Last year marked the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote, through which public art nonprofit DMA-events produced Walls for Women, a series of seven murals across the state of Tennessee that employed 14 female artists and used more than 200 gallons of paint. Tullahoma-based filmmaker Colin Shuran not only crisscrossed the state alongside the artists but spent the better part of a year producing the final 70-minute documentary, Walls for Women, which debuts at 7pm CST on Saturday, March 20.
Shuran is a filmmaker with an important goal in mind: telling stories through film. The 18-year-old creative has proven his passion for filmmaking by competing in local and international film festivals, creating various short films and two full-length features, and producing many promotional videos for people and businesses around Tennessee. He has garnered more than 15 awards for three of his films; he is also a Remi Award winner through the Houston International Film Festival, which has seen the likes of notable filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, the Coen Brothers and Spike Lee. Shortly after debuting his award-winning documentary about mental health awareness, My Friend Karl (currently streaming for free on Amazon), Shuran took on another ambitious subject: chronicling the importance of the women’s suffrage movement and creative expression.
“Walls for Women is a film about freedom, creativity and art—all of which coincide with each other,” he says. “This film hosts an important message that people need to hear.”
The documentary includes footage and interviews with the muralists from all seven inaugural Walls for Women cities: Tullahoma (JUURI), McMinnville (Jenny Ustick & team), Knoxville (Paris Woodhull), Maryville (Nicole Salgar), Nashville (Cymone Wilder, Sarah Painter), Nolensville (Kim Radford) and Centerville (Whitney Herrington). A recent graduate of Tullahoma High School (December 2020), Shuran will begin his collegiate studies at Middle Tennessee State University this fall where he plans to study filmmaking and music.
The global virtual premiere is scheduled for 7 p.m. CDT on Saturday, March 20. Tickets are priced at $12 per household (plus a $3 processing fee) and can be purchased via Shuran’s website colinshuran.com. All proceeds go to covering Shuran’s costs in making the film. Shuran hopes to host more in-person viewings in participating Walls for Women cities this summer depending on the state of the pandemic.
Kristin Luna and Scott van Velsor started 501(c)(3) DMA-events in May 2018 as a way to harness and inspire the imaginative spirit found in all of humanity by removing some of the barriers to entry of the creative process. Walls for Women, which will continue throughout 2021 with new member cities, focuses exclusively on capturing female creative energy for artistic placemaking in communities in need of joy, hope and color through original art. The DMA-events board chose Colin as their first Youth Creator Grant recipient in 2020 after seeing the work he did on My Friend Karl.
“Young creatives, particularly in small towns like Tullahoma, might feel like they are lagging behind their peers who come from larger cities, as they typically lack the same career opportunities that the larger cities contain,” Luna says. “We want to help fund young creatives’ big ideas so that they can not only explore potential career avenues but have a body of work to show when they go into job interviews down the line. We’ve watched Colin flourish over the past five years and are endlessly impressed by his passion, ideas and professionalism.”
The first round of Walls for Women was made possible by DMA partners Cycles Gladiator, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, Tennessee Arts Commission, Sunbelt Rentals, Visit Knoxville, McMinnville Tourism Development Authority, Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority, Tennessee Whiskey Trail and the citizens of the Town of Nolensville.
For more information, interviews and images, please contact DMA-events President Kristin Luna at firstname.lastname@example.org or 931-808-9165.