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January 21, 2011

ULM's "Stay Brady Stay" scheduled at Mississippi festival

"Stay Brady Stay," a locally produced documentary film by students and professors of ULM's Social Science Research Lab, will be among those featured at the 14th annual Magnolia Independent Film Festival in Starksville, Miss.

"The Mag," as the three-night festival is known, will show "Stay Brady Stay" as part of its outstanding movie lineup at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 19. Dr. John Sutherlin, SSRL co-director at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, said "The Mag" is the third and most prestigious festival to show the movie, which has also played at the San Antonio Film Festival and the Acadiana Film Festival.

Sutherlin said the process by which to film was chosen by festival organizers was rigorous because of the number of films screened. "I feel very fortunate ÔStay Brady Stay' was among their picks, since they are often overwhelmed by the sheer number of films they have to choose from," he said.

"Stay Brady Stay" debuted at ULM in 2009 and has gained a steady following ever since. The documentary details the state's struggle to retain its top college graduates through the perspective of former ULM student Brady Middleton of Mangham, who faced the decision about whether to stay in northeastern Louisiana following graduation despite the lure of improved pay and quality of life in nearby states. Middleton eventually decided to accept a teaching job at West Monroe High School.

"We're all really excited about the film's reach," Middleton said. "The Mag is just another chance to show the struggles facing northeastern Louisianans."

"It cuts across lines," Sutherlin said. "A film like this can force a public debate."

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