Hymns of Three Cities – Lisa Mills – USA

A five-part experimental documentary (total 22 minutes) accompanying an original suite of poems commissioned from Dr. Stephen Caldwell Wright, a published poet, a retired educator, and leader in the African American community of Sanford, Florida. The poems explore incidents of racial violence in Central Florida’s history that have been forgotten or hidden beneath Orlando’s gloss of tourism. The film was co-directed by Lisa Mills, Robert Cassanello, and Kathy Parry after the poetry was completed and narration recorded. Utilizing 8mm film and digital video our goal was for images and sounds to accompany the poetry, enhancing its words and phrases to evoke hidden sorrow and historical injustice. Digital effects and animation by Zachary Beckler. Original music composed, performed, and recorded by Craig Leon Roberts.

Lisa Mills is an Associate Professor of Film at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. She holds a doctoral degree in political communication from the University of Florida, and teaches documentary production, documentary history, screenwriting, and story theory. Before entering academia in 1999, Dr. Mills was a broadcast journalist for 25 years. Her documentary films have won national and international awards and screened in film festivals all over the world.

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