is the theme of the 21st annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, which will take place Feb. 25-28, 2010, in Natchez. The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Archives and History.

"This conference couldn't come at a better time," said NLCC founder and co-chairman Carolyn Vance Smith. "With the economy as it is, and with so many other serious pressures all around us, we hope the conference will let us slow down, laugh a little, and leave refreshed."

The Olympic Award–winning conference will feature four days of presentations, movie screenings, readings, and more, including:

  • Programs by outstanding authors, historians, and film experts, including James C. Cobb, Thad Cochran, Trudier Harris, Mary Donnelly Haskell, Sam Haskell, M. Thomas Inge, Mark LaFrancis, John Mayfield, Scott Dixon McDowell, JoAnne Prichard Morris, Marshall Ramsey, Clifton Taulbert , Charles Vahlkamp, Sarah McLaurin Vahlkamp, Jerry W. Ward, Jr., Jane Feltus Welch, Rebecca Wells, Diane Williams, Charles Reagan Wilson, Gerald Wood, and others.
  • Screening and discussion of Robert Harling's Steel Magnolias and Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful.
  • Premiere screening of Scott Dixon McDowell's documentary Horton Foote: Regional Voice, Universal Vision, about the Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright and screenplay writer.
  • Premiere screening of Mark LaFrancis's documentary Now! That's Funny! Jokes, Stories, and Other Musings from the Deep South.
  • Richard Wright Literary Excellence Awards ceremony honoring authors Robert S. McElvaine, Jr., of Millsaps College and Steve Yarbrough of Emerson College in Boston.
  • Horton Foote Award for Special Achievement in Screenwriting ceremony honoring the screenplay writer and playwright Robert Harling.
  • Thad Cochran Humanities Achievement Award ceremony honoring Jerry W. Ward, Jr.
  • The play The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, in cooperation with the Natchez Little Theatre.
  • Writing workshops for adults and grade school children.
  • Book signings and other informal times with authors.
  • Live music.
  • Festive social events in two of Natchez's most beautiful mansions, Greenlea and Stanton Hall.

Because of major support from the four co-sponsors as well as the Mississippi Humanities Council and other agencies, most of the NLCC is free of charge, Smith said. "There are only three ticketed events," she said.

Information and tickets are available at the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration's website; by calling toll-free 866-296-6522; or by email.

Sponsors of the NLCC are Copiah-Lincoln Community College, MDAH, Natchez National Historical Park, and Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Co-chairmen are Smith, representing Co-Lin; Kathleen Jenkins, NNHP; Jim Barnett, MDAH; and Sherry Johnson, MPB.

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