UCF Film Wins Documentary Award, to be Shown as Part of Civil Rights Series

UCF Film Wins Documentary Award, to be Shown as Part of Civil Rights Series

A scene from 'The Committee,' a documentary about a state investigation from 1956 to 1964 that led to the expulsion or firing of more than 200 homosexuals from state universities.

A film directed by two UCF professors won the Best Documentary award at last weekend’s Love Your Shorts Film Festival in Sanford, and will be reshown Feb. 28 as part of the UCF Public History Center’s film series on civil rights.

The Committee was directed by Lisa Mills, an associate professor of film, and Robert Cassanello, an associate professor of history, both in the College of Arts & Humanities. The 24-minute documentary was researched and written by students in a Burnett Honors College documentary class, and was edited by Aaron Hose, a video producer in UCF’s Center for Distributed Learning.

The film tells about the Johns Committee, an investigative panel of the Florida Legislature from 1956 to 1964 that sought to root out homosexuals from state universities. The investigation, directed by Sen. Charlie Johns, lead to more than 200 students and teachers who were expelled or fired.

The Public History Center will sponsor a screening of The Committee along with a showing of The Loving Story and a panel discussion on marriage equality. The program will be 6-8 p.m. at the Princess Theater, 115 W. 1st St., Sanford.

The program is part of the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle film screenings, which is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history.

The panel will consist of educators who will facilitate conversations around civil rights, racial injustice and equality under the law. The Loving Story is a documentary about the lives of Richard and Mildred Loving, who were arrested in 1958 for violating Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage. Their struggle culminated in a landmark Supreme Court decision, Loving v. Virginia (1967), which overturned anti-miscegenation laws in the United States. The movie was nominated for an Emmy in 2012.

For more information about the series, contact Tiffany Rivera, coordinator of educational and training programs in the History Department, at Tiffany.Rivera@ucf.edu or 407-823-3817.