News: Indie Grits Festival Announces Full 2018 Festival Schedule

The Indie Grits Festival runs from April 12-15

The Indie Grits Festival, which will take place April 12-15, 2018, has announced its full festival schedule.  As a reflection of Indie Grits Fellows’ “Two Cities” work and in celebration of Indie Grits Labs new space at 1013 Duke Avenue, many of this year’s Indie Grits events will take place in North Columbia, just minutes from downtown.

This year’s festival will feature four days of engaging cultural events unmatched in the Southeast; including film, art (the premier of new artworks from the “Two Cities” project), a full lineup of musical performances, Indie Bits (indie video gaming showcase), Kindie Grits (animation fun for children), a puppet slam and parties each night. Festival passes are now available for the entire festival for $150 and most events and individual tickets are available for $10.

Highlights from this year’s Indie Grits lineup include:

Film competition, Nickelodeon Theatre (1607 Main St.), throughout the festival: Indie Grits started as a film competition and though the festival has grown, films still must have some sort of connection to the South, telling stories that reflect a slice of modern Southern culture that’s inclusive of all voices, especially those often marginalized. As always, Indie Grits avoids films with gratuitous violence, guns and stereotypical portrayals of characters. This year, Indie Grits will feature 83 short, narrative-length, animated and documentary films. 53 percent of Indie Grits filmmakers are female. The festival is proud to include diverse voices and talent that outpaces other film competitions.

A Night with Two Cities, April 12, Indie Grits Labs (1013 Duke Ave.): This year’s Indie Grits Fellows have been working under the idea of “Two Cities.” Thirteen artists, filmmakers, activists, community organizers and agriculturalists will premier new works of art focused on sustainability and place. They have engaged community members in a collaborative process to highlight the vibrancy of North Columbia and address how racial divisions define how we interact with our city.

30 bands across four days, various venues, every day of the festival: Indie Grits, in partnership with Love, Peace & Hip-Hop, will host an opening night party (Thursday, April 12) at Tapps Art Center featuring FatRat Da Czar and Deniro Farrar, plus seven other bands. In addition to music on Friday and Saturday nights, “Sunday Dinner” (Sunday, April 15), a free, family-friendly outdoor event hosted by FatRat Da Czar, will feature performances by The Beast, Dom Flemons and Amythyst Kiah at the junction of North Main and Monticello Road. Food trucks will also offer food.

Two Cities Puppet Slam (4005 Monticello Rd.) April 14, 6 and 9 p.m.: An evening of hilarious and thought-provoking puppetry for an adult audience, this year’s Puppet Slam will feature an extensive collaboration with local theatre troupe NiA, as well as welcome several visiting performers to Columbia’s stage. This esoteric gathering will take place in a unique raw space on Monticello Rd.

The Weekly Revue’s Church of Karaoke (4005 Monticello Rd.), doors open at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 9 p.m.: Toby Lou, part of the Indie Grits lineup for several years, is back at Indie Grits and getting the audience more involved than ever before with karaoke.

Indie Grits Film Festival 2018 Highlights:


Thursday, April 12 at 4:30 p.m.: The festival kicks-off with an eclectic set of feature films, like the offbeat environmental documentary Rodents of Unusual Size, which explores the role that nutria hunting has had in the history of Louisiana’s wetlands through the eyes of world-renowned filmmaker Chris Metzler.

The melancholic Luke & Jo, an unconventional love story, is the most recent work from Joshua Overbay, who won the festival’s top award back in 2014 with his film As it is in Heaven —the Indie Grits team is proud to host the world premier of his new film on Thursday, April 12 at 5 p.m.

On opening night, Indie Grits welcomes back alumni Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher with their gender bending and defiant new documentary film: The Gospel of Eureka, an electrifying “gospel drag show” premiering at the SXSW festival in Austin this month. The Gospel of Eureka will be screened twice during the Indie Grits festival: Thursday, April 12 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 14 at 6 p.m.


Farmsteaders, a marvelous and deeply humane portrait of a rural land-based family, will play at 7 p.m. and will surely foster a space to celebrate stories of small generational farmers and our agricultural communities.

Indie Grits is well-known for its curated film blocks, a fun way to watch various types of movies and enjoy everything from animations to documentaries; this year is no exception. Friday (at 3:30 p.m.) features one of the most awaited film blocks: Acts of Vulnerability–from feminist lyric poetry to queer romance, this deeply felt collection of narrative and experimental shorts and music videos prove that authenticity, emotional liberation and vulnerability are acts of rebellion in today’s society.


At 7 p.m. the festival will honor the South with Southern Scenes, a series of striking perspectives from all over the southeast; a few of the places featured are Atlanta, Austin, Hokes Bluff, Ala., and our very own Columbia. We recommend this highly-anticipated block to all those adventurers who love to explore our region in all its depth and glory. This block will also be presented on Friday, April 13 at 1 p.m..

4 p.m.: This set of movies also includes the feature Purge this Land, a look at racism and resistance in America through the poignant essay film on the legacy of slavery by Lee Anne Schmitt; preceded by the South Carolina premiere of Fluid Frontiers, a key component in Ephraim Asili's African Diaspora Series and an official 2017 Toronto International Film Festival selection. bridge/refrain will also be showcased in this block, the stunning new work by Columbia luminary filmmaker, Roni Nicole, tells the journey of a young woman’s arrival to the land of the ancestors.


Indie Grits will also be showcasing thought-provoking film blocks such as at 3:10 p.m. The films in Zealousy will encourage critical conversation and lead viewers to analyze some of the most urgent topics in today’s tumultuous socio-political landscape.

At 2 p.m. The Well-Placed Weed offers a heart-warming, intimate portrait of Ryan Gainey, one of the most celebrated American garden designers of the past three decades, bringing us into the imaginative and unconventional world of a creative who lived for beauty.